On the Hook - Miniature Tow Trucks
by Doug Breithaupt, images from the collections of Tom Larson and Bentley Breithaupt

Even toy cars can break down and when they do, a toy tow truck may be needed. Over the last 50 years, many small-scale tow trucks have been produced. What follows is a selection of some well-known and lesser-known models. One of the most-recognized tow trucks is the Matchbox Dodge BP model from the 1960's (right). With it's classic yellow and green colors, this model was a staple of many Matchbox collections for Baby-Boom kids. The red Matchbox Ford Thames tow truck to the left is one that appeared in 1960.

This model and other Matchbox and Corgi/Husky models shown are from the collection of Tom Larson. My collection of tow trucks is a true mix-and-match assortment as I do not focus on trucks. Other models included here come from the collection of Bentley Breithaupt, my 8 year old son and a collector in his own right. I appreciate Tom and Bentley's help in providing examples from their collections.

I have tried to organize the following models according to the age of the vehicle they represent. Some do not identify the make of the vehicle and I am not sure what they are supposed to be. I did not include flat-bed tow trucks or other car haulers. With everything from Efsi's 1919 Model T to Hot Wheels' fantasy 6-wheeled 'Tow Joe', these wreckers do not lack for variety. I know there are many other tow truck models out there in 1:64 scale and I look forward to your additions to this list.

1919 Ford Model T - Efsi

Bedford O Type - Matchbox

Bedford O Type - Matchbox (re-issue)

Toyota Dyna - Motor Max

GMC Wrecker - Hot Wheels (McDonalds)

Ford - Husky

Dodge - Majorette

Ford - Matchbox

Land Rover - Corgi

Ford - Matchbox

'Toe Joe' - Matchbox

GMC - Hot Wheels

GMC Canadian Auto Assoc.- Matchbox

GMC Rescue - Mega Speed

GMC Formula 1 Wrecker - Welly

Chevy - Welly

Chevy - Matchbox

Ford Transit - Majorette

Peterbilt (PACCAR) - Matchbox

Mack - Majorette

'Rig Wrecker' Ford 9000 - Hot Wheels

Dodge Ram - Johnny Lightning

Dodge Ram

Tow Jam - Hot Wheels