International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum

Get your motor running, head out on the highway!

… and hope the motor KEEPS running. If it doesn’t, there are always the noble men and women in the towing industry to rescue you.

In honor of these fine folks stands the INTERNATIONAL TOWING AND RECOVERY HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM- 3315 Broad St., Chattanooga, TN.


Nestled in the mountains of Tennessee, in a town with so much to offer visitors, is this easily overlooked museum. It seems the industry was started in Chattanooga in 1916 by Ernest Holmes. Holmes owned a garage and needed a means to get cars to the garage. Simplicity. Logic. What more could you want in a story?


Historic and unique tow trucks, toys, vintage automotive parts, and more are packed into the museum. If you like vintage cars and whatnot, there are some fun exhibits here.




Limousine converted into a tow truck; this is the company featured in the reality series Wreckers.

Of course, there is also the Hall of Fame, which you walk through at the end.


I’ll be honest, I have no idea what one would do to get inducted into such a hall of fame, but these people did it, whatever it is and they did it very well. More power to these illustrious men and women.

The entire thing can be seen in less than an hour, so it is a good side trip for that Chattanooga vacation or road trip through Tennessee.

Outside of the museum, there is a memorial to “the fallen” in the industry.


At first, the idea of “the fallen” in the towing and recovery industry sounds a little goofy, but if you think about it… it really can be a dangerous industry. Between vengeful repo-ed car owners and the natural elements in which one often needs a tow truck driver, there’s definite risk involved and it takes some balls. Maybe that’s why the Hollywood stereotype of a tow truck driver is a burly guy wearing the unbuttoned flannel shirt over the dirty wife beater while chewing on a toothpick and looking at you like a bug he wants to squish.

… but that’s just in Hollywood, surely. And in Santee, South Carolina, but that is a different story for a different time.

Give some thought to an industry often overlooked and under-respected.

Until next time, dahlings…

4 thoughts on “International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum

    1. I forgot that’s where you lived! I’m sorry! Next time, I’ll remember to tell you!
      In the meantime, let me know if you ever make it out to the Portland, OR area.


  1. Did you see the Moon Pie store? The TVRM is wonderful. Obviously there is the Choo Choo and the story of the The General at the National Cemetery is very interesting! Hope you enjoy the Scenic City!


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