Ford Model 51 Wrecker
Having served years of duty as a tow truck/wrecker before its retirement, this 1936 Ford Model 51 truck was purchased from its second owner, who had kept it stored in his barn since 1948. Fortunately for lovers of these pioneering workhorses, it was then made the subject of a museum quality restoration that was completed in 2009 to the tune of approximately $125,000. The results speak for themselves.
Every component has been rebuilt to look and function as new, including the specialized rear body and fully operative towing rig originally built by the Fischer Crane Company of Bolingbrook, Illinois. Interior materials and finishing reflect the excellent overall quality of this nostalgic rig, most noticeably in the vintage switchgear and controls and the original factory gauges, all of which have been rebuilt and are in perfect working order. In fact, 95 percent of the original hardware has been retained after having been replated in the correct respective finishes. The truck’s exterior finish is an evocative mixture of fire-engine Red paint, chromed wheels and body trim and nostalgic Depression-era signage, hand painted by renowned artist, sign painter and font creator Bob Behounek, announcing that the truck is the property of “Jessup Brothers Texaco.” Powered by Ford’s legendary flathead V-8 engine, this whimsical artifact was named to the 2009 Chicago World of Wheels’ prestigious Top 20.
Part of the Mecum Auctions event in Indianapolis in May, 2013
Source: Mecum Auctions