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Your most Memorable tow when YOU broke down

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by movin/on, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. millersgarage
    Joined: Jun 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,139


    kzoo 2008 013.jpg

    Well, it was the NSRA Nationals North in Kalamazoo MI in 2008, you know the "umbrella Nationals". Torrential downpours all weekend long.
    kzoo 2008 004.jpg

    I had both cars there, the '28 and the '47. My dad drove my unheated, no defrosters, no wipers '47 for the weekend.

    On the way home, my '28 died on I-94 between Kzoo and Battle Creek. Flat out dead electrical system. I called for road service, and waited on the side of I-94, in almost no visability downpour for over an hour. Hoping not to get hit by all the cars on the road. No electrical, meant no 4 ways or lights on the car.

    The wrecker showed, and I was pissed. I told him to follow me and keep up. I ran near 80mph the rest of the way home (45 minutes or so), in the downpour, in my no defrosters, no wipers '47.My dad and I spent the ride wiping the inside of the windshied with wet rags to keep the fog off.

    after all was done, and the rain stopped, I took a look at the '47 and could not belive my eyes. I blew huge sections of paint off of the car running at those speeds in the rain.
    kzoo 2008 014.jpg kzoo 2008 015.jpg kzoo 2008 016.jpg

    soda blasting? sand blasting?, nope Aqua blasting!!
  2. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,199


    In mid-80's, I drove my stock '37 Chevy 2-door sedan down to Virginia. I was on a back dirt road, a million miles from nowhere, when the engine started a terrible rapping - I later found out I had blown the babbiting out of a rod and a main bearing. I sat there for almost an hour before a van came along. I flagged him down, he stopped and after I explained what had happened, he offered me a ride to a garage a few miles down the road. I got in the van and there 7 or 8 Brownie scouts in there. We drove about 15 minutes (seemed like hours), with the Brownies singing "Row, row, row your boat" !

    We finally arrived at the garage and I thanked the driver for his help and he & the Brownies went on their way. The garage owner said he'd call for a flat bed and. long story, short, I had the car towed about 45 miles to White Post Restorations. I met Billy (can't think of his last name), the owner of WPR and he graciously gave me a tour of the facilities, even though he must have known by looking at me, that his place was out of my league. He even had one of his mechanics drop the oil pan and confirn the bad news for me.

    I asked what it would cost to have him repair the damage and he told me they only would do a complete engine overhaul - small jobs just weren't worth the hassle, which I understood. I then asked him what he got for a complete rebuild and he said "$1200.00" I said "Gee, that's not bad at all" and he said "That's per cylinder, son". Damn, $7200.00 (in 1985 dollars!). I sheepishly told him I couldn't afford that kind of scratch and that I'd have to arrange to get the car home to fix it myself. He let me keep the car there for a couple of weeks until I could get back home, get my truck and a tow bar (didn't know anyone with a trailer and I didn't want to pop for a rental) and get driven back down there. I wound up towing it back north on the tow bar through the Pennsylvania mountains with a 6-cyl Chevy S-10, which was an adventure in itself, best left for another day......
  3. rustrustler
    Joined: Mar 18, 2005
    Posts: 281


    This didn't happen to me, but at an old car outing one fellow in a 427 vette lost a water pump. Between us we found a length of rope and towed him behind a 56 Ford pickup. At the next club meeting the vette owner went into great lengths about how hard it was to push a Ford with a rope.
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,931


    summer 1980, folks were out of town on a long trip, I was 19, drag racing the truck at the local strip...tore half the teeth off the pinion gear in the 12 bolt rearend, on the starting line.

    Pulled the axles, took out the carrier, pulled out what was left of the pinion gear. Put some grease on the carrier bearings and wheel bearings, put it back together. Talked to the track owner about getting it the next day. Got a rid home with a sort of cute girl.

    Next day showed up with the family station wagon, and a chain, and my brother. Towed it home about 20 miles, including a long stretch of I 10, no problems.
  5. j conrad
    Joined: Dec 24, 2006
    Posts: 81

    j conrad

    a couple years ago my brother was moving to a new house about 20 miles from were he lived and we had to move a couple cars over to the new place. so i worked and got a one of them started which was an econoline pickup and i was off. i made it about 5 miles till i lost a hose and steam and smoke started fillin the cab lol.. well here comes my bro to the rescue with a short ass chain in the back of his crappy suburban so we hook up and he takes off with me in tow about 3 ft from the back of his truck and haulin ass at about 70mph and everytime i would try to get his attn. so he will slow down i see him laughing and he punches it even faster(he's a natural born creeep).. pretty much craped my pants the whole way.. i cant wait til he calls me for a tow so i can get him back if only for a minuta haha
  6. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,718

    junk yard kid

    When i was 16 in my 56 chevy around '97 or so i trtied to get onthe freeway and hit the throttle, car stalled then the amp gauge lit on fire. Well threw sparks. So i tried to rip out the wires going to it and burned rubber into my skin. Ithen get out and open the hood to find all the wireing glowing red. Got a wreanch outa the trunk and unhooked the battery and all was well. Called AAA and got a tow, from a wreaker no less, i was in the tow truck all eyes on my buety, it was 1am and the driver wore sunglasses and was a real wierdo. glad i got my car and my life stilll.
  7. I was 16 and had a 72 chevelle SS and drove that sucker hard...too hard.
    One night my boss at the carwash I worked at asked me to take one of the cashiers home...didn't really want to but he said I'd get an extra hour on the clock...bitchin' an extra 2.25!!!!
    So I take her home out to her folks' place in the boonies outside of Fort Wayne, Indiana and drop her off at her parents place. I got about 2 miles from their place and I threw a's 10:45 and I am in the middle of nowhere where the farms are...obviously before cell phones I walked for an hour or so before I saw a farmhouse with lights on and never did see another car (they turn out the lights and hit the sack pretty early apparently)...finally I came upon this house and called my Pops who was watching the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and he fired up his 76 chevy luv pickup and came out and got me.
    The thing I remember most was the smell of his clutch burning and the fact that I never quite got the hang of how to keep the tow rope taught and I would hit the brakes (too hard) on my Chevelle and the rope would draw tite and I could see my Dad's head snapping back and forth everytime and I could hear him cussing up a storm.
    When we got home he asked me what I planned to do about the engine in the Chevelle...after I explained to him my plans he said put those on hold until you buy a new clutch for my truck! That extra 2.25 sure came in handy.
  8. flamed34
    Joined: Dec 30, 2009
    Posts: 777


    In about 1990 when I was around 19, I had an O/T Regal with a Chevy 350/350 combo I drove hard. I developed a rod knock, but it was my only mode of transportation for work and school. My father warned me not to drive to far...I was to limp it until the weekend when we could swap out the engine.
    Did I listen? Of course not. I went to my girlfriend's (now wife's) house, and left about 10:00 pm with temperatures in the teens and snow coming down (Western NY, south of Buffalo). Leaving her house, I had to climb a long steep hill...I made it about 1/2 way until the rod came through the block.
    Her parents rescued me, leaving the car by the side of the road, and took me home. The next a bevy of "I told you so" comments from my father, we loaded a chain his slant 6 powered Dodge Van and went off to rescue the car.
    We hooked up the car, and he started towing me by chain for the 25 or so miles to home. At first all was good...except for the salt melted snow slush being slung back at my windshield - but I wipers until the battery died. Once the battery was completely dead, and the windshield was fully encrusted with slush ice, I had no choice but to roll down the window and stick my head out to see where we were going.
    I tell ya...20 miles with your head out the window with temps in the teens, and a smile full of slush will make you think! To this day, I swear my old man was purposefully spinning tires and throwing the slush at me!
  9. 39 Ford
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,558

    39 Ford

    In 1966 I bought my 39 Deluxe coupe (for $50.00), it had been hit in the front and had to be towed about 40 miles in heavy traffic. A friend and I went to get it in a 50 chevrolet pickup with 301 small block hooked to the original driveline. We attached a chain with a length of pipe between the two vehicles. The trans was jambed in the coupe but I was able to get it to move by holding the clutch in.
    Everything went fine until someone cut my friend off and I had to do a panic stop with the coupe, we were all over the road and shit scared.
    We went very slowly the rest of the way.
  10. Gator
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 4,016


    Hot Rod reunion in Bowling green about 5 years ago, the tranny in my '46 Ford pickup burnt up on the way into the show Friday. Wasn't going to worry about it till Sunday but on Saturday it started raining HARD and the max exodus started so a couple of clubmates grabbed their trailer so we could tow it home.

    The truck would move under it's own power but barely - so I figured I needed a good head of steam to get it on the trailer. Guess I hit the trailer a little too hard and fast - as the front wheels went onto the trailer it bounced the ramps out and the truck landed on it's frame.

    Since it was raining there wasn't anyone much really standing around, but as soon as the truck hit at least a dozen people came out of the woodwork and helped us lift it up and onto the trailer.
  11. the first hot car I built was a 64 Impala SS body I picked up - an ex 409 car with fac tach and 4 speed consol - but in 1976 no one cared - put in a fresh built 396/T-10 and off we went to Cedar Hill on a date night out to the tower lights you could see from Dallas and off we went down to the bottoms of whats now Joe Pool lake...:eek: where the ball joint let go was no where man...but luckly we caugh a ride back to town to call a wrecker - I totally rebuilt the front end after that - springs and all...and even after that - the car still got alot of action...have to post a pic....
  12. sawzall
    Joined: Jul 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,738



    ujoint decided to let go.. near Buellton, CA

    luckily we were towed to the KOA across the way from mendenhalls dry lakes racing hall of fame..
  13. MarkzRodz
    Joined: Sep 12, 2009
    Posts: 533


    The first one that pops into my head and most dramatic,,, I had broken down in my '66 Nova and had enlisted my younger brother to drive the towed vehicle. I was driving my Chevy Pk. We weren't going far so I used a chain between the vehicles. I carefully explained to him and even used blocks of wood as a learning tool to show him "what was up" when pulling,,about keeping the chain tight,hand signals,descending hills,etc.
    Once we were on the highway,,all was going well but cars were piling up behind us so when we were on a long straightaway I motioned those cars that it was clear to pass and to come on around.
    The next thing I see is my brother PASSING ME IN THE NOVA!!!! The chain sparking and about to pull tight and yank me side3ways!! When he gets dead even with my door (and asking "What?" with a stupid glazed look) I started screaming "What are you doing","Get the Fk back"!!. He tapped the brakes and slowly got back there. I feather the gas and pulled the chain back tight,,damn that was a drawer scooper when it was over.
  14. M16er™
    Joined: Jan 27, 2010
    Posts: 14


    Back in 77-78 or so, had a 66 Dodge Charger (Wish I never got rid of it) and me and a bud and girlfriends were going to a drive in move. Halfway there, was giving it gas, but nothing. Stopped, and the accelerator cable had broken inside. No problem, Just opened the hood, bud leaned out the window and steered while I sat on the passenger side leaning across the engine manually working the carb.

    Was able to borrow some vice grips and clamp the cable on the inside so we could get home later.
  15. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,845


    Having my buddy tow me 12 miles to my shop in a driving rain storm on a 12 ft chain at 60 mph behind his F250 pickup.
  16. willys1950jeepster
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 75

    from pdx

    Back in high school ( sometime after the end of the last ice age) a friend had to get his project truck ( no motor and no front bumper and no brakes) out of the school autoshop compound for summer break. We couldn't rig a tow bar, so we chained his rear bumper to the front bumper of my CJ 2A and I pushed him home. Visibility was better than you would think, and the local deputy didn't give us a second glance.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2010
  17. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?

    Set the mighty Plymouth cruiser on fire during a fit of roadside repair stupidity at 11:00 on a Sunday night three miles east of Dateland, AZ. This is fifty miles from anywhere. Got the fire out with minimal damage (carb, wiring, distributor,etc.) and called the highway patrol for a tow. Forty five minutes later a fire truck arrived (?) and said "We take our time coming out this far to car fires, cause there's usually nothing left anyway". A Az. highway patrolman hung out with me for a bit, "cause this was more exciting than anything else that night!" Finally the rollback arrived (2:00 am) and gave me a tow into the thriving metropolis of Gila Bend (63 mi.). What did this little adventure set me back? 473.50 for the tow, lots for the stuff for the repair, and a night at the Space Age lodge that I had always wanted to stay at, only to find all the funky room decor gone! Oh, and 75.00 for gas to ElPolacko to come and drag me the rest of the way home on Monday!
  18. It was 1984 and I was heading to work in my '65 Belair and it quits, wasn't sure if it was the fuel pump or what. I hiked to a phone booth and called my wife. She gave me a ride to work and agreed to pick me up after work and go get the car and help me tow it home.

    This was on the Wantagh parkway and we had to go north to Old Country Road, turn around and take a back road south to get home.

    All I had was some 1/2" nylon rope. We lashed it to the hitch on her Olds and the bumper on the Belair. I gave her some basic instructions on hand signals, etc and away we went. Of course this is rush hour in Nassau County Long Island on a Friday. We got off the Wantagh ok, were on the exit ramp and some moron tries to cut in between the 2 cars!

    After some horn honking, compound swear words and a death threat, the clod hopper backed off. I was out of my car and told the guy I was going to drag him out of his car and slam his fucking head in the car door.

    We finally got home and my wife was shaken to the core. I had since then acquired a tow bar for such emergencies. It turned out to be a rotted out fuel hose back by the gas tank, all it was doing was sucking air, no gas.

  19. Ill keep mine short and sweet... Towing my 54 buick, breaks had lost pressure during the tow on a straight away. as we came to the corner where we needed to turn the truck pulling me slowed... I didnt, because I couldnt and cruise on by him. His face was priceless as he look over and the friend in my passenger seat waved as we went by (ripping the tow rope free). Nothing bad happened to either vehicle but the visual was awesome. I laughed for a good twenty minutes as we got the buick stopped about 100 yards down the road
  20. rixrex
    Joined: Jun 25, 2006
    Posts: 1,433


    back in the 60s at the weekend swimmin hole..a car was broken down and it was towed home by knotting together several pairs of blue jeans...
  21. carpok
    Joined: Dec 29, 2009
    Posts: 516

    from Indy

    Im 15 bought this 46 ford two door sedan big as a house. But it had a flat motor with chrome nut covers and two carbs overall nice shape. It ran but when you put it in gear nothing happen. The owner said he was doing burn outs and broke the driveshaft. Ok bought it 35.00 its mid 60 got a buddys dad to tow me home with his pickup about 8 miles. We talked about who does the braking and all went well. Until we made the left turn into the driveway. The right rear wheel fell off the broken axle was blue from heat. It turned out to be less of job changing the axle then the drive shaft. Ron
  22. r8odecay
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 787


    Senior year in high school, ran my '65 Mustang on a weekend run down to Mexico and back. Had a friend with family on the border, and she wanted to pick up her drum kit... invited 2 other friends to trip with us, (and share gas expenses). on the way back with 4 of us, our gear, and a drum kit packed in a sardine can 'Stang, the right front wheel wallows out. 3 of the lugs are useless, and one is welded together. I ride on the front fender kicking the wheel onto the spindle with my heels, while my friend drives on the shoulder at 10 mph through NOWHERE Texas. We finally find a farm house that calls AAA for us, had to use mile markers for directions to the tow driver. Luckily AAA had given me a one-year free trial gold membership, entitled to 100 miles free tow. The nearest anything was a Sears, 98 miles away. The tow truck driver would not let us ride in the Mustang on the flat bed, so we piled 5 deep into his cab.

    We were broke highschoolers, but were able to scour the Sears parking lot for cool people to borrow some tools, got the heat blued lug nut off, spare wheel/tire mounted and back on the road.
  23. May Street Relics
    Joined: Mar 17, 2008
    Posts: 38

    May Street Relics

    Was up town on the loop one summer night about 1am went to take off from the spot I was in doing a burn out when the rear end let go so i had to call my dad to come and tow me home so he took it real slow down main street in front of the hole town because every one new my car flat black and white into yellow flames that next week I took alot of shit about that the only horse power i had was my dads truck
  24. I was in a mini-truck over twenty years ago, on a date with a real bitch, and broke the motor at 3 A.M.. She called her mom and split. I called my dad so he wouldn't be worried when I wasn't home, and he said,"Where are you, I'll come get you." towed me home with a 460 Ford gin-pole truck; my little truck never went that fast before!
    Joined: Jul 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,297

    from Lampe,Mo.

    >>>>>.1969,,Anchorage ,Alaska ,,towin' my C/Gas '54 Ford 396 Chevy BB drag truck to the Polar Drag Strip n both
    rear slicks went flat 5 miles from the track ,,,,they spun on the rims n busted the tube valve stems off ,,,dummy me ,,,not enough air for towin' ,,
  26. daddylama
    Joined: Feb 20, 2002
    Posts: 930


    '55 plymouth dropped the forward gears from it's trans... got the number for a local tow company that had a flat bed. dude showed up minutes later, jumped out of the truck....
    i about died. full-blown cross dresser. probably wouldn't have thought too much about it, but the dude looked like a lumberjack wearing a dress. 50 mile tow back to town... riding next to him... never once said a word about it. only charged $40 for the tow, heard some outrageous stories.

    couple years later my harley dropped it's guts in the middle of nowhere. biker wearing HA colors stopped to help. he called a club member to come with a pickup, bring it into town. they hauled me and my bike a good 30 miles. helped me fix it at their garage, let me use their tools, gave me an oil pump. shared some cold beers and some great stories the whole time. made sure i had a phone number to call in case i didn't make it home. damn fine guys.
  27. hiboy32
    Joined: Nov 7, 2001
    Posts: 2,781

    from Omaha, NE

    I had one towing story.... I had the cam gear fail in my flathead aabout a mile from home. I made some calls and the first person to respond was Malcom! He is a damn good person. He drove his galaxie out my way and towed me home. If you know the Malcolm Galaxie you can picture it towing my coupe home.....Only time I have been towed home.
  28. timmy25252
    Joined: Sep 15, 2007
    Posts: 315


    Driving up a long steep hill lined with trees one night and I was just about to reach the top when my clutch gave out and wouldn't going forward anymore. The night was cloudy so no light from the moon or stars. So I knew the farmer had an access road about a 3/4 mile down, so with no back up lights I coasted backwards down the curved tree lined road basically blind until I finally reached the road. Called my dad and had my first flat tow ever about 2 miles home...
  29. budhaboy
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 157


    right after graduation, had a 70 Chevelle, coming home from 75/80 Dragway(Monrovia, MD) the drivers side lower A arm gives out and drops the front end on the pavement - the rearward bushing had given out long ago, and the bolt cut its way through the a buddy, hoping his Pop could swing out with one of his rollbacks to bring me home - turned out his Pop had taken the "new" truck and towed his race car to MIR for racenight so although he was lousy with a clutch, he borrowed the "old" truck and came an got me, grinding gears and smoking the clutch the whole the Chevelle loaded up, and I offered to drive since I knew how to drive a manual, that was a no go- not enough clutch left to get 'er rolling...hitchhike BACK to the gas station, and call home...after enduring the 5 minute nonstop cuss fest, his Pop calls his buddy with the BIG wrecker - those big bastards they tow Semi's with- funniest looking thing - 70 chevelle sitting on the back of a rollback, with its front end in the air being towed the biggest towtruck I had ever seen before...worked off the new A arm and clutch assembly as a broom jockey sweeping up absorbant and accident debris for their tow company the rest of the summer.
  30. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,188

    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    I broke thru the ice on the Meramec river in my '78 Dodge 4x4, only needed a tow 'cause the F-ing steel valve stem sheared off. Never used them since!

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