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Tow411

Captain Hook Holmes Wrecker.

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Originally Created by LPD167 in November of 2014:

 

Does anyone remember these wrecker units?

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I was recently in a yard in Rahway, NJ and found a Captain Hook Wrecker body mounted on a 1993 GMC cab/chassis.

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Although it is mounted on a newer chassis, I bought it in hope of finding the proper unit on which to mount it. I found this 1988 cab/chassis in Bensalem, PA.

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The only information that I could find is that the Captain Hook Wrecker body was mounted on 1978/1979 GMC cab/chassis units. I was also told that only a small number of these units were made before being discontinued.

I have everything to complete the restoration except the exhaust ports that exit through the bridge, and the Trooper 1100 emblems.

DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON THESE UNITS????

I just made an "Information Wanted" poster to display at the AT Show in Baltimore this weekend. Hopefully, between Tow411 and the folks in Baltimore, I will be able to come up with some information about these units.
 
wauto said:
They had fiberglass, boom side covers.  Very nice unit in it's day.
 
huskertow said:
 The GMC dealer had one back in the day. I think I remember it having exhaust coming out of the upper side of the pylon. I wasn't very old then, but I thought it was the coolest truck I had ever seen. Don't know what ever happened to it.
 
wreckerman05 said:
I like this project--this was my earlier era,but I dont remember the unit--had a lot of C-30 chevs---loved the 454 power trucks--
 
LPD167 said:
Yes. The exhaust exits through the pylon, but I'm missing the cast aluminum exit ports. A fellow came to me at the AT Baltimore show this weekend, and told me of one of these units in a junkyard. As luck would have it, the junkyard got rid of it this past summer. UGH!!
 
While at the AT Show, I posted an "Information Wanted" board with pictures of the Captain Hook. Hawk of Hawk's towing in Trenton, NJ saw the pictures and shared a picture of him with his first wrecker in 1979. Hawk's picture will bring many of us right back to our 1970's wrecker days.
Thanks for sharing Hawk!
!hawkaspx_zps681c7847.jpg
 
hpgtowing said:
There was a towing company in the 70's and early 80's from North Bergen, NJ named Capt. Hook towing and they had a white one just like the one pictured... The son joined the farther later on then I'm not really sure what ever became of them after that...
 
Towcats said:
I attended a Holmes "show' in 1980. There were a few of these (brand new), I dont remenber the light pylon as tall though. There were multiple flatbeds on 1 ton chassis too. I was in awe! I have a lot of pictures, and I will dig some out.
 
LPD167 said:
I have the installation books for the Cadet and Champ. They were the same "Sport" body with a shorter pylon, and no "Captain Hook" goodies.
I just took pics at the Jersey Shore of a Super Storm Sandy survivor. It's a 1980's Chevy with a Cadet wrecker body.
Pics will be coming soon.
As far as the project goes, the Captain Hook wrecker body is dismounted from the 1993 chassis, and the 1988 chassis has been cut and mended to 60" ca.

PS: Does anyone want the Nomar two stage wheel lift on the cheap?
 
wreckerman05 said:
might sell if you leave it hooked to the chassis-still be a working unit for someone??? keep us posted on your project.
 
LPD167 said:
I actually have to part out the entire cab/chassis since it's on a salvage title. I was hoping that someone needs the entire unit minus the wrecker body.
The truck runs and drives great. 350 automatic, a/c, power everything.
 
P1010018_zps659c2914.jpgP1010021_zpsf3d919b5.jpgP1010018_zps659c2914.jpgHere is the Holmes Sport Body that has been down the Jersey Shore for years.
 
RobertCAdams said:
We got 1 in 1979 or 1980 on a Chevrolet. I was young then and don't remember everything,But I was thinking the body was fiberglass for some reason. May just be a loose screw in my head,There is more than 1 thanks to Towing & Recovery. My Back,Shoulder and right Hip as well as my Neck and Head LOL!!! Wish I could be more help,I thought they were cool at the time,Not real Heavy-Duty if I remember correct,Maybe a 4 ton boom??? Surely some of the older Towmen will know!!

Robert
 
LPD167 said:
Yes Robert. It has fiberglass sides and pylon. The wrecker unit is a Holmes Trooper 1100.
 
P1010010_zps6c3be20a.jpgP1010011_zps4c9eccd6.jpgCaptainHookbody_zps366c7f1a.jpgWe removed the wrecker body from the 1993 GMC, and after shortening the frame of the 1988, the body is now installed.
The push bumper is from a 1986 Ford.
Next, we'll change the cab nose to a 1978.
 
jeepfreek said:
very nice find.never seen one in real life.i really like it.congratulations.jim[canuk]fraser.
 
LPD167 said:
Thanks, Jim. I was hoping to find someone who actually has another one.
 
Today, I spoke to a fellow who worked for Holmes for 49 years. He confirmed that only 200 of these Sport Body units were made before being discontinued. That 200 number includes the Captain Hook, Cadet and Champ. Anything remaining at the plant was dragged to a landfill and crushed!! So at this point, I know of only 3 units remaining. This Captain Hook, the Cadet at the Jersey Shore, and a Cadet in Canada.
Anyone know of any others??
 
This is what we are aiming for with the restoration.

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jeepfreek said:
wow.......that is really sharpe.will be rare when you are done.regards jim [canuk]fraser.
 
LPD167 said:
Thanks Jim. Does anyone know what happened to the pictures that I posted earlier?
 
repobob said:
I saw one of these fiberglass wrecker bodies on Youngstown, Ohio Craigslist for sale. It was a Holmes 1200 for $2950 if anybody's interested. Rob
 
LPD167 said:
Thank you Rob.
 
EdsTowing said:
That's a nice piece of history there.
 
LPD167 said:
Thank you Ed. It is going to be a full restoration made to look like the brochure.
Rob, thanks for the lead in Youngstown, OH. I spoke to the guy this week.
I just have to figure out how to get it to NJ. 372 miles, one way.
 
EdsTowing Said:
Maybe try calling Chris Flynn from Bordman Towing by Youngstown (Blue Stripe on here). He is hooked up with transport work and may be able to help you get it moved for reasonable price? He has helped us before. 330-727-9488
 
LPD167 said:
Thank you. And where might that be?
 

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Captain Hook has gone to a new home!!! Updated by LPD167 in March of 2017:

 

After finding a Captain Hook wrecker body in 2012, I have been gathering the necessary parts to put together a true 1980 GMC  Captain Hook wrecker. At first, I mounted the wrecker body on a 1988 Chevy cab/chassis, and changed the nose to a 1980 GMC nose.

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Knowing that this would never be an authentic 1980 GMC Captain Hook wrecker, the search was on for a true 1980 GMC 35. I was very fortunate to find a numbers matching 1980 GMC wrecker to further the project.646.gif

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This was the desired result...

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So after much of this business, the project became overwhelming!!

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Seeing that I was way in over my head, I put out a message to a dear fellow member in the Amercian Truck Historical Society, and he brought me to Michael Beyer of Beyer GMC in Fairview, NJ. Michael had previously told me that he remembered having one of these trucks in his showroom in 1980, and has now taken on the project. His plan is to have it ready for our ATHS show on October 15, 2017 at the Skylands Ball Field in Augusta, NJ.

Away we go...

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I will continue to work with Michael to see this project to completion. Thank you Michael for saving this piece of Holmes history!!

Now, if anyone is interested, I began to gather Holmes booms to make a historic Holmes display. I have a Holmes 220, 440, 480, and Holmes push bumper. If anyone would like to speak to me about this project, all of the pieces are for sale on the cheap. I also have the Chevron boom/body as well. Pictures are posted below. Stan 973-214-1674.

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The three booms and wrecker body are gone now. A fellow is going to make a rolling display of the 220, 440, and 480 booms.
The only thing left is the push bumper.
I also have a second 70's push bumper.

 

 

 

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