1949 Chevy COE Wrecker: Full Rotation

wrecker

For a hot minute, this towing rig looked like the perfect choice for an official Barn Finds extraction vehicle! Unfortunately, the asking price of $10,000 is a bit high, so we won’t be bringing it home any time soon. However, this 1949 Chevy COE wrecker here on craigslist in Farmington, New Mexico is still an excellent candidate for restoration or preservation. My favorite feature of the truck is the twin boom that can rotate side-to-side. I had a Corgi die-cast toy with towing arms like that, and it made for some great imagination adventures pulling crashed cars out of a ravine made out of Legos! Whatever happens with this wrecker, the lettering on the doors will hopefully be preserved, along with the orange-and-white paint scheme and that rotating boom. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Bentley Guy for the find.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Bobsmyuncle

    Soooo cool. A COE is high on my list of wants.

    It would be quite a sacrifice to keep the booms. However cool they are they are heavy, noisy and useless for most of us.

    Seems pricey I guess but if the rust is restricted to the surface and it truly does room well it might be well priced. I wish I could take a closer look

  2. Jamie

    Is that a ’64 GOaT’ behind it ? Wish there was more to see.

  3. Dolphin Member

    I have a few reactions to this cool truck.

    – It looks like it must have been a no-nonsense workhorse that had a long productive life. Who knows whether it actually did work on Rt 66, but I can believe it did.

    – With its exaggerated blunt front end it looks like one of those characters that might be in the “Cars” movies.

    – The shop my father worked in as a mechanic had the contract to assemble Holmes wreckers for the area. My father’s best friend there always wanted to do those assembly jobs because they were fun, kind of like putting a giant toy truck together. He got a lot of satisfaction from it. Every time I see a Holmes wrecker now, I think of that.

  4. JW

    Would be a cool project but dump the booms in favor of a car hauler flatbed. COE are awesome.

  5. pontiactivisit

    I’ve found myself admirering these. Recently found a 69 Chevy ramp truck I’m trying to deal with the guy on. Think it would be cool to show up at the track with the LeMonster on the back. May be a reality soon.

  6. Woodie Man

    How many times over the decades have you seen a tow truck way past its prime sitting in the weeds behind an old gas station? Now they’re worth 10K? Yikes!

  7. geomechs geomechs Member

    Looks like something worthwhile to restore. I would prefer to see it restored original but I would accept a mildly modernized version with a ramp deck. I sure hope that it doesn’t get picked up only for the cab, which gets dropped onto a modern chassis.

  8. Mark-A

    Ah Jeff, were you speaking of the Corgi Peterbuilt Wrecker? If so I had exactly the same one! Kinda ages you though, at a guess early 40s (same as myself!)

  9. RON

    Could never afford one of these at these prices and restore it to functional as well, but I do love it and it would be a shame to see it become something else. it would be just so at home at a big meet on display. wish I could rescue it.

  10. Dustin

    I’d love to have this Chevy!

  11. Tony

    Where is this located, I need it!

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