Here we have a pair of trucks from my early youth. So early in fact that I don’t even remember them! Right in my humble home town of East Syracuse there was a legendary towing company and garage operated by Bob Featherly. For decades his trucks were a presence on the main drag of the village and the highways of Central New York. Being the natural born truck nut that I am I always enjoyed passing by and seeing the activity of the shop. I was too young to realize that in older years I would need photos to recall these memories. Thankfully Bob and his family took a few shots over the years that we can now enjoy.
Your looking at two perfect examples of Autocar tow trucks from the ’76 and ’77 model years. These two trucks were responsible for the heavier towing jobs of the garage. While both are impressive looking machines in their own right the ’76 was a true stand out, especially to the ears. Under the hood a 290 Cummins with a jake was straight piped through a single stack for all to enjoy. Everybody in East Syracuse knew when this truck was returning to town from a completed job. Windows would shake. Old men would curse. Babies would cry. Having sprung up alongside the five mile long switching yard of the then New York Central Railroad its citizens are used to loud noises. To have a truck over power that din tells you something right there. The ’77 had a pumped up 350 small cam Cummins with both trucks rocking 13 speed transmissions.
The passing of time saw these trucks meet various fates as the were sold or replaced with newer equipment. While they are gone, there are still a few Featherly Autocars in existence with Bob’s son, also Bob, still owning this 69 Autocar with a 250 Cummins, 15 speed and a Holmes 750. Future dreams call for a restoration of this truck.
Thanks to Bob for sharing these great photos. I really enjoyed them and I hope you will too.
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