1945 FEDERAL C-2 WRECKER SERIAL NUMBER 124664
USA REGISTRATION NUMBER 00198780
WANTED FOR OUR C-2 WRECKER
one each main and rear jack stand for the outrigger we are missing them. We also need a Dayton fifth wheel as ours is severely damaged by rust. Here is a photo of the parts needed:
The main jack stand stowed on each side of the truck
If you know where we can find these parts please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209 982 0273
This is our 1945 Federal C-2 wrecker truck. More information to follow soon. For more general information on the C-2 Wrecker click here . For more information on surviving C-2's click here
This is our C-2 Wrecker as she looks today.
This is how she appeared in 1954
This truck was purchased by the Pirtle family in 1954 from Fulton Auto Exchange. Fulton bought the truck straight from government surplus and quickly offered it to the Pirtle's. The family used it in their business for many years and it eventually Robert Pirtle decided to fix it up. We aquired the beautiful truck
This is a photo taken by
Jeff Lakaszcyck before it was moved by Robert
before it was moved by Robert Pirtle for restoration work.
You can see that Robert has begun the restoration work on the Federal C-2 that had been in his family since 1954
Here is the C-2 inside the garage in Florida. The next two photos were taken by Jeff Lakaszcyck who has a great interest in these great old Wreckers.
Robert Pirtle (pictured above) was kind enough to sell his beautiful truck to us for our museum. Here it is when it arrived from Florida.
How many people does it take to figure out this old truck? All of them!
Why did we pick up one of our aircraft tugs? Because we could! She didn't even think about struggling
It turns out that this old truck has quite a colorful career as a wrecker in Florida. Here is an excerpt from a book titled Tow Trucks" by John Gunnell and Tom Collins.
Another good book about Wreckers is US Military Wheeled Vehicles by Fred Crismon
You can purchase this book from the Military Vehicle Preservation Association by contacting:
Military Vehicle Preservation Association
Yes, we carry
that book it is BC-105 , the cost
is $44.00 plus $7.00 Shipping for a total of $51.00.
Should you have any C-2 wrecker photos or stories that you might like to share please send them to me and I will gladly post them with credit to you.
Here is one from Tom:
My name is Tom and I live just south of Atlanta. I own a Reo C2 which I bought about ten years ago and restored. The wood has rotted out of the cab again and I am in the process of replacing it again and just happened to search for C2s to see what was new. Found Mr. Pirtle's C2 which you apparently bought for your museum, very nice piece. My family was in the wrecker business and garage business in Sanford, Florida for 60 years. In January 1947 a loaded Sunoco gasoline tanker truck went off the Titusville Ferry Bridge on state road 46 and turned over trapping the driver in the cab upside down. The Florida Highway Patrol called us and Pirtle's both to come help get the driver out. We had a Banjo ten wheel GMC with a new Holmes W-35 crane, same as the military W-45 but without the outrigger legs. Our truck and (now your truck) each came form different directions since the wreck was halfway in between Sanford and Titusville. We each arrived about the same time. Charlie Pirtle swung the boom out over the side of the bridge on that C2 and lifted the whole tractor of the truck upside down while our two wrecker drivers got into the cab and cut the steering wheel out to get the driver out. we then uncoupled the fifth wheel and he proceeded to bring the tractor back up on the bridge and drive off with it, which we then up righted. Then both wreckers together lifted the trailer out, again up over the side of the bridge. My Dad and Uncle were so impressed with the C2's power that they subsequently bought one and used it for five years until a newer B model Mack came along. Today's new "Rotator" wreckers sold by Miller Industries are really nothing new but an upgraded C2. I hope you will contact the Miller representative in San Francisco whose name escapes me and let him come look at your truck.
The C2s story is great one. Rarely has a piece of military equipment been so successfully adapted to the private sector or made such a contribution. They were the first big wreckers available cheap (government surplus) to the private sector. At a time when the Holmes W-45 was the industry standard and the Federal roads had not been upgraded since the 1926 federal highway building program trucks has grown in size and speed. the C2s were the only wreckers capable of dealing with them post WWII. Nearly everybody had one and the standard fare was to mount a heavy drag winch on the back to supplement the lifting power of the crane. That they have endured to this day (stuarts in Kernersville North Carolina) is a testament to their well built standard. I bought my Reo in 1998 from Batson's Garage in Taylorville, SC. While it was the Series 29 truck, Mr Batson had a W-45 Holmes mounted on it and a drag winch and kept it until his death in 1990. According to his widow my truck was directly responsible in saving seven lives during its active usage period as a road wrecker. His widow put it in an old barn and I bought it in 1998. You will run into problems with rotten woodwork in the cab sooner or later when the door falls off someday. The answer to that problem lies in boat builders. I got a boat builder who used something like a Styrofoam shaving cream type stuff to make a model of the rotted piece, put it in a CNC machine, which cut it perfectly and it fit like it came from the factory.
Great story! Thanks for writing Tom,
O ALL OF OUR COUNTRY'S VETERANS, WE HERE AT VINTAGE AIRCRAFT WOULD LIKE TO SAY:
THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID FOR OUR COUNTRY!
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7432 C.E. DIXON STREET
STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA USA 95206
(209) 982 0273
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KEEP 'EM FLYING...FOR HISTORY!