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Elected: March 12, 1999
Inducted: August 21, 1999
Mr. Arturo Cortez Gonzalez was born in 1941. The oldest of eight brothers and sisters in a low-class family. He was born in a little town 50 miles north of the city of Monterrey called Los Herrera. His parents moved with him to the city of Monterrey in 1942. He studied the elementary and junior high education in public schools. At the age of 15 years old he studied during the morning and worked during the afternoon as an office boy for The Federal Highways Patrol Bureau-Monterrey Base, earning a big part of his family income.
He had to quit school before finishing junior high school in order to concentrate on earning 100% of the support for his family. At 20 years old, he served part time as a radio dispatcher for the Federal Highway Partrol and part-time helping at an auto repair shop called Garage Y. Talleres, which was constituted in 1947 by his father Bernabe Cortez Benavides and a couple of other partners. At that time Monterrey City was emerging thanks to an economic boom. Steel works were built, a brewery, banks and railroads got larger. His father, with the big effort that the young Arturo contributed, bought from his associates their shares and an old 1937 Ford home-built truck.
Also, this was the time when big cars were driven around with low traffic control and the impound grew well. They began in 1956, with Garage Y. Talleres being a big yard with a tow truck company, the impound service for the City of Monterrey, followed by servicing the federal highways. By that time, they had reached four trucks and the vision of Mexican entrepreneurs was placed over the bridge that the City of Monterrey used to enter the United States from Mexico City. The city got larger, the business got better and Arturo got richer in experience within the towing and recovery business.
In 1963, Arturo, leading his younger brother as his father did through young and bright ideas, he connected his trucks with radio frequency. He did this several years before the time when the local police and the Federal Highway Patrol did it. Garage Y. Talleres became the only radio dispatched towing company ever known in Mexico. This achievement boomed the company to unexpected limits.
Despite the death of his father in 1972, he began looking toward the future and never taking his eyes from emerging technology. A few years later he began to import the first 10 Holmes and Chevron units ever into Mexico. Arturo brought the first hydraulic wheel-lift system into Mexico in 1982 and going even further brought the first car carrier fleet in 1986.
Arturo Cortez led Garage Y. Talleres through the years to become a very well known company. It is a large company both respected and feared by its competitors. Its respect reached to Mr. John L. Hawkins, when he himself signed “The Most Attractive Large Company Award 1986”, sponsored by Tow Time Magazine.
Arturo Cortez lead Garage Y. Talleres to be the company that started with one back yard and a hand-made tow truck serving one local and one federal authority, into 45 units, 9 back yard companies serving 8 local and 3 federal authorities. He also lead the company from one call a week to an average of 250 a day as well as hauling only one car at a time into hauling 80 vehicles simultaneously.
2015-2017 Board of Directors Announced
The new board of directors will take office on November 1, 2015
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Admission and Hours
Adults - $10.00
Seniors (55 or older)/Military - $9.00
AAA - $8.50
Children 6 - 14 - $6.00
Children under 5 are free.
Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Summer Hours (March. 1-Oct.31)
Monday - Saturday 9 - 5
Sunday 11 - 5
Winter Hours (Nov 1-Feb.28)
Monday - Saturday 10 - 4:30
Sunday 11 - 5
Closed Major Holidays
The International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame & Museum, Inc.
3315 Broad Street
Chattanooga, TN 37408