Hall of Fame Member

Joseph A. Wilkinson

Joe’s bought his first tow truck, a brand new 1964 Ford 4-wheel drive Weldbuilt, because he was tired of watching tow trucks driving by his gas station making money towing cars from the parking lot at the “Theatre in the Round” at Oakdale in Wallingford, Connecticut.  Once the towing bug was in his blood Joe invested in and purchased Fountain’s Garage in New Haven, Connecticut in 1970.  Starting with three tow trucks from Fountain’s and bringing two more along from his Wallingford service station, the fleet quickly grew to 18 trucks! Fountain’s being located at the junction of the “Q-Bridge” exit/entrance ramp onto I-95 in New Haven CT gave Joe the oppurtunnity to capitalize on his unique location. His fast response and always ready attitude was relied upon by law enforcement for over 40 years.

Joe was one of the founding members of the Towing and Recovery Professionals of Connecticut, was a Charter Member of the Towing and Recovery Association of America, and in 1974, was one of the original founders of the Interstate Towing Association.

With a memory like a vise and a joke every minute, Joe hasn’t lost his sense of humor or his recollection of homes, places or phone numbers – although he still keeps his “Black Book” of recovery owners and operators throughout the nation.  Asked what was the hardest part of the towing operation, Joe will tell you the long hours, competition, teaching help, setting safety and operating standards.  The list goes on and on.  Doesn’t that sound familiar.  Weekends don’t require 24 hour non-stop work anymore and hopefully are blessed with good enough weather to drive his custom 1950 Ford (the Nifty Fifty) or his 1946 Ford Coupe (Mellow Yellow) to a car show. At 73 years young, Joe still gets around and still gets calls from towing friends for advice and even directions.

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