A man, a Harley, and a Truck...
Turkys Towing Charleston SC – The Legend of Turky’s
Here’s a little story about Turkys Towing Charleston SC and how we came to be…While in Atlanta in 1978 for a Kruse antique car auction, I bought a used tow truck to get home.
You see, I rode my 1976 Harley Superglide to Atlanta for the auction. That was in September ’78. When I came out of the auction to go home on Saturday afternoon it was sleeting & snowing. I rode a short distance until I found a canopy to pull in out of the weather at a Gulf station (Village Gulf) in Smyrna, GA, not far from the auction site. The owner, an older man, was there and he had a 1968 Ford Fairlane Ranchero sitting out front. I tried to buy it to put my bike in the back and come back to Charleston, SC with the heater going & being out of the weather. He did not want to sell the Ranchero because he was closing the gas station and retiring. He planned to pull his fishing boat with the Ranchero.
He offered to sell me his 1970 Ford F-350 tow truck for $3500. I didn’t want a tow truck, all I wanted was a warm, dry ride home in something that would carry my Harley & me. After 3 or 4 hours the weather was getting worse, and I had helped him do a brake job on a Mercury Marquis. The old guy asked me again if I wanted to buy the tow truck. I pulled all the cash money I had out of my pocket and put it on his desk. It was $2236.00.
I pushed the $2200 toward him and pulled the $36.00 back to me, knowing I would need that money to get back to Charleston, and told him I would give him the $2200 cash if he would fill the truck with gas and give me a couple furniture pads to wrap around the bike and help me get it onto the back of the wrecker. He had been a U-Haul dealer and had pads.
He thought about it for 30 seconds and told me I was the proud owner of a one-owner low mileage tow truck. Luckily, some guy came in and I held the bike on the lift while he backed the tow truck into the bay and close to the lift. Somehow the 3 of us got that Harley onto the back of that tow truck without dropping it. I wrapped a furniture pad around the bike & tied it to the boom using 50ft of yellow nylon rope I found in his boat. He filled the truck with gas, and I headed toward Charleston on I-20.
Just before getting to Augusta, I spotted a 1975 Olds 98 4 door sitting on the side of I-20 with the hood up and steam rising like a genie out of a bottle. I pulled over and walked back to the driver’s window to see what was up. By now the weather had started getting better because I was headed east toward the ocean (I guess?). The driver of the 98 put his window down and asked me if I would tow him to the next exit so he could get a radiator hose. I knew how to hook a car up having grown up around Coburg Dairy and having played with their wrecker a few times. So, I hooked the big Olds up from the front and winched the front wheels off the ground and man did that tow truck squat with that big Olds 98 and the Superglide on the back as well. We tip-toed to the next exit and there was nothing there. The guy told me he was a traveling jewelery salesman, and he had to get his car fixed, so I took him to the next exit and found a guy at a gas station/C store that promised he would get him going. I unhooked the Olds and the rear of the tow truck came right back up, but still leaned to the side the Harley was on. The man asked me what he owed, but I did not have a clue!
We talked a little bit and he offered to fill my gas tank. I agreed and it was more than enough gas to get me back to Charleston. So there I was back in Charleston with my Harley, a new used tow truck and still had my $36 in my pocket. Within 2 weeks I was in the wrecker business and today I have 25 tow trucks at Turkys Towing Charleston SC from the biggest to the smallest, and I still have that 1970 Ford F-350 tow truck I bought at Village Gulf in Smyrna, Georgia in 1978!