The History of Holmes Wreckers
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After Dodge worked with Nomar to market a factory dealer wrecker package in the 70’s GMC Truck decided in 1979 to move forward with a competitive offering organized by J.B. McLane, Sales Promotion Manager of GMC Truck in conjunction with Donald J Thornber of Marine City Michigan and Mark Body Co. of Mt Clemens, Michigan. The Captain Hook wrecker program was targeted for spring 1979.

All units were to be built to the same spec; C3500 – 2WD with a 350 CID engine, 4 speed transmission in RPO 25 blue metallic paint.

Only extra options permitted on the build sheet were air conditioning, tilt wheel, Z82 Sierra Grande and custom vinyl seat.

The chassis was then shipped from the Pontiac, Michigan GMC plant direct to the Captain Hook operations in Marine City, Michigan.

The Holmes 1100 crane and fiberglass sports body was shipped from Holmes in Chattanooga to Mark Body Co, Mt Clemens, Michigan for paint and installation.

The custom “Captain Hook” additions include the raised twin sonic light bar cover, cast aluminum dual exhaust outlets in the sport bar, custom paint and striping, “Captain Hook” mud flaps and a special lighting package.

The completed units were then shipped to the selling dealer.

We do not have a record of how many were sold – estimates range from 100-200 trucks but very few have survived – we only know of one that is completely original and this was on display at the Baltimore Tow Show in 2021.

Most of the other units have been installed on replacement chassis, but can be identified by the raised light bar and the exhaust outlets in the sport bar. Also the serial plate on the Holmes body will have a model number of 407CH (the CH is for Captain Hook).

The package also attracted the attention of Revell who made quite an accurate model of the package: these are still available on Ebay. Several of the “Captain Hook” packages were also used on the television show “ CHIPS ”.

We are recording the serial numbers of all the “Captain Hook” packages that turn up: please contact us if you still have one – or have pictures of the trucks from 40 years ago.

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