Matt Symons’s One Tonner tow truck

Matt Symons has had a passion for tow trucks from an early age, stemming from his grandfather's mechanical and towing company

Photographers: Ben Hosking

This is my 253-cube 1976 Holden One Tonner tow truck. My love for tow trucks started when I was a young bloke, as my grandfather had a mechanical and towing business. Many years on, I was looking at building a One Tonner tow truck of my own.

First published in the May 2022 issue of Street Machine

I had not seen one on the road in years, so I started looking around and found two for sale, but both were in bad shape, so I decided to build my own. I found the rolling cab-chassis in an old shed at Luddenham; it needed a front cowl and floorpans, etc.

I got it back home, fitted the motor and gearbox and started on making the rear tray. We made the main tray floor and side panels out of plywood as a template, and then had them made up at the local steel supply shop. I then welded them into place, and welded the flat bar on top of the side panels to finish them off.

The rear panel was cut and bent into place, and then came the fun part – fitting the rear lights into the tray. After asking around, I found an old flashing light set-up and winch, both removed from a Tonner tow truck that had been in a bloke’s shed for years.

Next, I tracked down an old cassette player and a two-way radio, as I wanted the truck to have all the gear from back in the day. Then came the signwriting on the flashing light and in between the rear lights, in memory of my grandfather.

I’m in the middle of designing the signwriting for both sides of the truck, with his name on the doors and ‘Towing and Mechanic Repairs/24 Hour Towing’ on the rear tray area.

My next project is going to be an F100 tow truck with the same paintwork and set-up as the Tonner.”