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Trucks on Display


Below is a sampling of the many trucks on display in our Trucking Hall of Fame® Exhibit Hall. Check out our app for more information, photos, and an audio recording for each truck.  Click here to download.

1924 White Wreckers Model 40

Engine Type:
White 4-Cylinder 371 Cubic Inch

Transmission Type:

Truck Information:
This 1924 White Wrecker Model 40 is one of 1,443 built in 1924. However, it is probably the most famous; in 1991, it made its debut on the silver screen in the film Fried Green Tomatoes. This is the wrecker used in the scene where a car belonging to the husband of Idgie’s friend Ruth is pulled from a river. The crane on this truck looks homemade. The winch says ‘Otis,’ which makes one think it is an old elevator winch that someone used to turn this truck into a wrecker. Labor was cheap in the ‘20s; materials were expensive compared to the labor, so people preferred to make something themselves rather than buy it. White was one of the few truck companies that made all of their own parts; most just bought parts and assembled them. White started with sewing machines and cars. They even made a steam car. A few companies like White, Mack, and Packard made everything. The leap from sewing machines to trucks isn’t all that unusual. They probably bought a few trucks, thought they were of inferior quality, and decided that since they could make a sewing machine, they could probably make a truck too. The barriers to entry were not many. When it was new, this truck had solid rubber tires. Somebody removed the tires and welded on rims for pneumatic tires. Judging from the arc welding, that probably happened sometime in the 1940s. This truck has an 11.6 to 1 gear ratio. Top Speed: 15 MPH

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