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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingJune 21 - June 27, 2017

Towing for TV and Film

0 17b80By George L. Nitti

The gold, sparkling "Picturecars inc." on the side of the tow truck with a maroon shadow that first catches the eye. Just underneath is an image of an old movie camera with its lens pointed towards a vintage car.

The 2004 International with a Jerr-Dan flatbed is one of several trucks used by Picturecars East working on behalf of the film and TV industry.

"Forty years is a long time to be in business. We have over 1,650 films and TV shows and 12,000 commercials under our belt. We go as far back as the Cotton Club and Annie and as recent as Wolf of Wall Street," said Gino Lucci, owner.

Lucci stepped into the business by accident, starting out with an auto body shop. A jalopy he had been fixing up in his spare time caught the eye of someone in the film industry.

"It was basically three or four different colors and this guy thought it would be the perfect car for a college kid in this movie," said Lucci. "We wound up working five days with that car and got friendly with the stunt coordinator. He asked me to build a few cars for another movie and the phone has never stopped ringing since."

Since then, Picture Cars East has grown to 19 employees.

"If you love cars, it's pretty interesting because you get to know all the cars from the turn of the century to the present. When we worked on the movie Ragtime with some of the old actors like Jimmy Cagney, we learned all about the period from 1907 to 1912. Cars provide a sense of history and tell us about a period of time," Lucci said. "Now we are working for Martin Scorcese with a film that is being set during the year 1973. Our job is to make sure that the car is not a '74."

Without a doubt, the tow trucks play a huge role in the business.

"The trucks are the stars," said Lucci. "They are a very integral part of what we do. We would not be able to move 90 percent of the vehicles, which are actually props, meaning they are not licensed and inspected. So the only way we can move them is with our tow trucks."

Picture Cars East transports their cars all over the country.

Some tow companies might envy the fact that Picture Cars East is able to keep their trucks in service for so long.

"We don't put the kind of mileage on our tow trucks that a tow truck company would. Our income is based on the rental of cars. Basically the trucks sit on location until they are done."

However one common denominator remains true: Good service never goes out of style.

"Our business is based on word of mouth," Lucci said. "You are as good as your last job."

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Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at bdooley@towman.com. You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine!
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In Memory of Officer Keith Boyer

0 1aab5By George L. Nitti

At Bob and Dave's Towing in Whittier, Calif., it has become natural for the company to dedicate several of their trucks to those who have fallen in the line of duty, whether its towers or other first responders.

Officer Keith Boyer, a 27-year veteran with the Whittier Police Department, was shot and killed last month. He was gunned down after responding to an roadside accident of a gang member who was involved.

"We've all towed with this officer," said company owner Rodney Sellers, "everyone from my father to our office personnel, who personally knew him."

As a tribute, the company put together a truck honoring Boyer, decorating their 2011 Ford F-550/Holmes 480 Autoloader.

"In two weeks," Sellers said, "we did a lot of work on it and were able to get the truck to the funeral, where the police department put it front and center."

It is a very touching tribute, with a picture of Boyer prominent on areas of the truck. There's a large-scale image of him on the hood, where he is front and center with an American flag set in the background alongside his badge. Under the image are the words, "In Loving Memory."

His picture is also on the sides of the unit alongside his badge number, 249, and his EOW—the date his service ended with the police department. The back of the unit was also newly painted with his badge number and the words, "To Serve and Protect."

"I can't tell you how many officers have told us how highly they think of our truck," Sellers said. "Recently I went to an awards dinner and one of the officer's wives said, 'I saw the truck. It's been accepted by the officers.' "

The truck has been a work in progress with more to come, including a statement from the police chief that will appear on the side doors.

Brag @ TIW!
Should your truck be featured here? Send a few pics and your contact information to the editor at bdooley@towman.com. You might even be selected to go in print, too, in American Towman magazine
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© 2017  Tow Industry Week/American Towman Media, Inc.