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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingFebruary 20 - February 26, 2019
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Hell Hath No Fury Like This 'Rider'

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By George L. Nitti

Hell hath no fury like a tow truck blazing down the road in flames of fire.

Norton's Tow Squad of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which has been in business for nearly 30 years, shows no fear on tough streets in their 2015 Ford F-550-1 and Century 807 wheel lift.

According to senior owner Charles Norton, the inspiration for their intimidating design was based on the movie "Ghost Rider," featuring Nicolas Cage as Johnny Blaze, a demon out for vengeance.

Riding on his motorcycle at night and around evil, Blaze finds his flesh consumed by hellfire, causing his head to become a flaming skull.

Such imagery abounds on Norton's fiery unit, with lightning and thunderbolts to boot.

"Our guy Freddy Sicoli from Killer Kreations designed it," Norton said. "We gave him a blank canvas to work on and this is what he came up with."

Airbrushed and custom-painted, the design reflects an aesthetic that Sicoli says was influenced by "graffiti art, great cars and urban Philadelphia."

The base of the truck is black with hot blues, yellow and orange layered on top. Peering skulls accent the design.
On the side of the truck, the company name in black blends with the truck's hues and evil tenor.

" 'Tow Squad' is the name that my father went with 29 years ago when he started the company," Norton said.

Chains are strung along the side and around the truck, a skullcap of bursting flames is on the hood and "Rider" is written across the bumper.

At last year's American Towman Exposition, the unit garnered a rave response.

"A lot of people were turning their heads and looking at it," Norton said.

As tower fatalities add up, perhaps the Gods have sent Ghost Rider to serve as a symbol of a profession looking for justice for those who have been needlessly lost.

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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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