Early 1960's Ford Thames Trader Recovery Vehicle - Tow Truck

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Project by crowie posted 05-24-2019 11:22 PM 2707 views 1 time favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Early 1960’s Ford Thames Trader Recovery Vehicle – Tow Truck…

Firstly let me say a HUGE AUSSIE THANK YOU to Ralph who has inspired this build with his Tow Trucks
It was through his generosity of sharing his “how I built it photos” that I found a tow truck in his collection, what looked like a matchbox toy I had when a child [which I actually found when I went searching].

The actual matchbox toy off the internet

And look what I did to mine.

The Ford Thames Trader but upon first look I was sure, it was way too difficult to make as a play toy.
Well some 50 plus hours later, I’ve proved myself wrong, a scratch built toy tow truck.
At 18” long x 7” wide x 8.5” high it’s a little heavy at 11lbs.
The winch/crane works.
The doors open.

The bonnet is from a laminated Merbau post,
The cabin is a mixture of Red Gum and Spotted Gum,
The rear of the truck is American Walnut,
Te crane is Spotted Gum,
The detailing is Blackheart Sassafras [front & rear bumper bars + wheel arches & fuel tanks].
Finish is my home made Wipe On Poly 3 coats; 30% Tung Oil, 40% Satin Clear Polyurethane, 30% Turps.

A couple of other THANK YOU acknowledgements:
The Dutch Wooden Button steering wheel,
The Ducky spring loaded lock mechanism on the crane winch.

The truck has had it’s first test run with the grandsons with the only modification required being the size of the pickup on the end of the winch rope [it’s too small for some of the other trucks/vehicles I’ve made]

All in all a fun, challenging project which extended me in a good way….

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

20 comments so far

View anthm27's profile


1851 posts in 2328 days

#1 posted 05-24-2019 11:31 PM

Outstanding, what can one say? Just brilliant mate, great great job.
Love all the different wood species.
Great Craftsmanship.

-- There is no hope for any of us if we keep apologizing for telling the truth.

View robscastle's profile


8232 posts in 3422 days

#2 posted 05-24-2019 11:44 PM

Oh yes the Thames, the work horse and vehicle of choice for quite a long time.
There was still a few variants still around when I first joined the ARMY in mid 70s

Nice work Peter.

A question did you preview all the pictures?

-- Regards Rob

View crowie's profile (online now)


4935 posts in 3169 days

#3 posted 05-25-2019 12:04 AM

Yes Rob, Did a preview of the photos sir…
All the real photos with the Sony SLR have stayed the way I orientated them; just the phony photos that have turned themselves back around…bother.

Thank you Anthony and Tony!

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View hookfoot's profile (online now)


405 posts in 3167 days

#4 posted 05-25-2019 12:06 AM

Bring on the wrecks. Beautiful.

View GR8HUNTER's profile (online now)


8889 posts in 1931 days

#5 posted 05-25-2019 01:58 AM

you captured the real tow truck i love all the extra pics even thou some are turned GREAT JOB :<))))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View Orvile Baker's profile

Orvile Baker

281 posts in 1896 days

#6 posted 05-25-2019 02:44 AM

Real cool truck crowie.

-- Bud Baker , Ojibwa, WI.

View htl's profile


5565 posts in 2378 days

#7 posted 05-25-2019 02:57 AM

That’s one heavy duty wrecker for sure!!!
Love the dowels in the crane arm really gives it a great look.
And you really got the look and feel of the truck just right!!!

Great work!!!

You and the Blue Man Group got it done again. :-]

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View Ivan's profile


16966 posts in 4086 days

#8 posted 05-25-2019 04:35 AM

That is very fine maschinery at the back

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2847 posts in 4902 days

#9 posted 05-25-2019 04:49 AM

That’s a real beauty Crowie, excellent work and details.

-- RIP Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View Dutchy's profile


4176 posts in 3387 days

#10 posted 05-25-2019 06:33 AM

Well done Peter. And now about the painted Matchbox toy, you where not the only one who painted his cars. I did the same and when I was not satisfied with it I put it in a can with gasoline. One day later when I took it out all paint was gone and …................. also all the plastic windows where deformed. Repainting was no longer needed :).


View LittleBlackDuck's profile


7954 posts in 2039 days

#11 posted 05-25-2019 09:45 AM

Yet another brilliant build crowie... you have this incredible knack of underselling yourself… next I’ll expect you to do a Dutchy and publish plans…

Howevere, you will not get off squeeky clean this time… I can forgive the ”Ford” logo with restrain (c’mon Holden)... even let my brains leak out with the sideways photos… but the metal hinges.… OK, I’ll compromise that they are more kiddie friendly (which your models are designed for) but being a good Christian, I prefer wood... (yep… gonna get personal)... JC and Simon of Cyrene would have grimaced at an iron cross (sorry Francis and your followers)...

PS. Don’t like being impersonated… unlike me, take up reading, check out the Brain Drain... it craps on a lot, but it may help in the toppled photos syndrome.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View hornpout's profile


47 posts in 930 days

#12 posted 05-25-2019 09:47 AM

What a beautiful work of art this is ,i love the detailing and wood colour and all the working parts thank you for sharing your work

-- Hornpout Gorham New Hampshire

View diggerdelaney's profile


543 posts in 4969 days

#13 posted 05-25-2019 10:34 AM

Great looking tow truck Peter another one of many from your workshop

-- Derek, Kent, UK,

View dustyal's profile


1322 posts in 4693 days

#14 posted 05-25-2019 02:35 PM

Excellent design and to scale. Beautiful build. Unfortunately you put the steering wheel on the wrong side. : >)

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View ralbuck's profile


6763 posts in 3485 days

#15 posted 05-25-2019 05:14 PM

First—”Ta Nader” and I both thank you for the compliment. “Ta Nader” is my avatar; for those who might miss the reference. ( It is actually a sit-in toy box with a working winch and under the “no-hood) storage too. It was slightly over 6 feet long, the picture was taken in front of a 16 foot garage door.

Your rendition far surpasses the ones that I make. I do appreciate the compliment- the mark of a good teacher is when the student surpasses them! You did that by a MILE!

Great Job.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

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