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Stovebolt Sagas

Oral history of Stovebolt Quests, Journeys, Treasures and Dragons


... made and making more ...

        It's a small world after all! While working on the Show Book for the American Truck Historical Society's 2006 Convention, hosted by the Baltimore - Washington ATHS Chapter and held in Baltimore, Maryland, we were collected information and advertisements from various folks. Many of whom we had no clue who they were (The Stovebolt Page keeps us busy enough). We had gotten this story from Jerry a long time ago and it was just added to the pile. Well, Jerry was taking out an ad for the Show Book and when I finally noticed his email address, I thought "This is real familiar." Pull this one up from the bottom of the pile!

        And now, to read his story, he's buds with Roy Moxley. John had interviewed Mr. Moxley since his truck was one of the show poster trucks. So, we thought we'd add Mr. Moxley's story in here too. Great folks (all those Moxley's).

        And for your added enjoyment, you'll get a kick to know that Jerry wrote the entire article and it was published in the Harford Horn (the Harford Region AACA magazine). "I am also a retired Maryland State Trooper and bought Halls Septic Services, Inc. (Halls' Honey Pots). I am currently writing a book titled 'From Trooper to Pooper'."

A Picture-perfect Memory
By Jerry Scarborough

       Recently, a relative sent me a picture from 31 years ago.  It brought back this memory. 

       Back when I was a young boy, I worked for my Father, Paul Scarborough. Dad owned Scarborough’s Gulf Service Station at Routes 1 & 136 in Street, Maryland for 25 years. Dad purchased his first tow truck which was a very old Diamond-T tow truck. As a young kid I remember how cool it was to roll the window out to let the cool air in on a hot summer day. Dad would frequently say, “It takes two men and a little boy to turn the steering wheel on that truck.”

       In 1963 Dad bought his first new tow truck. It was a 1963 Chevrolet 1-ton. This was the talk of the town for some time. It was a beautiful white truck with a red tow bed. It had amber lights on the roof and down the side of the tow bed. During the night tow jobs, I remember the white hood looked orange because of the bright cab lights. Many customers complimented Dad on his new truck. A local kid, Raymond Ingool, told Dad it was a great looking truck "but I hope you don’t get any business from me." That very next morning, Raymond Ingool was turning left onto route 543 off route 440 and he pulled directly into the path of an oncoming car. Unbelievably, that was my Dad’s very first tow job with his new tow truck.

       Over time, although I can’t remember the year, Dad wanted a larger tow truck for bigger jobs.  He purchased a 1965 Ford F-600 tow truck with twin booms.  Twin booms were a big deal back then.  You had twice the winch power.  The booms could swing to the side for pulling vehicles over guardrails or over embankments. I was 18 years old at that time and that ‘65 Ford became my pride and joy as Dad turned the towing over to me.

       Don Hansen was a good friend of my Dad’s and owned Hansen’s Body shop just down the road.  Don completely painted the old truck and made it look new.  It was painted with the Gulf color theme. It had a blue and white cab with an orange tow bed.  Believe me, I kept that tow truck looking new! 

       The Delta Cardiff Volunteer Fire Company was preparing to have their annual parade.  I called and asked if I could enter my tow truck in the parade.  They had never had such an entry request but gave me the okay.  With a lot of wax and the old black paint on the tires I was almost ready.  I wanted something different. 

       Glen Echo furniture store was across the street from the service station.  They were selling these really cool swinging chairs.  I knew Harold Powers, he used to live next to us in Dublin.  So I presented this idea to him.  Why not place his Glen Echo furniture signs on the back of the swinging chairs.  During the parade, I would swing the booms out to the sides of the tow truck.  Then I would hang the chairs on the tow hooks.  I told him I would find someone who would swing in the chairs during the parade.  He liked the idea and I was in motion just hours before the parade.  All I needed now was two people real quick that would swing on the chairs during the parade. 

       I drove to the Darlington Volunteer Fire House and found two girls with all their teeth.  That was good enough.  Off to the parade we went.  With emergency lights flashing and girls swinging, we were a hit in the parade!  It was talked about for a long time.  Now tow trucks, rollbacks, and even septic trucks are in parades all the time.

     I want to mention that years ago Butch Moxley’s father, Roy Moxley Sr. loaned my Father enough money to begin the purchase of the Gulf Service Station.  My Father was always appreciative of that.  Without that kindness, I wouldn’t have such great childhood memories and could not have written this article.

Jerry Scarborough

And still making some ...
by John Milliman

     Speaking of Roy Moxley, Sr., we had the opportunity to interview him since his truck was one (a 1955 Mack LT “West Coaster” and the other was a 1949 Chevrolet 1-Ton) of this year’s poster trucks for the ATHS 2006 Convention held in May in Baltimore, Maryland.

     Representing both ends of the truck spectrum, this year’s ATHS Annual Show’s two poster trucks are a heavy duty and a light duty truck. And while their sizes are different, the impact both have had on trucking’s “golden Era” is immense.

     But the real story isn’t so much the trucks themselves, but the men who used them to drive America’s post-war economic powerhouse. Be sure to visit this year’s poster trucks -- they’ll be parked in front of the Field House.

Roy Moxley’s ‘55 Mack LT

     Roy Moxley’s ’55 Mack LT came from Prescott, Arizona, where it had been used since new to pull a dump trailer filled with crushed stone out of a quarry. Restored over a 2-year period, the truck was taken down to the frame rails and painstakingly rebuilt to its original glory.

     “I got it because I was looking for a West Coast truck,” he explains. “They were pretty popular.”

     He restored it to pull a drop deck trailer that carries several of his other restored trucks.

     “We had it down to one cross member on the frame,” recalls Moxley, who celebrated his 84th birthday May 20th. “We put all new brakes – everything in the rear is new, except the housing. It has a three-speed auxiliary transmission for off and on road use and 262 hp Cummins with a turbo. It had 5:57 rears, but we put 4:11 rears in it and now it runs good on the road – it’ll do 60 MPH at 1,800 RPM in direct gear.”

     Moxley isn’t a stranger to old Macks. He currently owns six or seven of them (he isn’t sure), including a ’27 AC, a ’39 pick up and, of course, the ubiquitous B-model. His current daily drivers include an R-model and an ’89 Superliner. “I’m partial to Macks because they’ve always been good to me,” he explains. “I especially appreciate the AC chain drives because they put a roof over my family’s heads back in 1947.”

     Moxley got his start with a dump truck when he was a teenager in the 1930’s. “I sold two heifers for $300 to buy a ’34 Ford dump truck,” he recalls. “A year later, I bought a ’35 Ford. Right after the War, in 1947, I got a contract to haul slate out of a quarry running a ’27 Mack AC chain drive dump truck.”

     In 1954, Moxley left full-time driving to start the family business, Moxley’s Welding and Machine Service. “I started the machine shop in Dublin, MD and I’ve been doing that ever since.”

     His son and grandson now help him run the business, which has expanded over the years to include a thriving truck equipment division. “We’re close to being the largest truck equipment dealer in Maryland,” he states. “We generally have about 50 new trucks on hand all the time in the yard to put bodies on.”

     Even at 84, Moxley stays busy with the business making runs in the Superliner. “I made two trips to Baltimore today,” he said. “And tomorrow, I’m going to Pittsburgh to get a load of salt spreaders. The company we get the spreaders from was going to charge us a big freight charge to deliver them so my grandson asked me if I wanted to go get them. ‘Sure,’ I said. ‘I’ll go get them!’”

     Moxley restored his first antique truck, an AC, in 1980 and thinks it’s important to preserve trucking history – a history he helped write. “It’s pretty important to restore these old trucks,” he says. “They’re something special that can’t be replaced and if you don’t take care of them now, you won’t have them anymore. What’s left now is all there’s going to be.”

     If you’re blessed to meet Moxley, one of Maryland’s living trucking legends, at this year’s annual show, don’t be surprised if he’s tired – he’s been working hard to get his trucks ready. “If you’re going to top take six or seven trucks to the show, there’s a lot to get ready!”

v. May 2006

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