Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Barnes Auto

In earlier days in Brisbane, anything that needed towing was a job for Barnes Auto. Nestled into the rock face of Adelaide St, with their proud motto "We Never Sleep" above, was their garage - combination of service station, mechanics' workshop, parking station and tow truck depot. The following photograph shows the premises in 1935.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #151079)

The proprietor, Luton White, must have been quite an entrepreneur as well as a mechanical marvel. He built his own tow truck on a Dodge chassis to enable him to haul vehicles back to his workshop. Here are its classic art deco lines, as photographed around 1938.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #104172)

Barnes Auto is still listed in the Yellow Pages, operating out of a building at Rocklea, but I can't recall having seen one of their tow trucks for many a year. As for their former Adelaide St premises, they have disappeared, replaced by an office tower and a mobile coffee shop.(Photo: © 2010 the foto fanatic)

I did find some images of a rather large Barnes Auto truck at (the internet never ceases to amaze me!), and here it is, still in the
historical Barnes Auto yellow and black livery. A tad different from the early custom built Dodge, and obviously designed for heavy lifting!
(Photo: Courtesy G Kircher)

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: Merely a facade

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