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American Towman Magazine Presents the Week in TowingOctober 17 - October 23, 2018
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The Airbrush Touch

0-toptop5 copy 98719By George L. Nitti

John Riccio, owner of Max Custom Truck Lettering in Huntington, N.Y., has been putting his personal touch on tow trucks since 1970, with his airbrushing and custom paint skills.

"I'm holding out and don't want to do wraps at this stage in my life," Riccio said. "Vinyl is tough on the body. I have fun painting. It's therapeutic."

It's his customers who keep him in business, those who don't want "a clean sheet of vinyl" to wash and wax; but would rather have the "real deal."

"People really appreciate good custom work."

Tip Top Autobody, located in New Hyde, is one such recipient who has maintained their loyalty to Riccio. They used him to airbrush flames on their units including their newest one, a 2015 Kenworth T370/Jerr-Dan 25-ton wrecker.

According to owner Pat Fanning, Riccio's work is well known in the area.

"He's always painted flames for us," said Fanning. "I've liked the look of motorcycle flames, and went with his design on our trucks. To me, wraps are not as classy. Airbrushing gives it more of an authentic look."

The orange-infused flames at the front of the truck flow along the Jerr-Dan body's bright red background.

"I really like the new aluminum body of the Jerr-Dan. They have come a long way," Fanning said. "They are well-built and don't give you the corrosion problem, and you can easily transfer the body to another truck."

The name of the company, Tip Top, is airbrushed large in a clean, modern style with a complementary color scheme of chrome-silver accentuated with a blue shadow. Just under the company name is "Autobody."

Fanning said, "Although we have five tow trucks, our primary business is auto body and we wanted to advertise that."
At the back of the unit is white pinstriping, adding that special personal touch from Riccio.

(Note: This article ran in the June 7, 2017 edition of Tow Industry Week)
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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WreckMaster President Justin Cruse said that the WreckMaster Convention will bring together towers from all over North America to provide a unique and beneficial opportunity to broaden knowledge.
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