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Lot 54
1948 Diamond T Model 201 Truck


Selling on Wednesday

CHASSIS NO: 2014442

• Considered by many to be the pinnacle of trucks
• Outstanding restoration
• Most attractively styled for the period
• Original drivetrain restored
• Includes rare accessories

Considered by Many to be the Pinnacle of Trucks
Outstanding Restoration
Most Attractively Styled for the period
Original Drivetrain Restored
Includes Rare Accessories

236.7 cid, L-Head inline 6-cylinder engine, 1-barrel carburetor, 91 HP, Warner four-speed manual transmission, heavy duty straight front axle, floating rear end, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes, wheelbase 119”

Dating back to 1905, when Charles A. Tilt of Chicago built his first motor vehicle, quality and ruggedness were always part of the Diamond-T package. Charles’ father had built a successful career in shoes and his son borrowed both the name and the trademark of the letter "T" housed within a diamond for his logo. Tilt produced quality automobiles in the beginning, until 1910 when a customer ordered a commercial vehicle. Sensing a need for quality commercial vehicles, passenger car production ceased and it was full speed ahead with truck production. As local delivery vehicles expanded into over-the-road rigs, the Diamond-T nameplate gained respect. In the late 1930’s, Tilt realized there was a growing market for Express trucks aimed at local smaller jobs that still required heavy-duty hauling in a smaller package.

The model 201 was launched in 1938 and was rated at 1-ton. Taking a page from modern automotive design, Tilt added a little style to the front-end of this heavy-hauler. Stylistic improvements included bright chrome surrounds on the front grill and large passenger-car style bullet headlights mounted on the full rounded front fenders. This truck sports chrome plated trim on the hood side panels with the name Diamond-T clearly spelled out in an attractive script.

Power for these trucks came from the proven Hercules QXLD3 inline 6-cylinder engine which was backed up by a Warner model T9 4-speed manual transmission, transferring power to the rear axle with 4.62:1 gear. While the 201’s front end design was distinctive, almost passenger car in appearance, the cab was also rather attractive. With a much lower roof line and a swept-back windshield, these big trucks appear to have a lower silhouette than contemporaries. Diamond-T pickups were not inexpensive with a base price of $1,655. For comparison a Chevrolet 3/4-ton pickup came in at around $1,425, while a Ford F3- Heavy 3/4-ton Express fitted with the 6-cylinder engine was $1,430.

Today, there is a growing legion of enthusiasts for the Diamond-T Model 201 Express pickups, but few of the surviving examples can hold a match to this outstanding example up for offer. The subject of a full, frame-off restoration within the last decade, this beauty is finished in bright red with a green accent panel that has been treated to white pin-striping. The exterior of this truck lines up straight with the doors opening and closing as firm and tight as a Kelvinator refrigerator. Everything had been taken back to its original appearance including the restored Hercules engine, complete with oil-bath air-cleaner and all the engine accessories like the starter motor and generator.

Considered by many to be the “Cadillac” of trucks, it is well appointed with a full assortment of gauges housed in the chrome center panel which include speedometer-odometer, fuel level, water temperature, oil pressure and charging system, plus an extremely rare stem-wound clock. All knobs and switches have been brought to concours-like quality including the red-jeweled cigarette lighter and the steering wheel horn button is emblazoned with the Diamond-T logo in red on gold as well as a gold medallion in the gear-shift knob. Other interior appointments include dome courtesy light, dual interior sun-visors, and a period correct after-market Evans Super Deluxe heater. Other accessories include the bedside mounted spare tire, dual chrome plated rear view mirrors, fender-top mounted turn signals, dual horns, windshield wipers and fog lights. The heavy-duty steel 16 inch wheels are adorned with original chrome Diamond-T hubcaps, including the spare, plus black rubber step pads on the running board. Concealed under the passenger door is a lockable storage compartment for tools or other needed items such as flares, lap robes or lunch boxes.

Upon inspection of the stunning Model 201 here, you will agree that the Diamond-T exudes characteristics of desirability and collectability.

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