Lot 275

Hershey 2021

1948 Diamond T 201 Pickup


$176,000 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



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  • Known by enthusiasts as “the Cadillac of Trucks” for its legendary build quality
  • Beautifully restored to a very high standard
  • 26 years of single ownership
  • Recipient of AACA Junior and Senior awards

Founded in 1905, Chicago-based Diamond T was named for company principal Charles A. Tilt, and its distinctive logo was copied from his father’s shoe company, with the diamond signifying quality. Diamond T phased from custom-built automobiles to truck building in 1911, quickly gaining renown for high-quality components and assembly.

Introduced in 1938, the Model 201 one-ton pickup was powered by a Hercules engine mated to a Warner Gear transmission. Postwar competition from Ford and Chevrolet eventually forced Diamond T to switch to building heavy-duty commercial vehicles, and by 1958 the company sold out to White Motor Company. Despite Diamond T’s quiet demise, the 201 pickup remains highly esteemed by collectors for its quality, justifiably earning the nickname “the Cadillac of Trucks.”

This beautifully restored Diamond T was purchased by the consignor in 2005 from Tom Nolan of Torrance, California. The owner then set about a comprehensive restoration, retaining numerous Ohio-based craftsmen. The body was restored by Tim’s Body Shop, while Columbiana Maintenance rebuilt the engine. Bill Borelli rebuilt the carburetor, Whitepost Restoration re-lined the brakes, and Apple Hydraulics rebuilt the shock absorbers. Guy Shively expertly freehanded the pinstriping over a new paint finish in red, while Parker Upholstery re-trimmed the interior, which retains the original floormats according to the consignor.

On the back of the painstaking refurbishment, the 201 was presented twice at AACA concours d’elegance, winning a Junior Award at Hershey in 2008, and a Senior Award a year later. It was also exhibited at the Keeneland Concours d’Elegance in 2012. The truck remains highly presentable, featuring near-concours quality finishing on the body and interior, while the engine bay presents nearly as well.

Ideal for truck enthusiasts and collectors of seminal mid-century American pickups, this Diamond T should find a warm welcome at local motoring shows and truck-focused events. With its awarded restoration and famed build quality, the pickup amply demonstrates why Diamond T retains its title as the Cadillac of Trucks.