Lot Number

1949 Diamond T 201 Pickup

Sold For $33,000

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Auctions - HERSHEY 6 - 7 OCTOBER 2016

  • One of the last of the great streamlined Diamond T pickups
  • Renowned for its rugged and sturdy character
  • Believed to have had only three owners from new
  • Beautiful cosmetic restoration

91 hp, 236 cu. in. Hercules L-head six-cylinder engine, four-speed T-9 manual transmission, solid front axle and full floating rear axle with leaf spring suspension, and four-wheel hydraulically actuated drum brakes. Wheelbase: 119 in.

The “T” in Diamond T was Chicago’s Charles A. Tilt, and the marque’s distinctive logo came from his father’s shoe company, where the diamond signified quality and the “T” stood for the family name. Tilt manufactured a few custom-built passenger cars, starting in 1905, but only entered truck manufacturing in 1911, at a customer’s request. Diamond T trucks quickly gained renown for its high-quality components and assembly, and the company’s growth dictated larger facilities by 1916. During World War I, the company built some 1,500 Liberty trucks for the war effort and another 2,000 following the end of hostilities.

By 1926, Diamond T was building trucks as large as 12 tons, including a six-wheel model, and by 1933, modern features, including V-windshields and steel-roofed cabs, appeared. Diesel engines were available by 1936, when the Diamond T lineup was restyled with a streamlined theme.

The Model 201, a one-ton pickup, was introduced in 1938 and used a Hercules engine and Warner Gear transmission. Highly regarded for its rugged and sturdy character, the 201 was frequently converted for such difficult tasks as towing. Following World War II, competition with Ford and Chevrolet for the rural pickup truck market proved very difficult. Beginning in 1951, Diamond T limited production to heavy-duty commercial vehicles, and in 1958, the company sold out to White Motor Co.

According to a previous owner, the 201 offered here was originally purchased by a family grocery store in Waldick, Wisconsin, and remained in their ownership until 2009. It was then sold to a collection in Southern California and was cosmetically restored to its present appearance in a classic red livery over a very straight original body and fenders. The seat was reupholstered in brown vinyl, while much of the remainder of the interior is original and well-preserved, as is the window glass. The 201 retains the original six-volt electrical system, with an aftermarket electric fuel pump added, while the generator and other electrical components have been rebuilt. The truck is also equipped with original vacuum-operated windshield wiper motors and an original accessory heater, and the pickup bed has new wooden stake liners.

With a wonderful, thoroughly authentic and well-maintained appearance, this Diamond T would be an ideal addition to any collection of great American trucks.

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