1949 Diamond T Model 201 Truck / Specs and More

The vehicle featured in this article is a 1949 Diamond T Model 201 One Ton Truck.

1949 diamond t

1949 Diamond T Model 201 One Ton

The Diamond T Motor Car Company

The Diamond T Motor Car Company was a  Chicago Illinois automobile manufacturer for a short time from 1905 to 1911. After 1911 Diamond T produced only trucks and enjoyed much success for many decades.

The “T” in Diamond T was Chicago’s Charles A. Tilt, and the company's  logo came from his father’s shoe company, where the diamond signified quality and the “T” represented the family name.

Diamond T's reputation was as a builder of heavier trucks, typically one ton and larger. The company produced quality trucks with the style you might look for in a passenger automobile. Some would refer to Diamond T as the "Cadillac of trucks". Charles Tilt made the comment.."A truck doesn't have to be homely". Diamond T certainly lived up to both of those attributes.

dianond t specs

Diamond T's stylish horizontal bar grille

During the First World War Diamond T built more than 1,500 Liberty Trucks for the military. During World War Two, when the company produced over 50,000 trucks with many of these vehicles purchased by the British Purchasing Commission. This included half-tracks, army wreckers, tank tractors, and tank movers. Lots of heavy duty vehicles that the military required.

Diamond T is Acquired by the White Motor Company

The White Motor Company purchased Diamond T in 1958. In 1960 White moved all production from Chicago to Reo's manufacturing facilities in Lansing, Michigan. The Lansing Division of White Motor Company then produced both Diamond T and Reo trucks. This all changed beginning in 1967 when the two brands, Diamond T and Reo, became one brand known as Diamond Reo. As a result of the two brands being merged into one, the White Motor Company established a new Diamond Reo Division and that same year started building Diamond Reo trucks.

Diamond T Model 201

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 sturdy Model 201 was many times converted for use as a towing vehicle.

The six cylinder Hercules engine powered the 1949 Diamond T Model 201. Hercules Motors Corporation produced both gasoline and diesel engines and either could be employed without major changes to the vehicle. During World War Two Hercules significantly increased production for the U.S. Military and by the end of the war had supplied about 750,000 engines for the war effort.

The Model 201's were built from 1938 to 1949. These are rare today because the best estimates put total Diamond T Model 201 production for the entire run at about 7,000 vehicles.

It's estimated that Diamond T produced about 250,000 trucks over the company's 56 year history.

1949 Diamond T Model 201 One Ton Specifications

The 1949 Diamond T Model 201 was built with a 236 cubic inch inline six cylinder Hercules engine that delivered 91 HP.

The engine worked into a Warner T-9 Four Speed Manual gearbox.

diamond t historyThe trucks were built with an X-Braced frame that was placed on an extra heavy duty front axle and a floating rear axle with leaf springs in each corner.

Gross vehicle weight was about 8,000 lbs.

New truck price for the 1949 Diamond T Model 201 One Ton Pickup was in the area of $1,675. Diamond T's weren't cheap trucks to purchase since it's price was at least $200 more than a Ford One Ton at that time. By the same token the cost was justified considering the Diamond T reputation for quality and rugged construction.

You may also enjoy the additional Auto Museum Online articles found on the links below...

1937 Diamond T Pickup

1949 GMC 100

1946 Ford Half Ton

Reference material for this article includes...The Worlds Toughest Truck The Reo/Diamond Reo Story by Robert R. Ebert...Motor Trucks of America by James A. Wren...Standard Catalog of U.S. Military Vehicles.

The 1949 Diamond T Model 201 Collector Values

For a variety of reasons, the Diamond T Model 201 is a popular classic truck. The Diamond T trucks were known for quality construction and engineering. The trucks were built for rugged jobs but at the same time offered great styling. The Diamond T Model 201 One Ton is probably one of the most stylish classic trucks ever produced.

diamond t model 201

As mentioned earlier, the Diamond T Model 201 is a rare truck and not easy to find. With only about 7,000 built from 1938 to 1949 there simply are not many of them around these days.

We have seen finely restored 1949 models in the $37,000-$50,000 plus range. We also see mechanically sound yet non restored models with some minor rust in the $25,000 to $30,000 range. A 1949 Model 201 project truck which needs complete rebuilding was priced at $11,500.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)

1937 Diamond T Pickup Truck

 

The Diamond T Motor Car Company was a  Chicago Illinois automobile manufacturer from 1905 to 1911. After 1911 the company produced trucks exclusively and achieved a great deal of success for decades.

1937 Diamond T Pickup

1937 Diamond T Pickup

Strong Truck Sales Even During the 1930's

During the 1930's Diamond T was selling more trucks than both White Motor Company and Mack. Diamond T was fifth behind the big three automakers and International. Many manufacturers experienced very difficult times during the Great Depression years but Diamond T actually had record sales of over 4,100 trucks during the 1933 model year. The company was very well known for their quality medium and heavy-duty trucks. It's been said that Diamond T actually outsold many rivals because their trucks looked better. In other words, Diamond T successfully integrated heavy truck design with style.

Two things many truck enthusiasts point to about the Diamond T truck design are the distinctive grille bars and the top open

Diamond T Model 80

Diamond T Model 80

ing side hood panels secured by plated clamps. Design changes at Diamond T really began during the 1920's when trucks were not known for their styling. In fact, trucks were known for anything but smart styling until Diamond T started redesigning. Diamond T was really the leader in changing the appearance of medium and heavy-duty vehicles and probably the best example of their restyling came out in 1933.

A Big Military Supplier

Diamond T's reputation was as a builder of heavier trucks, typically one ton and larger. The company built what most considered quality heavy trucks with style. During the First World War Diamond T built more than 1,500 Liberty Trucks for the military. During World War Two, when the company produced over 50,000 vehicles, many of these vehicles were purchased by the British Purchasing Commission. This included half-tracks, army wreckers, tank tractors, and tank movers.

Stylish Diamond T nameplate on side of hood

Stylish Diamond T nameplate on side of hood

The White Motor Company purchased Diamond T in 1958. In 1960 White moved all production from Chicago to Reo's manufacturing facilities in Lansing, Michigan. The Lansing Division of White Motor Company then produced both Diamond T and Reo trucks. Starting in 1967 the two trucks became one. No longer were two separate brands being built. This move created White's new Diamond Reo Division in 1967 and they began producing Diamond Reo trucks.

1937 Diamond T Model 80 Pickup Truck Specifications

The 1937 Diamond T Pickup was built with a six cylinder Hercules QX Series engine. Hercules was established in 1915 in Canton Ohio. The Hercules engines soon became the standard for independent truck manufacturers. Hercules also built engines for the marine, oil and  farming industries. During World War Two it's said that Hercules was sending about 18,000 engines per month off their assembly lines.

The 1937 Diamond T's had bow fronted grills along with new and broad fenders. The windshield was at a 30-degree angle. The dash panel with its large diameter “airplane type” instruments was largely from the 1935 model. Another feature with the 1937 Diamond T Pickup was an electric clock on the dash. You would not have found that on another truck brand in 1937. Also on the dash was a cigarette lighter.

1937 Diamond T sloping windshield, wide fenders and hood clamps

1937 Diamond T sloping windshield, wide fenders and hood clamps

In addition to this, in 1937 Diamond T would offer options to the truck buyer, one of which was oversize chrome hubcaps. This is another example how Diamond T used styling to help beat competitors.

The 1937 model came out with a three speed manual transmission.The truck had a weight of about 8,000 lbs with a spring suspension.

The Diamond T Model 80 Pickup had a wheelbase of 119.0 inches and up to a bit over 9 feet of loading space.

Three additional AutoMuseumOnline photo articles you'll enjoy of classic trucks and cars are on the links below.

The 1938 Ford Half-Ton Pickup

The 1935 Chevrolet Half-Ton Truck

Original 1935 Chevrolet Standard Coupe

 

The Collector's 1937 Diamond T Pickup Truck

The Diamond T's were one of a kind trucks and they are valuable collector's vehicles. The Diamond T 1937 Model 80 Pickup is a rare vehicle these days and it's always a big hit when one is displayed at a car show. Prices asked at auction could be as high as the $40,000 area depending on degree and quality of restoration. If you locate a Diamond T Model 80, unrestored but drivable, which isn't easy, you might be asked to pay in the $8,000 to $14,000 range.

(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)