Featured is a 1947 Diamond T Model 201 One Ton. Diamond T built a reputation as a quality and well engineered truck maker that also had a flair for styling.

47 diamond t specs
1947 Diamond T One Ton

The two tone combination on this example really makes the truck stand out.

In regards to ruggedness of construction Model 201 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. The Model 201 was built with a Hercules engine and Warner Gear transmission.

Diamond T Model 201’s were produced from 1938 to 1949. The Model 201’s replaced the Diamond T Model 80’s. The Model 80 was a three-quarter ton pickup which was produced from mid year 1936 into 1938. It;s estimated that only a few thousand were produced. The 201 models are rare today. Production estimates for the 201’s come in at about 7,000 vehicles. It’s estimated that Diamond T produced about 250,000 trucks over the company’s entire 56 year history.

1947 diamond t

Charles Tilt (the “T” in Diamond T) made the comment..”A truck doesn’t have to be homely“. Diamond T certainly lived up to both of those attributes. Two things many truck enthusiasts point to about the Diamond T truck design are the distinctive grille bars and the top opening side hood panels secured by plated clamps.

The Diamond T Motor Car Company was founded in Chicago in 1905 by C. A. Tilt. Tilt actually began as a builder of passenger cars. He did this until 1911 when a customer asked him to produce a truck. It didn’t take long for Tilt to see that there was more profit to be had in building trucks and the rest is history. Diamond T’s hood emblem on trucks was a sled dog in harness.

The Competition

Diamond T’s number one competitor in the light duty big truck market was Mack. There  were several significant differences in the builds between these two truck makers.

As mentioned above, Diamond T employed the X Brace frame which Diamond T touted added strength and durability.

After World War Two, Mack bowed out of the civilian light truck market.

Diamond T ended being an independent truck maker in 1966. This was the year it was merged  with Reo to form the Diamond Reo division of White Motors. Diamond Reo trucks ceased production in the mid 1980’s. We mentioned that Diamond T took it’s name from Charles Tilt. By the same token, the brand REO took it’s name from the initials of it’s founder Ransom E. Olds.

1947 Diamond T 201 Specifications

Engine for the 1947 Diamond T Model 201 was a 236 cubic inch Hercules inline-6. The engine produced a rated 91 HP. Hercules Motors Corporation built both gasoline and diesel engines. Either engine could be utilized without major changes to the truck.

Transmission was a four speed manual Warner T-9.

Brakes were four wheel Lockheed hydraulic.

The Model 201 wheelbase was 119.0 inches.

See related Auto Museum Online articles found on the links below..

1937 Diamond T

1947 Chevy Half Ton

Reference material for this article includes..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.

Diamond T Collector Trucks

diamond t trucksThe Diamond T is a popular collector truck and the Model 201 One Ton is one the finest models available. As we mentioned, the Diamond T brand stood for both rugged construction and stylish appeal. The engineering was top notch and the Diamond T grille is very recognizable.

The Diamond T Model 201 One Ton is probably one of the most stylish classic trucks ever produced and with a production number of only 7,000 it’s a rare truck.

Currently we have seen nicely restored 1947 Diamond T models in the $37,000-$65,000 plus range.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)