Bonneville Tire Hauler: 1947 Diamond T

1947-diamond-t-model-201

This might look like your run of the mill farm truck, but this 1947 Diamond T Model 201 wasn’t always parked on the farm. It spent the first part of its life hauling tires across Utah and possibly to the Bonneville Salt Flats. The seller discovered it on a ranch in Lyman, Utah, where it had been since the 1960’s. It has since been cleaned up, serviced, and is now running and driving. The seller is thinning out their collection and has decided to let it go. It can be found here on eBay with a BIN of $12,500 and the option to make an offer.

1947-diamond-t-model-201-as-found

In the 1940’s, the salt flats were the place to be if you were looking to set a world speed record. One of the most recognized record holders of the era is Ab Jenkins, who played a significant role in promoting Bonneville. While we often talk about the cars that were used to set records, we often overlook all the support vehicles that were helpful with setting those records. Based on the seller’s research, they believe this truck was used to haul tires to the salt flats for Ab’s Mormon Meteor III, which helped him set a 24 hour endurance speed record. While it doesn’t increase the value of this truck, it is an interesting story that deserves further research.

diamond-t-model-201-at-salt-flats

While the seller has yet to find any concrete connection between this truck and Ab Jenkins, it’s entirely possible that this is the very truck seen in this photo delivering tires to the Meteor. Obviously the truck bed isn’t as seen in this old photo, but it could have been changed by the previous owner for ranch work. For its age, it is in very solid and could be enjoyed as is. Maybe the next owner will be able to bring it to the World of Speed races in September, so this truck can be seen on the salt flats once again.

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Comments

  1. Lemble

    People will say anything to sell something for a few more bucks.

  2. dj

    It’s amazing what people will do to try and sell something. There’s been one on Ebay for forever. It’s a closer match to the one at Bonneville than this one.

  3. Trickie Dickie Member

    I do believe I saw this truck once in the Elvis Presley Auto Collection. YES, Elvis once owned this truck!

  4. paul

    The top photo is a winner I hope it makes it’s way into next year calender.

  5. That Guy

    It’s actually Ab Jenkins. Full name David Abbot Jenkins.

    No idea what this truck is worth minus the salt flats connection. The wood bed sides, and the painted logos, look brand-new. It’s a cool old truck with possibly an interesting motorsports history, but there’s not enough there to justify any price premium over any nicely patina’d, drivable old Diamond T. Whatever price that might be.

  6. Mark E

    I was at a car show a few weeks ago and a guy had brought a 1931 REO Speedwagon. I thought it was more attractive and, for it’s time, more technically advanced, than this one.

  7. geomechs geomechs Member

    I’ve got an acquaintance who just restored a 201 pickup. He and his wife have driven it to a number of events in the northwest. It’s a great truck, they say, albeit slow (50 mph is as fast as you want to try it) and it’s rough riding. A couple hundred miles and you’re ready for a break.

  8. Foxxy

    I agree on what folks will do or say to get a better price. I think it would have looked better if they would have at least tried to age the plywood bedsides before making that statement. jmo

  9. rancho bella

    soooo, they changed the color, added roof cab lights, fender lights, changed the bed and changed the wheels and the grill doesn’t look the same………..
    It must be true

  10. KE100

    i agree with rancho bella, the truck in the photo looks completely different from the one found

  11. Bernie H

    For the bid price of $12,500, does the owner throw in another vehicle??. Optimistic pricing!!!

  12. Don in Missouri

    More of the story including historic photos and news clippings are posted at http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=801156

    And yes, that price does include a parts truck with a pickup bed. Though, I hope someone who appreciates the history of this truck will decide to keep the flatbed with wooden sides.

  13. Don in Missouri

    The data tag from the Bonneville tire truck indicates it was sold originally as a Model 201 cab and chassis. The flat bed was custom built for General Tire in Salt Lake City. I wish I could find a period photo of my exact truck. That is what I was seeking when I poured through archival photos and old Salt Lake City newspapers. Instead, I discovered the connection between OJ Wilkinson and Ab Jenkins. Wilkinson owned the Auburn Cord Duesenberg dealership and the Diamond T dealership. Jenkins raced for decades, but all of his big records between 1935 and 1949 were run in a car built by Augie Duesenberg. That’ why lots of Diamond T trucks were used on the Salt over the years in support roles, like the Model 201 pickup in the photo above.

    Jenkins was elected mayor of Salt Lake City, so Bonneville racing was a big deal in those days. General Tire presumably sought to profit by using slogans like “The World’s Quickest Stopping Tires” and “Setting New Records for Mileage”.

  14. Don in Missouri

    This truck has been relisted on ebay and is selling right now with no reserve, along with two other Diamond T pickups: http://motors.shop.ebay.com/shaggy9822/m.html?hash=item27d711c107&item=171111989511&pt=US_Cars_Trucks&vxp=mtr&rt=nc&_trksid=p4340.l2562

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