100% Original: 1949 Diamond T Model 201

Update 12/3/19 – After getting bid up to $29k, this Diamond T is back on eBay with the option to place a bid or buy it outright for $26k. Why the discount?

From 11/16/19 – I can’t get enough of these trucks and I know that quite a few of you are fans of Diamond T pickups, widely known at the time as the Cadillac of trucks. This 100% original 1949 Diamond T Model 201 pickup can be found here on eBay in Auburn, California. The current bid price is just over $13,000 but the reserve isn’t met yet.

This truck looks really big, tough, and heavy-duty in this photo. They’re known for being a fairly hard ride over bumps despite being a pretty luxurious pickup for the era. Of course, being a one-ton truck from 1949, it isn’t going to ride like a $50,000 one-ton truck of today. The Diamond T Company made the Model 201 until 1949 and they also made a Model 80 pickup.

This truck is 100% original, according to the seller, and it has no rust and never had any rust. By that, they mean rust-through of course, you can see surface rust in spots. This is thick stuff, it’s not like a new truck where someone dropping a green grape on the aluminum hood will leave a mark. These things were army tough and in fact, like most manufacturers, they made trucks for the WWII effort.

The interior also looks good in this 201, with just some wear in the normal places. The 201 didn’t come with a three-on-the-tree manual or an automatic, buyers got a 4-speed on the floor. I love the crank-out windshields and I’m wondering if the heater was a factory option or an aftermarket item? One of you will know (Howard? Geo?). Also, is the seat material and pattern a factory original look? The seller says that it’s all-original so it must be. It sure looks like it’s been well-preserved after so many decades. Even the underside looks rock-solid, not to mention that both the gas tank and the sending unit have been restored and reinstalled.

The seller got this Model 201 from the original family who bought it new and used it on their Wyoming ranch. The original Hercules 236 cubic-inch six-cylinder would have had 91 hp, which with low gearing for heavy hauling would put the top speed at around 45-50 mph. They say that it starts every time, idles smooth, and runs well. It’s also had a recent brake overhaul. I can’t imagine owning a truck this cool, I’m not worthy. But, if I were lucky enough to own this truck I would maintain it and drive it, not restore it. Would you restore it or just maintain it and keep it as original as possible?

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Comments

  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Pretty bizarre, I took this photo yesterday!

    Like 18
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      I forgot to add it says Gold Comet on the fender emblem.

      Like 7
    • Gaspumpchas

      wow leiniedude love that REO!!!

      Cheers
      GPC

      Like 3
      • luke arnott Member

        I had a ’46 REO Speedwagon 1 ton pickup I found in an Idaho wrecking yard 30 years ago.Got it back to the UK,had it restored and did not enjoy driving it one bit!
        Horrible 4 speed box,no front shock absorbers.Awful thing – but looked nice.

        Like 9
    • Howard A. Member

      Pretty cool, Mike. REO ( Ransome E. Oldsmobile) made a great truck too. Touted as the “world’s toughest truck”. IDK about that. After White bought REO, all the trucks used that REO cab into the 60’s. Gold Comet refers to the motor. They were gas OHV in line 6’s, of about 170 hp. Don’t see a lot of HD trucks out here, be fun to look into it, wearing orange, of course.

      Like 10
      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Thanks for the Gold Comet info Howard, when it warms up a little I am going to go back and nose around a little.

        Like 2
  2. IkeyHeyman

    Putting aside the fact that the featured truck is a 1 ton model, there is no comparison to the Ford and Chevy trucks of this era that we see pop up here on Barn Finds. Simply put, these trucks are in a class of their own.

    Like 14
  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    Scotty, are you trying to get Howard’s goat? He misses the one he had and I sure can’t blame him. Good truck for sure. Just needs to be parked at my place. Well, I wouldn’t hesitate to step aside and let Howard in front. Nice truck! Needs to be driven and enjoyed…

    Like 7
    • Howard A. Member

      Sigh, I’d be lying if I said this doesn’t hit a nerve, like the big one that runs up and down my back, but it’s ok, pal, I’ve made peace with that. Better to have loved, than blah, blah, blah. Scotty did this, I’m positive, because he knows we like this stuff.
      Scotty pretty much nailed it, and as a reminder, I happen to know, he doesn’t know a lot about these, so he did his research, which takes time. I thank all the writers for that. Diamond T was known as the “Cadillac” of trucks. They had features nobody else offered, chrome wheel covers and grill, early ones had engine turned dashboards, I believe the heater was still an option and I had a parts truck with a 3 speed all floor shift. The model 80 predated the 201, that came out in 1938, and in 1950, they came out with the 222, which used the IH “Comfo-vision” cab until 1953, I think, then they were gone. These were “assembled” trucks, meaning, Diamond T farmed everything out, cabs by McLaughlin, frames by A.O. Smith. Dana axles, the best of everything, and came with a hefty price tag, almost twice what a Ford or Chevy cost. But it was tough, massive X frame and 13 leafs on the back, 9 on the front, gives a bone-jarring ride, to be nice. Crash-box trans, too. Underneath those pretty wheel covers are Dayton tube tires, and 50 on it’s best run. I had mine up to 40, and that’s as far as I wanted to go. It wasn’t built for speed. The Hercules can be held wide open for days with no damage. Not enough carburation for it to blow, a governor, of sorts.
      Several truck companies offered heavy duty pickups, REO, Mack, ( which was a rebadged REO), Hudson, but none equaled the Diamond T. Diamond T went on to build bigger trucks, and in 1958, White bought them, used the White cab and kept the name and in 1967, White merged Diamond T with REO, also owned by White and called them Diamond REO, using the Autocar “Drivers Cab”, which White also owned ( White was huge) and in 1975, it was the end.
      Special to thanks to Scotty, and BF’s. You won’t see this stuff anywhere else.

      Like 40
      • Mountainwoodie

        Man, I just went to school with HoA……can never learn enough. Thanks Howard! Over in Coronado California, a fellow restored a Diamond T some years back. It might have been the 201 but might have been a 3/4 ton. It was a beautiful red. Might have been an early fire truck from the town. Just beautiful as is this one.

        Like 8
      • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

        Wow, that’s a ton of great info, Howard, thanks!

        Like 8
      • Howard A. Member

        For you, my friend, anything! I can’t promise this much on other trucks, but glad to help.

        Like 7
      • Bob S

        In my youth, I only recall seeing one Diamond T pickup, but as a kid in Canadian Army Cadets and in the Reserve, I rode in lots of FWDs, and Diamond T stake trucks before they were finally replaced by International trucks.
        I was always impressed with the style, and the fact that they looked that they could weather any nasty condition.
        For styling, I always liked the look of the REO and the White cabover. They were all rough riding trucks, and the driver earned his keep putting a day of work in on these trucks.
        Bob

        Like 3
  4. canadainmarkseh Member

    Very cool truck one thing that struck me was the over slung axle on the back, being a 1 ton all carry loads would be put on the u bolts. As for the top speed issue I would think that an add on overdrive unit would help that problem. I’d do a sympathetic frame on restoration with single stage paint, in red. At least that’s what I’d do.

    Like 4
    • Howard A. Member

      You could start with an O/D, but trust me, as is, you don’t want to go over 40. Good point on the axle, apparently, it worked. The 201 was used for many applications, the pickup was the low end of them all. Not sure what’s in store for this old gal. Bidding is spirited, over $16g’s. ( I feel sick) It simply can’t be used as is, and updates all around, aka resto-mod, will certainly be it’s fate, like most of the others.

      Like 4
  5. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Cool! All it needs is a Texaco emblem on the doors to finish it off.

    Like 5
    • Howard A. Member

      I believe Texaco was more known for their Diamond T “Doodlebug” tanker, but many of the gas companies used Diamond T’s. Here is a Shell truck and is on the model 80 platform.
      https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2011/10/05/hemmings-find-of-the-day-1937-diamond-t-tanker-truck/

      Like 3
      • 86_Vette_Convertible

        I remember one much like this one at a local Texaco dealer. I always though the Red and White Texaco emblem were set off well by the color of the truck.
        I like it but then again I like most things from my past.

        Like 3
  6. MacVaugh

    We had a 1947 when I was growing up in Montana, with the rear bed a flatbed with stakes and sideboards. As noted by the folks above, the heater was a supplied unit, and being an assembled truck, ours was ordered with an “arctic” level heat, that would keep the cab warm and the windows clear at -40•.

    I believe those seats were redone. I remember a pebble finished green vinyl, with white piping, and no pleats. I recall seeing others that had dark red, same texture, same patternless design.

    Like 3
  7. Howard A. Member

    Since I’m babbling about my Diamond T, and just to put things into perspective as to why I’m so bitter about where the hobby has gone. In around 1980, I was walking through a truck junkyard in SC Wisconsin, when I saw a red pickup like this laying in the weeds with no wheels ( another story), in about the same condition as this. The tags on the hood were missing but the ID tag said “Diamond T”. I never heard of that, and naturally, I inquired about it. The yard owner said it came from a local estate, and was rumored to have a new motor. I said, what do you want for it? (are you sitting down?) “IDK, how about $100 bucks?” A HUNDRED DOLLARS! I high tailed it to the bank, slinging a ton of dust in the air, got it home, via flatbed, then the search for wheels began. Turns out, these have 16″ tube type, try and find those. Old mobile homes used 16’s, but not the right kind. Not long after, I was in another yard, someone said they saw an old milk truck in the back they thought was a Diamond T. Sure enough, there it was, way in the back, had all 4 wheels, hood tags ( try and find THOSE) and many other parts, he said, $200 bucks( I paid more for the parts truck!!) but that’s how it was then, this stuff was all over. They cut the milk body off, and I dragged it home. I got the pickup running, and was my hobby truck for 30 years. Due to a nasty divorce( are there good divorces?) I had to come up with some cash, quick, and a neighbor gave me $3,000 about 15 years ago. He always admired it, and I was happy he got it. I never knew what happened to it after that. That’s why, whenever I see these, I have to look close, just in case, you know.

    Like 30
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Well Howard, I know it may seem like a small consolation but you’ve got something over the majority of us: you OWNED one; you looked after it and drove it. And like what happens to the rest of us, you got attached to it; it became part of the family. I saw lots of big Diamond T’s over the years and I saw the odd pic of the 201. I never saw one in the flesh until the summer of ‘86, at the International Antique Auto Meet in Great Falls. The guy had owned it for many years, had a chance to give it a full body-off restoration, and drove it to the meet from Oregon. He said back then that he would be buried in it. I would hope that he got his wish although I would have settled for having that ‘final ride’ in it and leaving it’s stewardship to some deserving individual.

      Incidentally, there IS such a thing as a good divorce; mine was the BEST part of my first marriage. Well, I didn’t like losing my pension (but it was tragically humorous watching her and the boys blow it like drunken rock stars), but it gave me the freedom to hook up with the love of my life…

      Like 17
      • Howard A. Member

        Being in the same time zone, you’re up early. Thanks, I know, it’s all a rich tapestry. I’m sure Jerry Reed wrote that song, “She got the gold mine, I got the shaft” especially for me. Like you say, the up side was, I didn’t have to deal with her anymore.
        Back in the 70’s and 80’s nobody wanted these. It’s why mine ended up at a junkyard, because they had no bidders at the estate sale. Obviously, if I had known, it would increase in value 1300 times, like a certain Harley, I’d have kept it, and spent the month in jail, ( I found out judges, especially women, have no sense of humor) but who knew?

        Like 10
      • canadainmarkseh Member

        Howard / Geomechs here’s what you can do to help that itch that you can’t scratch. I built at wooden urn for myself in the shape of my 51 two door dodge hard top. I can enjoy looking at it now while I’m still kicking and I know that my last ride is waiting for me. I’ve built a 73 ford pickup with camper for my uncle who passed away in the spring. I also have a 1923 Kenworth cartage truck that I built out of oak that I still have complete with driver. It just a thought guys

        Like 12
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        Well put, geomechs. Some of us may never have the opportunity that you’ve had, Howard A.-you are envied by more than a few of us, as we live vicariously via your recollections of coveted machines like this truck with the lessons you learned therein.

        Like 11
      • Howard A. Member

        Thanks man, just a spoke in the wheel here. Trucks just happen to be my thing. I was a member of ATHS ( American Truck Hist. Society) for many years. It’s how I got to know all about these older trucks, and like leiniedudes photo, these were all around the midwest. I know some may think, “what a doofus, sells his Diamond T”, there was a lot more to it. The truck needed a complete restoration. It ran and drove ok, but after the divorce, I had no place to work on it, and needed cash fast. It had to go, and my situation certainly wasn’t unique. Fact is, I bet many of these vehicles are for sale because of stuff like that.
        @ Kellerg, what would you like to hear? While trucks like this were before my time, I started trucking in the 70’s with a ’63 IH R-190 tandem dump truck. I learned a lot with that old stove ( nobody wanted to drive it because it had a 5×3 transmissions) Everything from that point on, for the next 30 +years, truck wise, was an improvement.

        Like 11
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        Many of us know and feel your pain, Howard A. In my case, I lost my ‘78 911 S Targa, ‘61 Midget, ‘79 CJ 5 (Rubicon regular), and my prized original ‘64 Bonneville 650 I found, yes, in a mechanics personal barn in Reno which I later restored (the bike, not the barn..lol).
        And therein lies the irony-that ex, though I wish her no ill will, is miserable with all she has had then and now. I, on the other hand don’t have any of those Time Transporters anymore but my life is good and I can work towards finding another project-plus we have folks like you and the rest of the good like minded folks here to talk with that I might not have met otherwise.
        And if I ever find/afford the treasured truck at the end of the mechanical rainbow road, you’d better bet I’ll be on the computer with you, geomechs, Wayne and the likes of all here on this forum as I get started overhauling it, Howard A. Thank you for lending your time and experiences with us.
        Nevadahalfrack

        Like 7
    • Kellerg

      Would really like to hear more of your stories Howard A.

      Like 6
  8. angliagt angliagt Member

    When I was with Humboldt Fire District,we had an engine
    with a Diamond T cab/chassis,& a Wakasha (sp) engine.
    It was one of those rare engines that everyone in the
    department loved.Sadly,something happened to the engine,
    & it was decided not to spend the money to have it re-engined.

    Like 4
    • Howard A. Member

      I’ll give you the benefit of not growing up with all those “Injun” town names,( like Oconomowoc) it’s Waukesha, home of the one way street. Waukesha Engine made some mombo motors. I remember seeing like one big one on a truck flatbed ( all the truckers on the CB saying, “That’s the motor I want”) Mostly marine and fire dept. applications. Sadly, GE, who owned the company, pulled the plug in April of this year, laying off 236 workers for good after 62 years. Everything is fine,,,,
      https://dieselgasturbine.com/ge-closing-waukesha-engine-plant/

      Like 7
      • Bob S

        Sorry guys, of all the trucks I would like to own, it would be one of those Oshkosh 4×4 snowblower units that the USAF and RCAF used to clear runways back in the 60s.
        They looked tough enough to go anywhere and do anything. I understand they used the Hercules engine, but don’t know who the engines were made by, but understand they were very reliable. In the meantime, I will have to be satisfied with my vintage F600 and C65. Sigh.

        Like 2
  9. Car Nut Tacoma

    Beautiful looking truck. Assuming parts are available, I can see this being an awesome restoration project, or possibly a restomod.

    Like 2
  10. luke arnott Member

    I know someone who has one of these.He reckons 40mph tops,and I think they had a constant mesh,not a crash, box.

    Like 1
    • Howard A. Member

      Hi luke, if by constant mesh you mean synchronizers, nope, straight gears. I’m not a fan of “double clutching”, but it helps for the untrained. :)

      Like 4
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        It seems to me that the 201 used a Warner T-9, which was essentially the same one used by Ford, Dodge, Binder, and Studebaker. Funny thing about it: it howled like a Banshee behind a Flathead V8 but was considerably quieter behind a six…

        Like 4
  11. JohnfromCT

    Howard/Geomechs,

    I must be missing something. You metioned even with an OD you wouldn’t want to go much over 40 mph in one of these. I would love to learn as I am infatuated with these. Would you kindly explain the issue?

    Like 3
    • Howard A. Member

      Hi John, it’s the front suspension that will make you nervous. Any straight axle has it’s limits for today’s travel. Brakes too, horribly inadequate at anything over 40, and the rear springs, there’s no give whatsoever, you’ll hop down the road. Motor too, again, 91 hp. in a 5000 lb truck, probably wouldn’t even pull an O/D. You’re trying to cross 2 dimensions here, today’s travel, and 1949 travel, it just wasn’t meant for it.

      Like 7
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Maybe I’m a bit more of a daredevil than Howard. I’d take one of those up to 50 but, as Howard would testify, the ride is pretty nasty. Wear a helmet or you’ll bash your head against the door jamb.

        Like 5
      • JohnfromSC

        G&H,

        Thanks much. I guess you could take out a couple of leaves out of that rear spring, but I hadn’t thought about that straight front axle…

        The quest for “patina” and originality has this one skyrocketing to nearly $30K now, reserve is met, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it hit $40K before it’s all over tomorrow.

        Thanks to both of you for continuing to share your ( at times positively salty!) comments, stories and insights here and on other forums I follow

        Like 3
      • canadainmarkseh Member

        As a mechanic I have to say to improve the ride all you need to do is reduce the number of leaves in the spring pack, front and rear with fresh shocks all the way around. As for steering all that needs to be done is make sure the play is adjusted out of the steering box and that all the steering parts are tight. I’d convert the front brakes to disc as well. To the untrained eye no one could tell. Power steering would allow for more caster which would give better road manors as well. I hate to use the “D” word but a cumins would fit nicely under that hood with a five speed behind it. I know this won’t sit well with some of you but these changes can be done in a way that they can be reversed and the parts kept and stored. At least this would allow you to drive to your favourite show.

        Like 3
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        Years ago there was talk of using Teflon strips between the leaves of the leaf springs. Would that actually work to smooth the ride, and do you know of anyone that’s done that with any kind of results, good or bad?

        Like 2
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Nevada, I’ve heard of teflon strips to help limber up the action between the leafs. Back in the day we used to spray a whole lot of ‘weasel pee’ at the springs. I don’t know how much good that actually did. There are some spring shops that could make up a new set with thinner leafs that wouldn’t be as hard on the back. And Mark, the D word is a very practical application. And, yes, the Cummins will fit. Just drop down and see the pic of that custom 201. It sports a warmed-up 5.9, and from what the guy told me, it makes that RV flap in the wind…

        Like 2
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        “Weasel Pee”? Interesting concept, geomechs! However, the only weasels we have around here are some in politics…
        Thinner leaf springs? Hadn’t thought of that but it makes good sense. As the standard springs in that truck were probably designed for work and not comfort, it’s easy to understand what everyone’s talking about with ride comfort and drivability. I’ll bet it’s rougher than a Rugby Scrum on a wet day!

        That transplant makes that truck all the more fascinating-though I totally agree with Howard A. about preserving the past, the fiscal and moral fulcrum waypoint would be dependent on the “rustworm” and mechanical state of the machine in question, right?

        Like 3
  12. Lbpa18

    Still one of the most beautiful And iconic trucks ever made. But at a bit over six feet I didnt feel like I could fit in the only one I ever saw up close(?) So I drive a ‘48 3800 Long Bed. Thats as close to a real work truck as I can come to this gorgeous piece of American engineering.

    Like 2
  13. Comet

    Nice truck. Here’s my vision. Lose half of the rear spring stack, install a FI BBC, Dana 60, a stout overdrive, and restore the exterior to look original, then hook this beauty up to a period correct BIG Airstream trailer and drive the wheel off of it! Or at least as far as your wallet would take you.

    Like 1
    • Howard A. Member

      There’s a fine line for keeping this original, or going the resto-mod route. I can see both sides, but interest is fading for original trucks and I’ve seen some beautiful resto-mods, like this, and much more usable.
      https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2009/12/11/hemmings-find-of-the-day-1948-diamond-t/

      Like 4
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Saw one a couple summers ago. Couple from the eastern part of Canada. Pretty good job too, even if I take a second look at a resto-mod. Only bad job was the fan shroud but you couldn’t normally see that.

      Like 6
    • Little_Cars

      In the quarter-eliptic MG and Austin Healey world, for years Teflon strips have been used to prevent squeaks between the leaves. Semi-elliptical cars too. I’m not aware of them providing any additional springiness or shock absorption. May be different for a huge heavy duty truck like we are discussing.

      Like 3
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        Thanks, Little_Cars. Wish I’d known that when my ‘61 Midget was in the drive-or for that matter either of the Triumph S#!tflames, er, Spitfires!

        Like 2
      • Bob S

        The reduced coefficient of the teflon, just frees up the spring so that it works almost as efficiently as a coil spring. Adding teflon does not change the spring rate, and that has to be adjusted by using thinner spring leaves or reducing the number of leaves.
        It makes the addition of shocks essential.
        Bob

        Like 1
  14. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    This one seems to come up for auction often……..

    Like 1
  15. JimmyinTEXAS

    Bis is at $29,500 US. Appears the reserve has been met 1 day 16 hours to go.
    Great looking truck.

    Like 2
  16. geomechs geomechs Member

    They do look nice fixed up bone stock. Here’s one fresh out of the shop…

    Like 7
    • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

      WOW!!!! What a beautiful truck, geomechs!! What’s “the backstory” behind this sweetheart?!!??

      Like 2
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi NHF. This truck showed up at a swap meet about 50 miles north of the border, in Lethbridge, AB, Canada. The local chapter of the ATHS has a display each year and this was one of the features. I talked to the owner, a construction contractor, who told me that it was less than a week out of the shop. It came from three derelicts located in Texas, Idaho and Montana. A lot of fabrication required as well. He said that he deliberately avoided painting the door/cab trim green, deciding to go with black. It looks great that way. If the purists don’t like it I guess they can photoshop it in their collection of pics…

        Like 5
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        Thanks, geomechs. Obviously a lot of time and arduous mechanical rehab but wow-what a great result!
        And yes, the purists can say what they may but if the owners like it as much as they apparently do, who’s to say yea or nay?
        Nice ride-bet it was a blast to go see.

        Like 2
  17. lbpa18

    Geo, why do I think that would make a Dodge Power Wagon ride seem soft?

    Like 1
  18. Little_Cars

    Every BF reader should take time to visit the antique Truck and Tractor museum near Petersburg, Virginia. It stated as a random private collection, and is now housed in a modern building with room for events, lots of descriptive information next to well-restored trucks and HD machinery. There is a Diamond T sitting up to it’s axles in dirt near me at the base of an Antique Mall sign post. Considering the proprietor keeps the most random hours of operation, and that he quoted $1k for a Rambler dealer sign I had my eyes on, I am sure he holds his Diamond T in high regard and so it shall sit.

    Like 3
    • luke arnott Member

      Also visit Hays Truck Town near Sacramento,and the museum at Campo,near San Diego,which is adjacent to the Mexican border(no wall yet!)

      Like 3
      • Howard A. Member

        Anybody barreling across Iowa on I-80, stop in at Wolcott, Iowa I-80 truckstop. Started by the late Bill Moon, one of the founders of ATHS, by the way, and features an impressive collection of old trucks. And, you can get a tooth fixed and back cracked too, almost unheard of in truckstops. Bill moon was quite a guy. He reasoned, truck drivers should have the same amenities as regular folks.

        Like 5
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        I’ve heard of that place. And I fully intend to check it out when I’m in the area. Travelling has been kind of limited to seeing the grandkids these days…

        Like 2
      • Mountainwoodie

        The “museum” in Campo California is something. Actually hundreds of vehicles sitting outside……the “town” is for sale by the way :)

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kh3-SRPuBm4

        Like 4
  19. Little_Cars

    @Howard A. A tooth on one of those straight cut gears repaired, or the ones in a trucker’s jaw? LOL :) :) :) :)

    Like 2
    • Howard A. Member

      Probably both. For years, truckers had limited access to health services, mostly because they can’t go where cars go, save for a hospital. Bill moon changed that, and I think some modern truckstops have those services now.

      Like 3
  20. geomechs geomechs Member

    While we’re on the topic of old trucks that were sort of over-engineered I thought I would slip this one in. It’s a ’39 Federal 3/4 ton. I believe one of two in existence. I understand that it shares a lot of parts with the D-T 201. I wanted to quiz the owner, whom I met for the first time a little over a year ago. Unfortunately he was tragically killed a couple of weeks ago while participating in the London-Brighton car rally…

    Like 6
    • Howard A. Member

      It was the later, possibly post-war Federals that used the same cabs and drivetrains as Diamond T. I can’t place where this cab is from. It almost looks like a 30’s IH C series with that windshield.
      http://www.tenfourmagazine.com/OldTimeTrucks/2007/2.html

      Like 3
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        When I first saw this one, I thought that maybe Federal and Diamond T shared the cabs but I looked back even to the ’38 D-Ts and they had the pointed two-piece windshields that the post war models used. But the overall shapes of the cabs are close. Even the Mack Jr./REO Speed Delivery uses the 2-piece windshield…

        Like 3
      • Howard A Member

        Yep, I believe this was the “M” series. You can see, while the body is the same, not quite as fancy. Painted grill, no trim or wheel covers. I know, a company named McLauglin made the cabs, someone else made the box and fenders, so anyone could put a truck together using them, however, it was just much cheaper to do it in house, which ultimately killed these smaller companies.

        Like 3
  21. Little_Cars

    Here’s the Keystone in Petersburg (Colonial Heights) Virginia. https://keystonetractorworks.com/

    Like 2
  22. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended:Nov 19, 2019 , 11:58AM
    Winning bid:
    US $29,500.00 [ 58 bids ]

    Like 2
  23. JerryDeeWrench Member

    What a great bunch of stories. You guys absolutely made my day. God bless and good health to all.

    Like 4
  24. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Good question, Scotty-if the first deal of $29+K fell through, why, and why relist it $3K less?

    Like 2
    • Howard A Member

      Mmm-hmm, tells me the hobby is falling apart. The $29K deal fell through, because someone’s wife found out about it.

      Like 4
      • Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

        OMG Howard A. that’s just dang funny because you’re most likely right on the money-literally!!!!
        My wife loves this truck-but not $29500 worth.

        Like 3
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        You never know, guys, it might be the guy’s wife that bid it up and husband found out…

        Like 2
      • Howard A Member

        Yeah, I suppose that’s being a bit presumptuous. Could be a host of factors. I do think, however, it could have been something the buyer wasn’t familiar with, like how to shift the darn thing. I just say, it’s going to take a certain kind of buyer for this today, and those folks are dwindling.

        Like 1
  25. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    What’s the equivalent of the stock market crash in automotive term’s ? These owners need to get a grip on something…….

    Like 1
    • Howard A Member

      I agree, I’m 65, and might not see it, I think this foolishness will go on for a few more years, but it’s situations like this, little indicators, people bailing on purchases, tells me it’s beginning to tank, especially for stuff like this. About 10 years ago, I saw a restored truck like this, a bit older, cross the B-J block @ $99,000 bucks. 10 or 15 years ago, this wouldn’t have been here 5 minutes without being sold, probably when this seller got it. I doubt these will ever be $100 bucks again, like what I paid, but our kids will certainly have better places to spend 5 figures than on an old truck. Heck, it’s stuck at $15g’s, and can’t meet the lofty reserve as it is now.

      Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        I think you’ll see things moderate somewhat but there’s always going to be a demand for interesting old vehicles. For most the interest is born into you. For others it has to grow on you. For me, I was born into it; I had a craving for old iron since I was able to walk. I’ve talked to people at shows and found many of the same. For the late bloomers; it’s something that catches their attention and grows on them. I met a lot of both over the years. I can’t explain them but then, no one could explain me either. Go to the state fair and I’d much rather look at the displays of old cars and tractors, or go out to the trailers behind the midway and watch those banks of generator sets all roaring away. Rides? And midway attractions? Rubbish! I’d much rather scrutinize a couple of 342 Cat engines, or three Detroit 110s, all synchronized together…

        Like 3
      • Howard A Member

        I certainly applaud your optimism, it’s what will keep this hobby afloat,,for a while. You are right, there are still enough people that will pay 5 figures for something that is basically just going to sit, but I don’t think the future will allow that. Something like this has to be more useful, and it will become a resto-mod. While for us “seasoned” drivers, going 35 mph in a classic vehicle is not a problem again, for a while, however, I feel, today, most will want a truck they can actually drive, daily, if need be, and this stuff just won’t cut it.

        Like 1
  26. Mountainwoodie

    geomechs:

    You are a very ill man. Did I meet you and Howard on the ward with R.P McMurphy? I seem to remember a couple of guys pushing some Tonka dump trucks around the day room.

    Like 1
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I am the first to admit that there’s a short circuit in my DNA. Most everyone has something resembling a twisted ribbon but mine has pistons and a crankshaft. Yes, that was likely Howard and me playing with the Tonka trucks. That was probably me slid under the bed trying to isolate a squeak in the elevating mechanism…

      Like 1
  27. lbpa18

    In my earlier days, when I was on the road a lot, I used to search the scenery for gems like this. For thirty years, Id drive back roads of the Rocky Mountain West and had a mental rolodex of where all of them were. I rescued a few home when conditions allowed, still have one. Some folks look to the beauty of the natural landscape. I did too but these old relics were to me like a snow covered peak on a green spring day. They were things you knew wouldn’t last but they certainly enriched my day. Sadly, now when I drive those same old roads, those old relics that I mentally claimed as mine are gone. Bare spots in the grass, or a new building in their places… or worse, a giant California mansion that someone lives in two weeks a year. My dad talked of being able to buy a new, in-the-crate, P-51 after the war for $1500 and he knew at the time it was a helluva deal, but who had that kind of money back then? For me, old trucks and old airplanes are still a big deal and I cant figure out why everyone doesnt see the same beauty in the compound curves of old art deco metal like I do. Im just damned glad I got to drive and fly some of them before us dinosaurs disappear and make way for the Tesla crowd who will never know anything else. Howard, and Geo, we are the lucky ones.

    Like 1
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I’m still on the lookout for an interesting piece of iron, and I always fantasize having that treasure at my place getting a bit of TLC. Wish I could’ve rescued more of them. And yes, I have some problems with people moving in and completely changing the landscape. I had friends in the Flathead valley suddenly finding out they could no longer afford their taxes because someone built a multimillion dollar palace that shot everyone’s property value into the stratosphere…

      • Mountainwoodie

        Geomechs: On the property tax issue ( and admittedly I dont know much about Montana tax structure), you need a California Prop 13 ballot initiative……..1% of sales price and can only go up 2% every two years.

        Like 1
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        I might be speaking out of turn here in that I don’t have property in the Flathead Valley. My cousin lives in Hungry Horse, about 15 miles east and his taxes weren’t affected. But we do have some friends along the east side of the lake that really got hurt about 30 years ago. One guy’s modest acreage cost him about $150K. Then the properties on both sides sold. The new owners put up million dollar haciendas. The neighboring properties got reassessed and many came close to losing their places because they couldn’t afford the taxes. The county, under extreme pressure, finally cracked and grandfathered in a lower rate for those who had lived there before. My wife and I have been looking at property in Hungry Horse. It’s far enough away to avoid the politics of the valley, and besides, it’s full of gearheads, and run-of-the-mill rednecks so we fit right in…

        Like 2
  28. Mountainwoodie

    Geomechs:

    Hard to believe but California appears to protect long time homeowners better than Montana!

    Property is only reassessed after being sold at whatever price it is sold at..and only 1% of that sale price. Period. Of course when you add in local bond issues for schools, sewers etc it can be higher than only one percent of the sale price.

    That said, I am sure when the Hollywood crowd headed to Livingston lo those many decades ago ( Thomas Mc Guane, Peter Fonda, Ted Turner etc), sales prices went nuts.

    Still like with old cars you have to find a place that has been overlooked or not messed with..and head for the hills! :)

    Like 1

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