Salvagabili-T? 1947 Diamond T

When I saw this very rough looking but still beautiful Diamond T for sale on craigslist in Casa Grande, Arizona, I immediately thought of Howard, and wondered what he would have to say about this somewhat beat up and forlorn example of the “Cadillac of trucks.” This Diamond T is a model Model 404, which was considered to be a 1 and 1/2 to 2 and 1/2 ton rated truck, depending on how it was outfitted. It might have a two speed rear.

It’s hard to make out exactly what sort of machinery is mounted on the flatbed – is it a pump perhaps? You can barely make out the name of the company this belonged to at one time, “Pioneer,” but what services the company provided are not clear. And the phone number being “2263” indicates it was located in a fairly small town. The seller says this truck is equipped with a Hercules engine and a four speed, but it’s not running, and looks like it has been sitting out in the desert for quite some time. Anyone taking on this project will do it for love, especially with the asking price of $2800. These trucks are beautiful, and have a strong fanbase. Is this one worth restoring or is it a parts truck?

Above is a picture of one that has been restored. That is a beautiful truck. I think this model Diamond T is getting to be pretty rare now, so many of them were worked to death that maybe this one is worth something close to the asking price. I think some of us might also be interested in that early ’50s Buick station wagon or the Mopar just behind it. Howard, what do you think of this old beast? Would you save it?


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  1. Woodie Man

    Diamond T’s are such beautiful trucks.

  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    Diamond T really did have the styling nailed down. Quality too for that matter. It just couldn’t build (and sell) enough trucks to keep the costs down. I don’t think anyone regretted buying one. Those who ran them kept them for a long time. I sure hope this one goes to a good home and gets restored as well as the one in that photo from what looks like the ATHS convention in Shelton, WA, must be 15 years ago now….

  3. Vegaman_Dan

    I love the body style and would gladly enjoy the metal fab body work to be done, but the drive train would need to be updated for me to actually use it. It would be a fun project.

    • David Wilk Member

      Top speed on this truck, even with two speed rear was about 45 mph – without a load on board.

  4. Howard A Member

    Great write up, David, I can’t add much, except, it sure is worth it. Trouble is, and we’ve been over this and over this, what do you do with it? Do you restore it like in the picture ( thanks to Hank’s Truck Pictures, for that, btw) and do the occasional parade, ( David’s right, maybe 50mph with a 2 speed rear, 42 without, bouncing down the road, hanging on to the steering wheel for dear life, trust me) or go the update route. I had the 201 pickup, and driving it, the nostalgia wore off pretty quick, I can only imagine this wouldn’t be any different( maybe worse) As much as I love old trucks, they just don’t fit in our go-go society today. I’d go the update. Great find.

  5. Klharper

    Pretty truck, but I would have to go the restomod route. I can’t tell the dimensions of the truck but my guess is to drop it on a late model F350. I would probably leave the exterior as is, just fixing the lights and windshield. Not sure what to do with wheels. But you would need to find something that looked vintage correct without going the split rim route.
    Inside would be a mix of old and new. New modern seats with a vintage dash and steering wheel.
    Oh and I would make it a rollback.

  6. Howard A Member

    To give you an idea what they’re worth. This one sold for $17g’s.

  7. Ed P

    I would think those single stalk side view mirrors would vibrate madly at road speed.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Ed, they sure did, along with the hood, fenders, seat, steering wheel,,,,you get the idea. Besides, in the 40’s, mirrors were just a luxury. Rarely was anybody behind or next to you.

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