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Two-Fer: 1937 Diamond T Model 80 Plus Parts Truck

In the 1930s, Diamond T was considered the “Cadillac of trucks”, while the company proclaimed “all truck, from the ground up! as a foil against competitors that simply appended a pickup bed to the back end of a passenger car. The three-quarter ton model 80 was Diamond T’s first effort at a light truck line, manufactured from 1936 through 1938 in numbers estimated at a few thousand. Though its light truck endeavor was a departure from the company’s long-established commercial lines, the Model 80 was built like a tank, with a heavy-duty chassis, heavy-duty suspension and axles …. even cast-iron wheels. Though slow, Diamond T trucks were gorgeous and capable. It’s tough enough to find one Diamond T model 80, let alone two in the same yard. But here we go, on eBay, a two-fer including a “100% complete” 1937 Diamond T model 80 Deluxe, and its pal, another 80 Deluxe that’s seen some mechanical work in the last ten years. Bidding has reached $3716, reserve not met. Supplying a clue to the reserve is the seller’s buy-it-now price of $22,500. You’ll need a serious trailer to retrieve this pair from Auburn, California.

The mighty Hercules six lies in the engine bay, running on seven main bearings and producing 73 hp, but with enough torque to climb a tree in first. The plugs look new, but the seller reports that this motor is stuck. Not to worry: not only is there a complete motor/tranny combination in the bed of the truck, but that parts vehicle we mentioned could also supply its motor, which ran ten years ago. So: you’re set for motors. The factory transmission is a three-speed manual, with optional “granny gear” – and a tiny bit of synchromesh that doesn’t work very well, judging by the Diamond T I’ve driven.

Both trucks sport Deluxe trim, with improvements over the standard version including two windshield cranks, more gauges, a dome light, sun visors, dual windshield wipers, a rearview mirror, a glove box, and other niceties. All Diamond T 80s left the factory cloaked in red, with green accents and flashy chrome trim. The green parts truck was repainted, possibly to match the livery of some long-ago business.

Ok, the front bumper is dancing the Mambo, and maybe the grille got in on the action too. The sheet metal has dents throughout as well as rust along the bottom of one door; the parts truck appears to be missing its doors completely. Still, a dedicated restorer – with a really big shop – could end up with a Diamond T Model 80 that looks like this, valued in the mid-five figures. To reach that point, though, I think this seller will need to consider a discount. What do you think it will take to find this pair a new garage?


  1. Howard A Member


    Like 9
  2. Chris Cornetto

    Never seen one of these but look at him. He looks like one of those old guys. Yup, My great grand pappy, General Beauregard Frigderata fought in in the big one, and now you plastic wiz kids zip by like your something…. Vehicles had such personalities long ago. This fella is really cool.

    Like 10
  3. Brian

    One of the rarest trucks with the coolest lines ever built, just look at that dash. Cab looks like it was chopped from the factory. This truck is AMAZING.
    Side note- the doors for the second truck are laying on the bed of it.

    Like 7
  4. RexFox Member

    This Diamond T somewhat resembles an REO Speedwagon. I know the two companies merged in the 60s, but I wonder if there was a connection beforehand?

    Like 0
    • Rallye Member

      DT and REO were separate companies that were individually purchased by White. Diamond Reos were built under White ownership.

      Like 2
  5. Rallye Member

    I have a thing for DTs. I’ve never seen one with split windshields and only one crank to open them or it?

    I hope neither of these trucks “could end up with a Diamond T Model 80 that looks like this”. Besides the smooth, glossy paint, I think this one is weird with the stock wheels in front and some wide chrome in the rear.

    The green one is a curiosity! Strange roof for a pick up! I wonder what the body was?

    Like 1
  6. Brocky

    There were 4700 Model 80’s built from 1936 to mid 1938 when it was replaced with the Model 201 one ton truck.. He says “Deluxe cab” and the dash is with the clock and cigar lighter, but it is missing the “Banjo” horn ring on the steering wheel. My 1949 DT 201, 7000 made thru 1949 and about 400+ known it exist, has a data plate which says it weighs 3850 with a gross of 8000!! That is 2 tons in my math. 9 leaves in the front springs and 13 in the rear.

    Like 0
  7. dogwater

    Sorry days gone buy this will take a pile of money to restore not worth it

    Like 0
  8. Brocky

    From what I can see of the green one it looks like it has a dairy or bakery delivery body on it.. There was a 201 with a dairy delivery body on it at ATHS Harrisonburg VA National Show.

    Like 1
  9. ACZ

    Always liked the looks of a Diamond T. An Aunt of mine worked for them.

    Like 0
  10. JohnfromSC

    The first one looks very solid with no rust through plus good floors and dash.. At $20K or less there is room for bodywork, rechroming and more. I actually like these more than the 1 ton brutes that followed. I always think of the International D2 ( see 1937 recently posted) as the little brother of these. Wish I had the drive to take this one on, but too many far more midest projects already.

    Like 3
  11. Paul

    Maybe this will make y’all mad, but i hope not. I would do all I could to restore the 1st one, then take the shell of the 2nd to do a super high end restomod.. I think a hot rod truck with this body style would be cool. re

    Like 2
  12. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    When was the last time we saw these two ?

    Like 1
  13. geomechs geomechs Member

    Nice unit, but then ALL Diamond T pickups are nice units. I say fix them both but don’t modify. They’re too few and far between to butcher up. The average person might want to go from the straight-cut crashbox to something like a T-98 that will practically bolt right in. Myself I have no problem with a crashbox but I have had a lot of hours shifting a T-9. But I field calls from customers on a daily basis who want to know how to shift a T-9, or ultimately, how to replace the T-9 with a T-98. Surprised that no one has asked me how to install an automatic…

    Like 7
  14. Aussie Dave Aussie Dave Member

    I haven’t seen a Dimond T in decades, yes we got them over here.
    I would love to have this girl.
    Btw what’s the optional granny gear?

    Like 2
    • Howard A Member

      The term “granny gear” refers to the transmission with a very low 1st gear, also called a “compound low”.

      Like 1
      • Aussie Dave Aussie Dave Member

        Thank you, I’ve learned something.
        I had no idea what it meant, but knew it had nothing to do with “Angel” gear.

        Like 1
    • Rallye Member

      “Angel” gear
      My only guess is that it’s like Georgia overdrive.

      Like 0
  15. numskal Member

    I agree with Paul, save the first one and restorod the second one with what’s left……I’m usually a save’em all guy but that makes 2 Diamond’s more than there are now

    Like 1
  16. hemistroker

    I am soo glad these are all the way across the country, if they had been in the southeast I’d probably be in the beginnings of a divorce if I could get the price down to a reasonable number.

    Like 0

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