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Redusernab Truck Thursday: A Diamond T in the Rough

Redusernab November 4, 2010 In General 16 Comments

Here’s a bonafide classic that’s not for sale (at least visibly) and probably not even mobile (because I haven’t seen it move in at least 6 years, if not longer).    Another find along a lonely central Kentucky back road, this beautifully wretched Diamond T  just oozes awesome as it clamors for attention, and proves some things just get better with age.

No thanks to my fleeting time and attention, I’ve not had much success finding out more about it (yes, mancard fail, I know) but I’m sure our esteemed crowd of Hoonitarians will soon ID the year and model and specs.  So, have at it!   In the meantime I can tell you this much:  if I had the means to find the owner and make him an offer, I wouldn’t change a single thing about this truck.   It is simply magnificent!   When was the last time you saw an otherwise modern-ish hauler with pontoon teardrop fenders and a clamshell hood?    Not only that, but the roof evokes a chop something fierce.  Keep your cliche ’49 Merc, because this old soldier workaday beast is the real OG.

But it’s the patina that wins it for me.   Sure, the interior is shot and the drivetrain might warrant some tender loving care – if not outright inpatient surgery.    But that stance!  That chopped roof!  That long low pointed pontoon snout!   The rusty edges and fading paint just underscore this truck’s infused gilded class, wrought only by the Old School America we’ve long since scoffed and destroyed.   Indeed, all this thing really needs beyond some DMV appeasement is a modern flat deck… such as a rollback.   Just imagine: would there be anything better to schlep your crusty LeMons car to the circus?

I thought not.

Well, maybe I’d consider brightening the grille again just for the ironic effect, but you get the idea.   They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend; I say make mine metal with a T suffixed on, and watch this hoon swoon.

(Photos: GIC.   Location: near Cambellsville, KY)

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but a “T” makes hoons swoon.

  • OA5599

    At lunch today, I went to a restaurant located in a strip center with an Autozone. When I came back out to my car, I saw a gentleman pulling a bulb out of a turn signal lens, presumably to match it up for a replacement. Nothing too unusual about that, except that his vehicle was, appropriately enough for Truck Thursday, a 1939 Chevrolet pickup.

    I approached him to admire the truck. It is his daily driver. It had a 20-footer paint job, and had been somewhat modernized by the addition of a 283 2bbl, column-shifted auto, and front disc brakes, and apparently turn signals. The owner was probably 60 years old.

    I told him I had long wanted to turn something like that into my daily driver. "Then don't wait any longer; do it!", he responded.

    • The mods aren't to my taste (Turn signals? Really? Some people….) but he still gave you the soundest possible advice.

      • OA5599

        His advice presumes I have fabrication/paint/body skills far beyond my actual abilities and/or enough disposable income to have a comma in the number. I do have a ran when parked Camaro to use as a donor vehicle, though.

        • Details. TexanIdiot is a teenager living the dream… you can too.

    • mechimike

      Don't listen to the nay-sayers, the pragmatics, the goody-too-shoes and the Camry-drivers. You can daily drive ANYTHING. Right now I'm alternating between a '66 Volvo Amazon 4 door and a '67 Amazon Wagon. I paid less than $1000 for each of them.

      • OA5599

        I know a thing or two about relatively older daily drivers.

        The two vehicles I drove to work so far this week were purchased for a combined $550. One is 16 years old with 205,000 on the odometer and the other is 22 years old and has only a 5-digit odometer–probably rolled twice now, but who knows?. A few years ago I was DDing my 75 Eldorado. In college I drove a six pack 70 Challenger, then the tri-power 69 Vette I swapped it for. Has anybody else here ever commuted in a car that got single-digit MPGs?

        But I used to have fewer commitments, more free time, and not so many demands on my paycheck. I haven't found any prewar trucks nearby for under a grand, and the ones less than $2K need another $4K+ to get them transportation-worthy. Of course, driving a 70-year-old truck with either an original anemic engine or a retrofitted newer driveline is going to present a different set of challenges than driving a 400HP musclecar. I can adapt to that when the right truck comes along, but I'm probably going to have to adjust my price/completeness parameters first.

        • taborj

          Of course, driving a 70-year-old truck with either an original anemic engine

          I own a '46 Dodge WC 1/2 ton (not daily driven, at present). It has the original flathead 6 and 3 speed transmission.

          I wouldn't call it anemic by any means. Sure, it basically tops out at 55 or 60mph, but the gearing coupled with the amount of torque it has means it gets out of it's own way. I intend to leave it as-is.

          It'd be faster, but you have to double-clutch into second, which is not ideal for the 0-60 time.

    • zsm

      To crib a catchphrase: "Just do it!"

      <img src="; width="460">

      Here I am leaving for work in my new '67 Volvo and I'm about the clumsiest person I know. I can't explain how happy that day was for me zipping around. There's a few other people telling you to just do it, two of those guys were the ones that pushed me over the edge. If you have some other way to get you to and from work, again, just do it!

      To be fair yesterday reverse gave-up the ghost in the M40, but if you have the mindset that things like that are okay, and it's no big deal since you will be able to fix it, then again, just do it! A nice old pickup definitely has great DD potential.

      Oh and Mike&Mike, that strange round disc, turns-out it's called "Flywheel companion P/N380606-4" some gearboxes had them, some didn't, nobody seems to know why, but a Volvo genius by the name of Fred found it in an old parts catalog. It's medbringare in Swedish, go figure.

      • zsm

        I hope I did not offend you in any way. If so I am sorry. It's just I can't explain how happy I am and I want to sing to everybody: buy an old car. I was more thinking you'd find a decent '60s or '70s truck that somebody was motivated to sell. It's not the same, but maybe close enough. I'm glad there are people like you here that I can learn so much from. My first car purchase was a late '70s Caprice in '96, it did get double digit MPG though.

  • tonyola

    Diamond T trucks were among the best trucks you could buy, and they were beautiful, too. Here's a nicely restored pickup truck for comparison's sake.
    <img src="; width="500/">

    • Damn, that is a good looking pick-up.

    • dmilligan

      That is a very nice rig. I especially like the subtle side pipes.

  • marmer

    They hot-rod them, too.

    <img src=";

  • Smells_Homeless

    While I do appreciate some patina, the extravagant curves of those front fenders calls for paint. Root beer metallic paint, to be specific.

  • newedgeperformance

    Here is a Diamond T, pic taken at JalopyShowdown '09
    ; width="500" height="375" alt="Diamond T" />

  • taborj

    I'm no Diamond T expert (call me when you hit the 39-47 Dodges), but like the Dodge trucks of the era, the key to identifying these things is in the headlight buckets. Specifically, the turn signals, or lack of turns signals on the fenders, and inclusion as part of the headlight bucket. There are probably a half dozen other identifying markers, but this one is the easiest to see to the untrained eye.

    Some Googling tells me this is from the 1946-49 era. Here's a restored one for reference: …

    I'd encourage someone to find the owner and ask them about purchasing it. You may find that they have no particular attachment to it, and simply have never been asked. Who knows, $1000 might take it home.