For Sale: 1937 Diamond T Model 80 in Saint Louis, Missouri


Vehicle Description

Diamond T was founded in 1905 by C.A. Tilt, the son of a Chicago shoemaker. The company saw moderate success building a range of fairly conventional automobiles, but a customer’s request for a truck in 1911 led Diamond T to transition to commercial truck production as it proved to be a much more profitable venture. The company grew to become one of Mack’s biggest competitors, particularly in the pre-war era, and nearly a quarter million Diamond Ts were built over their 56 year history. The famous Diamond T logo is said to have come from the elder Tilt, who stitched the letter T into a piece of leather, surrounded by a diamond – a symbol of quality. C.A. Tilt not only adapted the logo for his vehicles, he also ensured they lived up to the level of quality the diamond suggested. Diamond T was often referred to as “the Cadillac of trucks” for their exceptional build quality as well as their uncommonly sophisticated style. Tilt himself is credited with saying on multiple occasions, “A truck does not have to be homely” and he certainly ensured that with his machines – which incidentally include the almost mythical, highly advanced Doodlebug Texaco tanker – which are always high on style and quality. The company’s best years came in the 1930s when sales for heavy trucks were quite robust. Enjoying a wave of success, a light-duty pickup truck was added to the range to compete with similar offerings from Reo, International, and of course, Mack. The Diamond T Model 80 of 1936 was more substantial than a Ford or Chevrolet, but was far more accessible thank a full-sized heavy truck. Of course, it was also quite handsome with a bold radiator grille, curvaceous fenders and an aggressively laid-back windscreen. In spite of being the junior model, the Model 80 was still quite large and could be had in single or dual rear wheel ¾ ton configuration. While it was big, it was well proportioned which help mask its size and give it a very car-like appearance on the road. Fans of heavy trucks and pre-war classics alike will appreciate the Model 80 for its appealing style and exceptional rarity. This Model 80 pickup has been fully restored to a standard rarely seen on this type of vehicle. Quite often, trucks of this nature are given more industrial-level restorations; however, this fabulous Diamond T is very much the exception. It has been fully restored to a very high standard with excellent quality paintwork, precise fit and finish and gorgeous chrome. While this was considered a “mid-sized” truck for its day, it is still a substantial machine, and when finished in this striking shade of bright red with a bold green stripe, makes quite a statement. The paint quality is gorgeous, with crisp clean reflections on the sweeping fenders. Massive 20” wheels (dual in the rear) are painted in matching red with silver rims and wrapped in period appropriate tires. Very good quality chrome adorns the bumpers, grille, and minimal body trim. The large and deep cargo bed features nicely refinished wood planks. The cabin has been fantastically restored to beautiful condition yet remains true to original. Heavy duty green upholstery and rubber floor mats remind you this is still a truck meant for work, while the two-tone green and cream instrument panel add a touch of class. A full complement of chrome rimmed gauges appears to be in very good order, and the large steering wheel presents nicely, though does show a few cracks. The raked-back split windscreen opens independently for driver and passenger to provide a bit of comfort in an otherwise workmanlike cab. Beneath that long hood is a QX-series inline six sourced from Hercules engines of Canton, Ohio. The big flathead six runs well and is very well detailed in industrial gray with gloss black accessories and proper wire-type hose clamps. The Model 80 was in production for only a short period of time, from mid-1936 to mid-1938 and it is not known exactly how many were produced, though enthusiasts estimate it to be only a few thousand examples, with only a fraction of that surviving the rigors of daily abuse. We are confident that few of the survivors have been treated to such a high quality and visually stunning restoration as this. Rare, stylish and very unusual, this fabulous Diamond T Model 80 makes a bold statement from the moment you first see it.

Vehicle Details

  • Listing ID:CC-909679
  • Year:1937
  • Make:Diamond T
  • Model:Model 80
  • Exterior Color:Red
  • Interior Color:Green
  • Odometer:0
  • Stock Number:5695