Diamond T Trucks

A little history

The "T" in the name stands for 'Tilt' from the originators name: Charles Arthur Tilt.

The Diamond T Motor Car Company was founded by Charles Arthur Tilt in Chicago in 1905. The original name given to Diamond T Trucks was "The Nations Freight Car". Originally the company produced cars, but in 1911 the first small truck was produced. Within a few years production shifted to trucks exclusively. During the First World War Diamond was supplier of the Class B "Liberty" trucks to the US Army. During the 1920s styling became an important selling point. The trucks were no longer advertised as "The Nations Freight Car", but as "The Handsomest Truck in America". In the early 1930´s the company supplied a number of 1 and 1½ ton trucks to the US Army.

"A truck doesn't have to be homely," C. A. Tilt always claimed. Due to C. A. Tilt's emphasis on distinctive design, high standards of engineering, driver comfort and protection, Diamond T trucks were selling steadily and at an increasing rate throughout the 1930s. Diamond T closed out 1933, perhaps one of the bleakest years of the Depression, with record sales of 4,139 trucks in the United States, in addition to vehicles for Canada and export markets. By 1935 Diamond T was out selling many rivals of the rate of 2 and 3 to 1including Mack and White. By spring 1942 production was turned over to war production, and from 1940 to 1945 around 50,000 vehicles were produced. A new range was launched in 1947 and by 1951 lighter trucks had been dropped. From then on production was concentrated on heavy-duty trucks.

The Diamond T company was absorbed by White in 1958, and production was moved to the Reo plant in Michigan in 1961. The trucks were re-named Diamond-Reo in 1967 and the company was sold to F.L. Coppaert in 1971. Diamond Reo Trucks Inc., as the company was called, fell into financial problems in 1975 and the company was bought by Osterlund Inc. in Hansbury, Pennsylvania.

The Guild of Automotive Restorers

The Guild is restoring another family heirloom. A 1945 Diamond T Model 201. The client has specified that it be restored to the original condition when purchased by the client's father. This is a picture of the original, and a parts truck.

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1964 GMC Stepside

The Guild of Automotive Restorers

An Owner's Story

by Ron Orr

I have, since my teenage years, been a great fan of the "muscle car". Those years were spent following the BIG THREE North American car manufactures new releases every September. I grew up in the country, so when I saw this 1964 GMC step side truck, in the fall of 2008, with a 350 LT1 corvette engine; I knew I had to have it.

The truck needed some more work to make it completely road worthy. I contacted Paul at The Guild, in the winter of 2010, to have the truck gone over. It was decided at that time that the truck needed a frame off rebuild.

The frame was rebuilt and painted. We added disc brakes to make it easier to drive, plus all new brake lines. The wiring was completely redone and fuse box rebuilt.

A new Flowmaster muffler system was powder coated and installed to give the truck a throaty sound.

We decided on Crager mags for the rims to give it a great look.

The truck had been painted before the rebuild so we did not have to do another paint job.

Right from the start, the staff at The Guild, were very professional in every step of the rebuild. Paul was always easy to contact and because of my living close to the shop I was welcome to drop in any time to see the progress.

I have gone to some car shows and this truck always draws attention. It has won best truck in show for the 60's age group. Thanks to all at The Guild for making my 64 GMC into something that I am proud to own and show.

If anyone would like to contact me about the truck or The Guild, you can email me at ronorr@rogers.com.


1966 Dodge Power Wagon

The Guild of Automotive Restorers

Dodge Power Ram

History

The Dodge Power Wagon was introduced in 1946. It was originally meant to compete with Ford/Marmon-Herrington 4x4 Military trucks such as the Brushbreaker, as well as Military GMC truck applications, but it was the first to be offered directly to the civilian population. It was based on the 3/4-ton Army truck's chassis with a civilian cab and a purpose designed 8-foot cargo box. It had a 126 inch (3,200 mm) wheelbase chassis and featured the 230 cubic-inch flat head six engine, a two-speed transfer case, a 4-speed transmission with a power take off opening which would send power to the front and back of the truck for operating auxiliary equipment and 9.00/16-8 ply tires on 16X6.50 inch 5-stud wheels. In 1961 the 230 was replaced with the 251 cubic-inch flat head six. The nominal one-ton rated Power Wagon's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) was 8,700 pounds. Its maximum payload was 3,000 pounds. Big-block 383 V8 engines became an option starting in 1967. From 1961 to 1971 the body was called the "sweptline," then transitioned to a more modern body image from 1972 through 1980 with varied grilles and paint schemes. In 1975 the 4-wheel drive became full-time with a 2-speed transfer case; this was changed back to part-time 4-wheel drive in 1980 due to the energy crisis. A huge boost in sales followed the 1974 release of the extended "Club Cab," popular with families and camper towing. The 4-door "Crew Cab" was far less common and is quite desirable to collectors for restoration. Utility and function was unmatched by few competing models, as the towing, payload, and snow plowing capacity of the Power Wagon equipped with "Dana 60" 8-lug axles was very popular with municipal and regional road crews.

The Power Wagon was sold through the 1980 model year. A number of engineering and styling improvements were made over the years, but the basic package remained surprisingly constant throughout its life and underwent one last major body change in 1972.

The first light-duty Power Wagons came out in 1957 with the introduction of the W100 and W200 pickups (beginning in 1957 1/2-ton 2WDs were D100s and 4WDs were W100s). These trucks featured conventional cabs and front sheet metal and the cargo boxes used on the 2WD models. Their 4WD mechanical components—axles, transfer cases and transmissions—were sourced from outside manufacturers. Chrysler Corporation owned the New Process Gear Company, the manufacturer of all the transfer cases used in the industry and many of the light-duty truck transmissions.

A one-ton W300 light-duty/civilian type Power Wagon was released in 1958. For the next ten years the Power Wagon lineup consisted of the "military-type" W300M, and the W100, W200, and W300 "civilian-type" Power Wagons. Standard models included pickups and chassis cabs only. 1957 Through 1966, W100 Power Wagon Town Panels and Town Wagons were also standard models. In 1961 a W200 Crew Cab pickup was added to the line.

The two-ton W500 Power Wagon (only a chassis cab was built) was introduced in 1956 as the C3-HW, and lasted through the 1971 model year. This was replaced in 1972 with the W600 (also cab and chassis only), which was produced until 1977, when all Dodge medium-duty models were discontinued. To compensate for the loss of the medium-duty W600 a new W400 chassis cab was introduced in 1977.

The Power Wagon nameplate was discontinued in 1981 with the introduction of the Dodge Ram, with the four-wheel-drive models being sold under the "Power Ram" nameplate through 1993. Early 1990s models saw the addition of an optional 6-cylinder Cummins Turbo Diesel engine.

Background

The Power Wagon came with a set of records that were kept by the first owner, which was the City of Seattle - Department of Lighting. The City of Seattle bought the vehicle on August 4th, 1966 from S.L. Savage for a total cost of $4,170.88. The first in-service was done by the City on September 19, 1966 at 25 miles. The truck had a GVW of 9,500 pounds and came powered by a flat-head, 6 cylinder, 251 cubic inch motor that was rated at 125 horsepower. The truck Model was WM 300.

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