Diamond T Tanker

1929 Diamond T Model T4D 1.5-Ton Tanker

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 13, 2022

Photo – Mecum

Diamond T built some beautiful trucks in the 1930s and ’40s. But the company was actually founded by C.A. Tilt in 1905, back when things were more… functional. This is the earliest Diamond T we’ve featured.

At the end of the 1920s, trucks were big, heavy, slow, and purposeful. Styling hadn’t entered the arena yet. This tanker truck is powered by a Hercules 4.1-liter inline-four paired with a four-speed transmission. In thinking about why this truck survived scrap drives during WWII, I’d guess it was used as a water truck on a farm or something where it was relied upon.

This truck was part of the Hays Antique Truck Museum, which Mecum liquidated earlier this year. So why is it back at auction (and with the same pics)? Either it didn’t sell, it got pulled from the catalog at the last second, or the winning bidder flaked. In any event, glad it’s back so we could feature it this time around. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold, Mecum East Moline 2022, $22,000.

Diamond T COE

1956 Diamond T 931C COE

Offered by Mecum | East Moline, Illinois | November 11, 2021

Photo – Mecum

COEs were seemingly everywhere even 30 years ago. Now seeing one on the road is kind of a treat, but in the 1970s they were much more commonplace. The cab-over-engine design is still popular in Europe, but different laws in the U.S. make them less appealing today than they were 40 or 50 years ago.

Something I find interesting about older semis is that it can be hard to pin down a year (or range of years) of manufacture. Trucks were generally in use until they were no longer functional. So some of the trucks you saw on the highway in the 1990s may very well have been produced in the 1970s, ’60s, or even earlier.

Diamond T is perhaps best well-known for its beautiful Art Deco pickup trucks of the 1930s and ’40s. But they were also building heavier trucks for commercial and military use. This 1956 COE model is said to have a “262 engine,” which I think means a 12.2-liter Cummins turbodiesel.

It’s one of the tallest COEs of its day and is well restored. It’s being sold on behalf of the American Truck Historical Society. You can read more about it here and see more from Mecum here.

Update: Sold $18,700.

Diamond T 201

1941 Diamond T 201

Offered by Mecum | Glendale, Arizona | March 18-20, 2021

Photo – Mecum

The Diamond T 201 is probably the most beautiful Art Deco pickup truck ever built and is definitely the best-looking pre-war pickup. But doesn’t it look pretty beefy for a pickup? It looks much more heavy-duty than it’s GM or Ford counterparts.

The Diamond T Motor Car Company was founded in Chicago in 1905 by C.A. Tilt. They were always a truck company, even though they dabbled in SUVs for a hot second. In 1958, they were acquired by White, who merged them with Reo in 1967 to form Diamond Reo, which stopped manufacturing trucks in 2010.

The 201 went on sale in 1938 and was a 1-ton truck, the equivalent of a Chevrolet 3800. Production continued through 1949, and when it went out of production, Diamond T turned to heavy trucks only (though there were some half-ton models offered through 1951. Power is from a 3.9-liter Hercules inline-six rated at 91 horsepower.

This one has been restored and features a polished oak bed floor. It’s a beautiful truck with a dashboard worthy of the finest luxury cars of the day. Who said luxury pickups were a new thing? Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $55,000.

Diamond T Woody

1945 Diamond T Woody Wagon

Offered by Mecum | Indianapolis, Indiana | May 16, 2018

Photo – Mecum

Diamond T are primarily known for their trucks. Founded in 1905, Diamond T specialized in heavy trucks and continued producing things like semi-tractors until 1967 when they merged with the Reo Motor Company to become Diamond Reo.

They also produced some lighter duty pickup trucks. The Model 85, and more so the Model 201. were beautiful Art Deco pickups available from the mid-1930s through 1949. But the vehicle above is not a pickup truck. It’s a woody wagon and Diamond T only built three of them. The first was built in 1938, the last was built in 1946. And in 1945 they built this one for company founder C.A. Tilt.

This car has script on it that says “Diamond Traveler” so that’s probably what they called it, but it never made it to production. It’s powered by a Continental straight-four engine and features a three-speed manual transmission. Of the three distinct Diamond T wagon prototypes built, this is the only one known to still exist. Expertly restored, it should bring between $45,000-$65,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Mecum.

Update: Sold $30,800.

May 2015 Auction Highlights, Pt I

First up in the month of May, Bonhams’ all-Aston Martin sale where a previously featured DB7 V12 Prototype sold here again, this time for $35,612. The top sale was this 1966 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible restored to Vantage specification that sold for $2,360,784.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Our featured DB4 Vantage Convertible was right behind it at $2,332,827. The DB6 Volante failed to sell. Check out complete results here.

Auctions America’s Auburn Spring sale had our featured Ford GTX1 atop the sales leader board, selling for $330,000. Interesting sales were definitely topped by this 1939 Diamond T truck with a really cool beverage trailer.

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

This sale had some bargains, too – check them out here. Brightwells held a sale in May, as well. Our featured Frazer Nash was easily the top seller at $337,550. Interesting sales included this 2000 Daewoo Musiro Concept car. It doesn’t have an engine, but it did sell for $1,250.

Photo - Brightwells

Photo – Brightwells

One of our feature cars didn’t sell, the H.E. Tourer, but the Dare DZ brought $15,385. Click here for full results.

Mecum’s annual Indianapolis sale always features some big time muscle cars. Unfortunately, our featured low-mileage Hemi Cuda failed to sell. The top sale was a different muscle car: a ’67 Shelby 427 Cobra for a cool $1,000,000.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Our featured Lightweight Mustang Prototype brought $130,000. Click here for full results. The Veritas from Coys’ Ascot sale brought $263,700 while the Fiat sold for $63,500. Full results can be found here.

May 2013 Auction Highlights

May had a number of sales in it, first among them was Bonhams’ Collector’s Motor Cars and Automobilia sale in Hendon. The top sale was this 1956 Bentley S1 Continental by Mulliner for $426,066.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Our featured Ansaldo and Bianchi failed to sell. Our featured OSI-Ford brought $29,029 and the Ferrari 612 Sessanta $153,309. The coolest non-feature car was this 1949 Bentley Mk VI Countryman Shooting Brake by Harold Radford. It sold for $89,836. Check out full results here.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Worldwide Auctioneers held their annual Houston sale in April and our featured Hupmobile brought $66,000. Top sale was a 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda for a very strong $489,500. You’ll have to check out full results on your own.

Next up was RM’s Monaco sale, where our featured Ferrari 275 GTB/C for $7,860,283. All five of the classic F1 cars we featured ended up selling, with the Brabham-Repco topping this list at $1,502,701. The Ferrari F1-89 brought $847,678. The Renault beat its estimate for $315,953. The Hesketh missed its estimate for $385,308. And the Tyrrell went for $246,597. The Bentley R-Type Fastback sold for $963,270. Ferraris dominated, the second-biggest sale was this 1969 250 GT Cabriolet Series I by Pinin Farina for $6,473,174.

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

Our other featured Ferraris all fared fairly well, except the 575 GTZ, which failed to sell. The 599 SA Aperta killed it, selling for $955,564. And the 575 Superamerica brought $300,540. The Maserati 450S failed to sell, as did the Aston Martin AMR1. Our featured Bizzarrini brought $755,204. The Porsche 959 Prototype sold for $655,024 while this 1956 Porsche 356 A Carrera 1500 GS Speedster by Reutter went for what, if it isn’t, has to to be close to a record for a 356: $1,155,924.

Photo - RM Auctions

Photo – RM Auctions

The Mirage M12 sold for way below its estimate: $115,592. The Lister-Jaguar “Knobbly” went for $1,618,294. And last but not least, the Alpine M64 sold for $431,545. Whew. We featured a lot of cars from this sale, but it was pretty awesome. You should check out the full results here.

Now onto another Bonhams sale: the estate of Ralph W.E. Cox Jr. in Cape May, New Jersey. The top sale was our featured Premier Racebout for $143,000 – way more than the top end of the estimate. The Ford Model AC sold for $88,000 and the Waltham Buckboard $12,320. Those are essentially the highlights, car-wise, but this 1929 Savoia-Marchetti S-56 is pretty cool and it brought $100,000. Check out full results here.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

Motostalgia’s sale in Houston in conjunction with the Keels & Wheels Concours d’Elegance featured a Duesenberg that we had featured previously. But it failed to sell. The top sale there was this 1955 Porsche 356 Pre-A Cabriolet Continental for $335,500. You can check out full results here.

Photo - Motostalgia

Photo – Motostalgia

Coys’ Monaco sale saw all four of our feature cars sell. The Autobianchi Jolly brought $72,730. And the MCA’s went a follows: Rascasse V12 – $114,560; ALA50 –  $135,500; Centenaire – $211,200. See complete results here.

Next up, Auctions America’s annual Auburn Spring sale at their headquarters in Indiana. The top sale here was this awesome 1934 Chrysler Custom Imperial Airflow for $213,400.

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

Our featured Frazer Manhattan sold for $27,500. “Biggest Boat” award goes to this beautiful 1957 Mercury Monarch Turnpike Cruiser Two-Door Hardtop for $51,700. Check out full results here.

Photo - Auctions America

Photo – Auctions America

And back to Bonhams: their amazing all-Aston Martin (and Lagonda) sale. This thing is crazy lucrative for Bonhams with nearly everything selling (of course, our featured Lagonda Prototype didn’t). And selling for a lot. In total, 43 cars sold and all but five of those were six-figure dollar amounts. Four sold for less than $100,000 and the top seller was this 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mk 2 Volante for $1,273,284. What an event. Click here for full results.

Photo - Bonhams

Photo – Bonhams

And then more from Bonhams, who had a very active month. Their Spa Classic sale featured some really nice cars – the most expensive of which turned out to be our featured Ferrari 308 rally car for $835,163. The Hommell we featured did not sell. Check out full results here.

The biggest seller at  Mecum’s annual Spring Classic in Indianapolis was a 1963 Shelby Cobra 289 for $885,000.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

We featured three cars from this sale and somehow they all ended up being drag cars from the 1960s. Neither of the Mercurys sold, but the Pontiac Catalina was this sale’s #2 seller at $530,000. Interesting vehicles were topped by this beautiful 1937 Diamond T Model 201 Deluxe Cab pickup for $58,000. Check out full results on Mecum’s website.

Photo - Mecum

Photo – Mecum

Finally, the biggest sale Silverstone’s May Sale was this 1971 Ferrari Dino 246 GT for $421,000-ish.

Photo - Silverstone Auctions

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

We didn’t get to feature a car from this sale, but you can check out full results here.

Barrett-Jackson: First Half Highlights

Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale, Arizona auction is so massive, packed with over 1,000 cars. They roll cars across the stage and hammer them sold starting on a Tuesday and go every day through Sunday. The big cars (like they ones we’ve featured from them) usually go Friday, Saturday, and (to a lesser extent) Sunday. But there are still hundreds of interesting cars that more or less go unnoticed on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The shadow of million dollar concept cars and ultra-rare muscle cars blots out the shiny patina on the cars of the first half of the auction week. So we present some of the more interesting standouts from the first three days.

First up is this 1981 Pontiac that was used on NASCAR’s road courses in the 1980s. It is a race-winning car having been raced by Tim Richmond, Morgan Shepherd, Richard Petty, and Al Unser Sr. Valvoline-liveried cars have always looked great and with this car’s history (and the fact that it is still being used in historic racing) makes the $25,300 (with buyer’s commission) purchase price seem worth it.

Above is a 1968 Ford Mustang High Country Special – 1 of 251. The High Country Special was essentially a California Special but sold in Colorado. Basically a trim and appearance package and in this case it didn’t do anything for the price, selling for $13,750.

There were also a number of itty-bitty microcars for sale in the first three days. There was a Vepsa 400, some Isettas, and this 1959 Goggomobil TS-250 Coupe. This car is in original condition with a 247cc two-stroke engine that will take this car up to 50 mph. It brought $27,500.

We featured a ’71 Ford Torino GT from Mecum’s Kissimmee auction (which we’ll run down in the next week or so). This is a 1971 Ford Torino GT Convertible and it is awesome. Torinos don’t get the same muscle car love that Mustangs, Mopars and Chevelles get but this might have just become my favorite-looking muscle car. Maybe it’s because I’ve overlooked it for so long – so it looks fresh, but I want it. Too bad I don’t have $37,400 to throw down for it.

One of my other favorites is the 1998 Panoz A.I.V. Roadster. The A.I.V. (Aluminum Intensive Vehicle) was the “new” version of the Panoz Roadster. It features a 4.6 liter Ford V8 making 305 horsepower. It only weighed 2,500 lbs. Plymouth stuffed a V6 in the Prowler. I think of this car as having the performance the Prowler should have. Not necessarily the car the Prowler should have been (the styling of that thing is pretty good). But so is this. It just looks like a blast to drive. Could have been yours for $49,500.

Here’s something you don’t see everyday: a 1968 Mitsubishi J23A Japanese Military Jeep. Actually, you don’t see many 1968 Mitsubishi’s period or any pre-1970 for that matter. Foreign military vehicles are something that don’t appear at American auctions all too often so this would have been an excellent time to pick one up. And for $7,150, you could hardly afford not to.

There were a number of other pre-1970 Japanese classics available. When new, Japanese cars were never perceived as being future classics. Well, that attitude made pristine examples 40 years later relatively hard to find. And restoring a $7,000 car isn’t exactly solid economics. My favorite was this 1972 Datsun 510 Wagon (I like wagons). I should have grabbed it for the $8,525 it sold for.

There are customs-o-plenty at Barrett-Jackson: resto-mods, resto-rods, other things that start with “resto” and rhyme with “mods.” And then there are insane customs. Like this “Hot Rod Hearse:”

If it entered production, I imagine the slogan would be something along the lines of “Be The First Person  to the Graveyard!” It’s pretty crazy but unfortunately it is not street legal. It sold for $17,600.

Classic trucks are becoming quite collectible and auction houses realize this and try and grab the best of them to offer. One make you can never go wrong with is Diamond T. They made mostly commercial trucks but also produced a few pickups for “regular people.” They’re among the best-looking old-school trucks you can buy. Like this 1949 201 that sold for $51,700:

And finally, from the Fun File is this 1931 Ford Model AA Tanker. In Texaco livery, it would make a great static display parked near historic pumps or other automobilia. It’s quite rare but, nevertheless, I recommend driving it – it only cost $44,000.

For complete results, click here.