6 Diamond T Trucks you need to know about

23rd May 2020

If you haven’t heard of the old American truck make, the 'Diamond T', then we think you might be missing out! Don’t worry though the team at Transport World is on hand to share the joy that these old Diamond Ts bring.

Bill Richardson was a fan and collected six Diamond T trucks during his lifetime. Five are currently on display in Invercargill at Bill Richardson Transport World and one is stored away awaiting restoration.

Way back in 1905 - when automobiles were just beginning to make an appearance - Charles Arthur Tilt of Chicago, USA made the first Diamond T vehicles. He began with cars but ultimately became well-known for his beautiful trucks. Tilt had a vision and wanted people to think of class and quality when they thought of Diamond T - certainly not the usual mission statement for truck brands! In 1927-28 Tilt designed stylish medium and heavy duty trucks that sold out consistently, despite the depression. They were marketed as the "World's Handsomest Motor Trucks”. Handsome they are. The 1930-50s were the heyday of Diamond T trucks.

1937 Diamond T 221D

The oldest of the bunch, this polished truck with its curved grille and sleek lines was a beloved sight around Christchurch. It was owned by W. J. Scott, a truck wrecker, from 1937-1962.

1939 Diamond T 201

This truck has striking lines extending from its distinctive grille to the branding on the side of the bonnet. It has a special place in Transport World’s history as it was originally bought by Bill Richardson's grandfather for his building business.

Three 1939 Diamond T 404s!

The Diamond T 404 was a step up in style and size from the 201. We have three 404s - Bill absolutely loved them. Our restored blue Diamond T’s colour scheme was copied from this Diamond T brochure which Bill had collected when he was a child.

1954 Diamond T 522HH

This truck was used for hardy work that contradicts its polished and beautiful exterior. It survived a sawmiller’s fire the year after it was made and was restored in 1997 to its former glory.

Every Diamond T truck has a history and people who drove and loved them. Unfortunately the Diamond T brand has all but been forgotten. The Diamond T class and quality lives on in the handsome examples at Bill Richardson Transport World. There is something really special about these trucks from a bygone era.