The Story of the Diamond T Truck

Imagine seeing this going by.
November 9, 2023  
Categories: Lifestyle
Winslow Bent is the founder of the legacy classic trucks that have made him a business by restoring great vintage trucks like the 921 Series Diamond T. The 1951 Diamond T Truck that is discussed in this was manufactured in 1951. Here’s how they describe the truck.

1951 Diamond T Truck with pine trees and a snowy hill in the background.

The Diamond T Truck in all of its glory.

For years, Legacy Classic Trucks Founder Winslow Bent has made a business out of finding and restoring the great vintage trucks that did the tough, dirty jobs that caused the Great Western Expansion possible. With a particular affinity for old-school Power Wagons from the 1930s and ’40s, Legacy Classic Trucks has restored World War II military trucks, heavy logging rigs, ambulances, dam builders, fire engines, and many other historic vehicles. Legacy Classic Trucks’ passion is restoring the hardworking, often abandoned trucks that deserve to be brought back to life with modern-day modifications. Legacy’s goal is to get these pieces of moving history back on the road where the trucks can be enjoyed.

Close up of the Diamond T logo at the front of the truck.

The emblem of the Diamond T Company, now Diamond Reo Trucks Division of the White Motor Company.

“Growing up in Chicago, Diamond T is a company that is near and dear to my heart. In fact, Diamond T was the only major auto manufacturer located in Chicago, Illinois,” comments Legacy Classic Trucks Founder Winslow Bent. “The Diamond T was incredibly ahead of its time. The trucks were known for their rugged, do it all and more power, durability, and a brutish yet oddly refined presence that was unlike anything else on the road or off it. I had never driven a Diamond T before and wanted to experience the truck to see if it might make for a new restoration series at Legacy Classic Trucks. What a drive, just amazing, and the story behind the 921 Diamond T was just as special.”
The front of the Diamond T.

 Look at the Diamond T Model 921 cruise down the road.

’51 620H Diamond T Truck from Go Heartland. Photography by Joel Randall.

Bent came across the 1951 921 Diamond T, which Holst Truck Parts owns, in Ucon, Idaho. The Holst Family inherited the 921 Diamond T from a house mover and truck enthusiast named Reid Lemons, who recovered the rig from a ditch bank while he was on a house moving job. Realizing the full potential of the abandoned Diamond T, the house hauling specialist restored the 1951 921. Just before passing away, Lemons left the truck to the Holst Truck Parts Family. Mike Holts completed work on the 921 to get the rig ready for modern-day hauling.
Two men standing next to the Diamond T Truck.

 The size comparison between the truck and Legacy Classic Truck’s founder, Winslow Bent.

Go Heartland's 1951 Model 620H Diamond T.

Photography of the 620 model by Joel Randall.

Initially, these 921 series were equipped with four- or six-cylinder engines, but this rig currently features a bus motor with an 8.3-liter Cummins C Series diesel engine paired with a 4-speed automatic and a 3-speed browning auxiliary transmission good for 250 horsepower. Historically, many Diamond T trucks were powered by Cummins. Outfitted with a front and rear air suspension, the Diamond T is the perfect heavy-duty vintage truck for hauling light to heavy loads, all in a super comfortable cruiser of a truck that can hit 70 mph.
The port side of Legacy Classic Truck's 1951 Diamond T.

Look at how cool the engine doors open up.

Dubbed the “Cadillac of Trucks” 48 years before the 1999 debut of Escalade, the company was founded in 1905 by C.A. Tilt in Chicago. Diamond initially made four-cylinder cars, then transitioned to light to heavy-duty trucks and military vehicles powered by Continental, Hercules, and Buda engines. In 1940, Diamond T introduced a series of powerful six-cylinder gas and diesel engines good for up to 118 hp alongside a 200 hp Cummins. During World War II, the company specialized in building tank transporters that often featured a low gear 185-hp DFXE diesel engine that could haul up to 115,000 pounds. Other vehicles included cargo, wreckers, and dump trucks.
The 921 Series Diamond T emblem.

The model of the 921 Series Diamond T.

The 1951 921 Series Diamond T features a striking two-tone paint scheme exterior with a firetruck red shade at the bottom half of the truck as a bright white wraps the extended cab. Big, loud, and brash, the 921 Series Diamond T retains its high quality original interior.
The starboard side of the truck.

The Diamond T pickup truck is a flatbed.

Right side of the 1951 Diamond T Truck.

Photography by Joel Randall.

To see Legacy Classic Trucks drive the ‘imperfectly perfect’ Diamond T through a controlled fire burn while tackling the scenic mountain roads of Jackson Hole, visit Legacy Classic Trucks’ new YouTube Channel, This Old Truck, at
We think it could be a decent gun truck and a solid technical vehicle. Especially since the Diamond T 980 model was used as a tank tractor during the second World War. But what do you think? Could this make a good technical vehicle for the astute warlord?

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