Diamond in the rough – the lucky survivor

A picture is worth a thousand words. These images give a good indication of the deterioration of the ’38 over the past 80 years and the damage sustained to both front and rear. There are definitely a number of challenges ahead.

On a positive note, the tanker has survived! Unlike 99.99% of its fellow streamlined fleet, the Diamond T has avoided the scrap yard crusher and is waiting to shine once again.

A lucky survivor indeed!


We are fortunate to have such an original, and mostly complete, example to work with. The driver’s door, while missing from the photo, is still with the truck but minus the hinges. Surviving components includes the engine and trans, the four fuel tank compartments, the fuel distribution and dispensing units, the serial number plates 0f the manufacturers and luckily, most of the original lettering.


The fuel distribution unit sits in its own locker compartment behind the right rear wheel. All the locker floors have rusted out and will need to be fabricated. The rear bumper is with the truck but in a very poor condition.


Once repairs and panel work have been completed, the rear trunk / boot lid will eventually lift up as it would in a car. The trunk lid has suffered a very hard hit and, along with the back of the tank body, is extensively damaged.


A view of the rear hatch / trunk. Positioned across the badly rusted floor are upright extended bolts which we suspect may have secured wooden slats on top of the steel floor. There are remnants of wood in other locker compartments as well. Can anyone shed any light on this please? Are there any family members of drivers, or people who saw these in the forties or fifties, who recall if timber lined the floors of these trunks and lockers?


The dash is reasonably complete and both split windscreen winder handles are present.


The chrome work on the ‘38 model runs along the bonnet / hood side and continues around to join up with the corresponding strips on the grille as visible in the next image. There isn’t much left of the bonnet side directly above the chrome work! We have the Diamond T badges that adorn each side safely put away awaiting restoration.


Another view of the ’38 Texaco tanker. More parts that are with the tanker but not attached are the right outer rear guard and two locker doors. There is further panel damage on the inner rear guard around the forward locker area.


The Heil Co manufactured the streamlined tank. The ID plate is attached inside the right rear locker and is positioned to the right of the fuel distribution unit. Heil also produced these tanks for the Dodge Airflows, as did other manufacturers.


The stainless steel grille has survived well with the exception of the lower apron which looks like it has been ripped open with a can opener! We are yet to confirm whether the license plate was actually used on the tanker or not.





A few words of thanks before we begin….


Restoration on the tank has begun – Update # 1


  1. Dennis Gooch

    Thanks for sharing with us your project, an amazing Texaco Tanker . Will look stunning when restored ..

    • Sue Keys

      Thanks for your interest Dennis. It sure is going to be a great project.

  2. John Bevin

    Hi Steve and Sue
    I restored the Texco for Bill richardson .I can help with details that you are not sure about,The dodge Tank was built by Gar woods but the tank looks the same as yours.Also there was another Dimond T that never made it into the musuem it was stored in a shed beside my workshop from memory it was very tidy . there are two Dimond Ts in the musuem.I have photos of all thre trucks.Will send when i find photos

    • Sue Keys

      Hi John.
      Thanks for making contact. We would very much appreciate that and will get in touch to discuss some of the details. Would also love to see the photos. Thanks again, Steve & Sue.

  3. hi mate
    looks better now than when it was sitting in our warehouse .

    enjoy the winter nites it keep you warm working on it

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