A few words of thanks before we begin….

Before we begin the actual restoration work on this project, there are a number of people who have contributed up to this point to make this all possible so we would like to acknowledge and thank the following:

  • Hamish Stroud who originally purchased the tanker truck from the East Coast, USA.
  • Duane Jones from the California Roadster Company who mobilised and transported the tanker to the shipper’s yard in CA.
  • Steve Curle, Craig Robb and the team at Kiwi Shipping in CA, USA who stored and then freighted the tanker to New Zealand.
  • Peter and Yvonne Phillips who purchased the tanker in CA back in 2013, and then imported it into NZ. We are extremely grateful to Peter and Yvonne for allowing us the opportunity this year to pick up and run with the project which they had the vision to undertake.
  • Tom Andrews from the Classics Museum in Hamilton, NZ for his ongoing positivity and enthusiasm about the restoration. As always, Tom has been exceptionally supportive and generous with his time and advice.
  • Ian (Kermit) Armstrong for his help with retrieving and collecting parts for the project.
  • Bryan Belcher for his vast knowledge of Diamond T’s, trucks and vehicles in general, and his ongoing help.
  • Our son, Mitch Keys, from Electric Creative Ltd for his patience in helping us with modern-day technology :-), for creating this blog and for his continual support and contribution on every project we undertake.         www.electricdesigns.co.nz


Diamond in the rough – the lucky survivor


  1. Richard & Keiron Adlington

    Congrats to you guys, how exciting, looking forward to the progress of your wonderful project

    • Sue Keys

      Thanks so much Richard & Keiron. We hope you come by and see the tanker sometime. Steve & Sue.

  2. Mark Barton

    Excellent guys. Really excited for you and I am only a phone call away if you need some help

    • Sue Keys

      Thanks for the kind offer Mark. Hope to show you the tanker sometime soon. Steve & Sue.

  3. Congrats on sourcing such a rare find and looking forward to following the progress. Ian & Anne McNeill

    • Sue Keys

      Thanks so much Ian & Anne. We can’t wait to start the restoration. Steve & Sue.

  4. Tony Johnson

    Steve, this is so damn exciting. It’s almost unbelievable that you could find something that so ideally combines your passion for vintage and historic motor vehicles and your boundless love for antique petrol collectables. It’s perfect for you, and you’re the perfect guy for the project, as you’ll make it happen, and you’ll do it properly. Sue, great job on recording the project for all of us – well done and thanks. This is truly an awesome venture!

    • Sue Keys

      Tony, thanks for your comments, and your support and enthusiasm. This project certainly ticks all the boxes. Steve & Sue.

  5. Ian Hodgson

    Yo, saw this on face book and did not make the conection. Love to stop by and have a look.

  6. Greg Stokes & Tania Foster

    Steve & Sue, thank you for sharing the restoration project of a rare and intriguing vehicle which has wide appeal across the special interest vehicle demographic. If your previous projects and endeavours are anything to go by then this will be a very special end result. If I can be of any assistance please do not hesitate to make contact.

    • Sue Keys

      Thanks Greg & Tania for your words of support and offer of help. Cheers, Steve & Sue.

  7. Trev Woodham

    Nice to meet you both at the swapmeet in Hamilton today…enjoyed chatting to you both. All the best with this project…I look forward to following it. Cheers…Trev.

    • Sue Keys

      Great meeting you today Trev. Thanks for your interest in the project. Cheers, Steve & Sue.

  8. Roy and Tania Rawson

    Well done to you both . As everything you both do Steve and Sue. You will do justice to this restoration and sure it will be as good as if not better than it was new. Best of luck with the project. If I can help in anyway please let me know . Would be happy to fly up for the odd week. This will be a very special truck. All the best . Roy and Tania

    • Sue Keys

      Thanks for your support, Roy & Tania, and your kind offer. Will catch up soon. Cheers, Steve & Sue.

  9. Peter Tomkies

    Looking forward to following your well documented project. Cheers Peter T

  10. Bob Ballantyne

    Hi I was pleased to purchase the steering boxes right drive & steering wheel at the transport & panel shop auction Last December in Whangarei they had been purchased at auction by a scrap steel dealer. I purchased them to save from Scrap steel Skip Then I found out this project was missing a steering wheel Sue & Steve are lucky I stopped the wheel going in the skip

    • Sue Keys

      We sure are Bob. Scary stuff when rare parts are scrapped or thrown out.

  11. My hat’s off to you for attempting a restoration project of this magnitude! As a current Heil employee, I’m delighted to see the interest in having yet another vintage tanker of ours in NZ, after having seen Heil’s “Doodlebug” tanker model several years ago on the Dodge Airflow at the Bill Richardson Transport World Museum in Invercargill. With a proud 117 year history, it’s always rewarding to see that history preserved, especially in a market where the Heil name continues to be a force in the petroleum transport sector. Best of luck!

    • Sue Keys

      Thanks Jeffrey. We are really enjoying researching the history of Heil and Texaco, and studying the workmanship and design of the tank body. It’s great to have one of the team from Heil following the restoration. We hope you enjoy the updates. Steve & Sue.

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