Steve has placed new conduit and wiring throughout the Heil tank and has continued to restore and fit a number of components. Rowan and Nick have finished preparing the cab and some of the panels in readiness for painting. And the time has come to fire up the engine……
The dash centre panel has been beautifully restored in Christchurch by Dylan Orpwood. Steve has had the water pump, gas tank and gearbox reconditioned – all are now back in the Diamond T.
Over recent months, Simon has repaired the front sheet metal of the Diamond T and fabricated new inner door panels. Steve took the opportunity to trial fit the front panels and grille while the cab was still on the chassis.
While researching the history of the Texas Company, my attention was drawn to the Texaco publications, brands and promotions in the 1930s. This led me to compare three Texaco brands of gasoline during that era from different sides of the world. Two were launched in the USA and the third in New Zealand – the brand themes were poles apart but all involved a ‘chief’.
We have used a Hiab to lift the freshly painted Heil tank onto the chassis. Steve has begun fitting the Texaco letters, rails and lights to the tank, and the cab has been positioned for a trial fit.
Off the gun. A paint finishing technique and a phrase I have heard mentioned many times throughout this project. I have now seen first hand what an ‘off the gun’ finish can look like……and it looks stunning!
The first splash of red has been applied to the tank, albeit by way of a primer coat. The enamel trunk letters are now finished and a prototype has been produced of the Heil hand / foot rail pedestals.
A rolling chassis is only weeks away. Enamelling has begun on the trunk letters, the cab and tank have finally been reunited and we have purchased a rare keyhole sign from the original Texaco truck fleet.
Steve has stripped down and reconditioned the Diamond T steering box. We have also made progress with the pedestal design after discovering the existence of another Heil tank.
We always knew that the body preparation on this restoration project was going to require a more specialised, talented approach. And that is exactly what we have got with Auckland based panel beaters, Rowan Glass and Nick Saunderson.