Two roofs, one cab – Update # 21

The modified, Heil built roof on the Diamond T cab has now been removed, and repairs have continued on the 614 cab body.

The Outer Skin

In Update # 19, the outer skin that had been added by Heil to each side of the factory built cab, had been cut away to expose damage in the lower rear corners. The left rear corner of the factory cab had been removed and repaired, and the right rear corner had been cut out.


Repair sections were made and welded back in to the lower right rear corner of the original Diamond T cab.


Repair sections were welded to the bottom of the outer skins on each side of the cab.


Both repaired outer skins are visible in this image. The channel that is created by these outer skins, holds the length of rubber that covers the space between the cab and the tank. The rubber will be sandwiched between the cab wall and the outer skin, and then held in place with bolts.

The Door Frames

Once the final repairs were completed on the door frames, Simon delivered them to Jason at Automotive Blasting Services in Pukekohe, Auckland.

A lot of care was taken by Jason’s team when blasting the frames to ensure that no damage was done to the Creative Metal Works repairs.


The frames were two pack epoxy primed, and then collected by Simon to take back to his workshop.


Prior to the restoration.

The finished frames.

The Cowl Rubber


The cowl / lower windscreen rubber that we purchased from Tom Warren at the Diamond T Rubber Company was fitted to set up the correct height of the roof.


Steve supplied Simon and Craig with the unrestored, inner capping panels that go above the windscreen and A pillars.

The inner capping panels were trial fitted to confirm the precise location of the top of the A pillars. The A pillars were then welded at the top to the door hinge pillars.

The Pillars And The Seat Base


L section brackets were bolted in to both B pillars for the final time, and the B pillars were then welded to the main sills.


To replicate the original sill, two panels of 1.6mm steel were made up and recessed to accommodate a flush fit of the L brackets on the A pillars. The front of the sills were cut off on both sides and the new recessed sections were welded in.

Nuts were welded in under the recessed section for the bolts, and then the L brackets were bolted to the sills and A pillars.


The seat base components were welded together, and then the seat structure was welded to the main body sills.

The Heil Streamlined Roof

Prior to removing the Heil modification, repairs were required to strengthen the base of the roof extension.


Repair panels were made up and welded around the sides and front of the modified roof base.

The skin was then unpicked and the streamlined roof was removed from the original cab.


These images show the style and flair of the triple cab lights that sit atop these magnificent streamlined trucks.

The 614 Factory Roof

The removal of the Heil modification revealed an upright, centre “shark fin” panel that serves as a support for the roof extension.

The two squares either side were cut out of the factory roof by Steve to enable access to the cavity above when the cab was being sandblasted.


Removing the roof modification also exposed the rusting out of the steel above the windscreen and doors.


The rusted areas around the edge of the roof were cut out and repair sections welded back in.


The two panels cut out of the roof prior to blasting have been bolted back in for the meantime. This will allow the cavity to be easily accessed to wire the cab lights, etc.

A repair section was made to fit either side of the upright support panel.


Hot off the press last night, these last two images show the progress made as repairs continue across the roof area.

The Team At Creative Metal Works

For the past year, Simon and Craig have been a huge part of this blog as we have continued to admire and detail their skilled fabrication work.

So we decided it was time to introduce them by way of a photo.


Simon Tippins (right) and Craig Garland.

We continue to appreciate Simon and Craig’s dedication and enthusiasm for this mammoth project. We are extremely grateful to them both for capturing all the images of their work throughout the restoration.


August 10th 1938 – the chassis build date – Update # 20


The Texaco tanker dash instruments – Update # 22


  1. WOW!
    What a massive undertaking! I am as excited as you are to see this coming together. You guys are doing a great job.

    • Sue Keys

      Thanks Jerry. We are so looking forward to the next phase of the project.

  2. Ken Smith

    Enjoying your updates, I continue to marvel at your craftsmanship! Truly a labor of love.

  3. peter Tomkies

    Look forward to all your posts.
    Great coverage of very interesting restoration

  4. Cam Lill

    Fantastic update thanks Sue – amazing progress. We are lucky to still have craftsmen such as Simon & Craig in NZ who are up there with the worlds best at that sort of fabrication!

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