Vintage Truck: Late ’50s Diamond T COE Semi Truck – The Most Handsome COE Semi Truck?

There were a lot of different trucks on the highways in the early ’60s that kept me busy spotting them on our summer vacation trips. One that caught my eye early on was this particular style of Diamond T COE (Cab Over Engine). One of the reasons for that is that it reminded me of certain electric locomotives that I had seen in Europe in the ’50s.

It’s a very handsome truck, with its chrome horizontal bars and curved front end, to improve its aerodynamics. It’s also a bit unusual, in that the front edge of the upper portion of the cab sits slightly behind the leading edge of the lower portion.

Let’s a take a look at some of these:

That detail is clearly visible here. Unfortunately, there’s no ready info on this model on the web, so I’d have to do a bit more research as to when it was first built and its model number.

Here’s the same truck from the front.

Chicago-based Diamond T was a big competitor to Mack, and had its greatest success in the 1930s, when it built exceptionally handsome trucks. We’ll take a look at some of those soon. Here’s another version of this style, presumably a promo shot of a new one. It’s hauling a refrigerated trailer, with a single cylinder gas engine mounted up there, used to blow air over the load of ice inside the trailer to keep the load cool.

Here’s another, this time with a proper refrigeration unit.

And the final one is a long wheelbase unit as was common in the western states.