(first posted 7/4/2011. Updated) This Diamond T Model 323 is a rare find these days. My search of the web brings up little on this truck, so I’m going to have to piece together a bit of history on it as best as I can. (Update: thanks to a comment left here, more details were filled in and updated). I’m not even sure of the year (I forgot to shoot the manufacturer’s plate), but it seems that the 323 likely appeared in about 1953, a successor to the similar 322 that first premiered the new cab style in 1950 1/2. Diamond Ts had a legendary reputation, as being particularly well built trucks. But first, a bit of Diamond T history, and a glorious one it is:
Chicago-based Diamond T started out as a passenger car maker in 1905, but switched to trucks in 1911. Like most small to medium independent truck makers, Diamond T bought proprietary engines, such as Continental, Waukesha, Buda and later Cummins diesels, as well as other main running gear components. But the quality of Diamond’s frames, cabs, and construction was always at or near the top of the crowded field.
Diamond T was often called “The Cadillac Of Trucks”, and its reputation was really burnished in WW2. Their large 4×6 prime mover 980/981 trucks were snapped up by the British Purchasing Commission, and went on to become the most famous tank transporters ever.
Powered by either a 895 CID Hercules diesel six making 180 hp, or the legendary 240 hp Hall-Scott 1090 CID “440” gasoline six, the 980 could pull a loaded trailer of up to 120,000 lbs. Top speed was 23 mph!. But their legendary durability and power made them an evergreen, and some were in military use as late as 1971.
After the war, surplus units were snapped up for the legendary road trains in Australia, like this one with at least seven trailers. The driver of this one said the top speed of 17 mph drove him nuts, and he had to find a faster-paced line of work. The 980 also became a well loved and immortal machine in English heavy haulage and wrecker service.
I got distracted, but the 980 does tend to do that; one of the all-time classic big trucks. On the other end of the size scale, Diamond T’s 201 pickup from the late thirties was their smallest offering, and is a highly coveted collector’s item, and competes with the Reo Speedwagon pickup in that category.
After the war, Diamond T dropped out of the pickup market, because its prices were to high compared to the mass manufacturers, a trend that soon wiped out all the independent pickup makers, analogous to what happened with passenger cars. That eventually happened with this 323 too, and Diamond T ended up building large trucks until 1967, when it was absorbed by White and eventually married to Reo, to create the Diamond Reo brand.
Our featured Model 323 truck was the smallest model with the new look cabs, which were sourced from International, and is a one and a half ton truck in terms of its general class rating. Its actual load capacity might have been higher, depending on how it was configured.
It sports a pretty long frame, and a dual rear wheels, as well as a two-speed rear axle.
For those of you not familiar with two speed axles, here’s a closer look. This one is an Eaton, but a number of manufacturers made them. We’ll discuss their operation in one of the later Truckstop Classics, but the joy of splitting gears without hearing the axle grind was one of the compensations of truckin’.
Too bad about that dinged grille. These are very rare trucks now, and good luck finding replacements. But anything can be fixed, one way or another.
Let’s lift up that toy-truck like hood, and see what’s hiding there.
Like Reo, Diamond T built its some of its own engine for their smaller trucks, and relied on suppliers for the big ones. Interestingly, this engine is from Nash, their big OHV six as used in the Ambassador. It was known for being a tough engine, and as such, quite suitable for this medium-duty truck.
This Nash engine has 252.6 CID, and was rated at 113 (net) bhp, at 3600 rpm, and 216 lb. ft. of torque. It was constructed with seven main bearings and a fully counterweight crankshaft, which the Big Three didn’t see fit to do for another ten years or so. The intake manifold is an unusual two piece affair.
The shaft that extends from the back of the generator drives the water pump. The Nash engine’s design goes back quite a ways; actually its origins go all the way back to the late 20s (it was originally a flathead), and that water pump location is not unusual for its vintage.
The cab looks a bit worse for wear, but nothing that a bit of TLC couldn’t fix. It certainly looks like a runner otherwise.
The frame is a bit long and too light of capacity to make a nice little dump truck, but this would once again make a terrific RV, with a vintage trailer or a custom body on the back. Or how about a food-cart truck, with some class? Diamond T-burgers, or tempeh, depending on which part of town you want to feed.
Related: My CC 1956 Diamond T Pickup
WOW What a find, could be kinda hard doing splits with the monkey on a pole hanging on the steering column, that would need remounting The pump at the back of the generator is the water pump there appears to be none behind the fan but what a neat truck a competent panel beater could sort the grille, that and a tidy up inside and off you go it would make an awesum house truck or RV. I see it has a hockey stick exhaust manifold why would a cheap and nasty Ford trick like that be there those were a curse on english Zephyrs a real power restriction seems odd to be on an otherwise well designed motor.
I began to suspect it’s the water pump too; odd!
Water pumps werent compulsory and lots of cars just used thermo syphon back when radiators were tall the engine design may predate the truck by many years?It looks like an accessory pump . Ive driven through the middle of Aussie its one hell of a long way think Canada to mexico and 17mph would have been soul destroying Animals do more than that,its boring at 110 kmh day in day out.
Wow, some old trucks never die…
I was just thinking how cool this sucker would be with a flatbed, winch, and some ramps to press it into “light” car hauler service. Would be awesome for someone with a 1950s show car that they wanted to haul around and arrive at the show on in style.
I didn’t think of that, but you’re right. But then I never think of old cars in terms of being hauled around, unless they break down, of course.
Handy for collecting deaduns too
Looks like wrecker jib on the blue chevy
Interesting story from a cool lot.
Speaking of lots, is there still an article (or more) about the CoronoroC lot in the future?
That place was freakin’ weird. 😀
Well, yes; eventually. Too many cars; not enough time, in the summer, anyway. I’ve been pretty busy with other stuff…
Indeed. I’ll be camping out past Westfir next week. The Aufderheide (sp?) drive is fantastic!
Yes indeed, one of my favorites. We just did it three weeks ago, there was still snow along the higher section. Enjoy!
Looking at the Studebaker I bet its got an interesting tale Ive seen one of those in Aussie somewhere couldnt work out what it was at first I know now but its a neat looking ute Tomorow please can we have the Stude??
Based on my limited experience with old trucks, I would say that anyone who spent his days behind the wheel of these would have really earned his paycheck. I suspect that the speedometer with numbers to 80 mph was wildly optimistic.
That engine is fascinating to look at. I have never seen a water pump driven off of a generator. My only experience with thermosiphon cooling is with the Ford Model A. Although the Model T did not use a water pump at all, the A used a small one to help pull the hot water out of the top of the engine (as opposed to most others that push the cool water into the bottom) As I think about it, if you want hot water heat out of a thermosiphon engine, you would need an auxiliary pump. This one looks like it either pushes or pulls water out of the bottom of the block. This is curious – pulling water out of the lower engine for the heater would not give off the hottest water, but pushing water in when you are not using heat would seem to really impede engine cooling. But it must work because they did it.
And those intake and exhaust manifolds are unlike any I have ever seen. They must have designed this thing for a lot of torque at really low revs, because it doesn’t look like it has any breathing ability at all. I would love to hear it run.
I have a very hard time believing that this engine is basically a thermo-siphon design, but I could be wrong. I thought that had ended quite a while earlier, and this is a pretty modern engine otherwise.
Thermosyphon was common on tractor engines into the 50’s, when the coming horsepower wars demanded more, and more reliable (thermosyphon systems usually had larger capacity and piping and worked fine, so long as the system was kept clean, but they take longer to heat up and cool down), cooling capacity. This was also hurried along by the Korean war, when shortages of copper led to temporary use of steel in radiators, which had less heat conductive capacity.
Fascinating. So in an age when OHV engines were all but unknown, little Diamond T found the financial wherewithal to engineer AND manufacture a seven-main-bearing model?
That’s amazing. The other independents, AMC and Kaiser and Studebaker, were having real troubles bringing their flatheads into the 20th Century. Even the Kaiser OHC six, designed for the Wagoneer, turned out to be such a troublesome unit that even the military stopped accepting it in the buck-and-a-quarter Gladiator-based military truck.
I’d say, maybe it proves there’s a reason why the independents are no more – trying to do things on the cheap – but once again, there’s Diamond T, which failed as fast and in the same era. Questions, questions….
It seems strange this runs seven mains yet from the outside is a converted Flathead The oil filler obviously predates the OHV, no waterpump integral with cyl head ,log exhaust manifold, inlet has no flow properties a very slow reving set up. The Silver Diamond in my early 50s International was far advanced from this but is the same era it didnt rev either but had much better breathing than this.
I agree with you. I can’t find any real information on this motor, but it does like it was most likely an OHV conversion of their flathead, which dated back to??
Nevertheless, the Diamond T motors were ruggedly built, which is supported by the seven mains.
Just googled it and got nothing 2 for sale in Bingara NSW Ive been there but little info on this truck engine it intrigues me Diamond Ts were a great name in trucks back in the day expensive over here but you got your moneys worth no doubt its well made they didnt do it any other way the archeology on this may take some time
You may be interested to know that the cabs on these trucks were sourced from International. International used this cab, with appropriate cowl-forward modifications, for most of their lineup in the early fifties from little 1/2 tons to the top of the mid range. This made the cab very adaptable for other makes as well. Diamond Reo continued to use these cabs.
You’re correct on the cab sourcing from International. I have a ’50 L-170 sitting in the back of my machine shed (which I hope to refurbish one day to use as a hay hauler), and the cab looks very close, although mine has a split rear window…
I was pretty sure of that myself. That was fairly common then, especially with the smaller manufacturers.
The one-piece rear window was first offered in 1954 on International trucks iirc, and may be a key to the model year of this Diamond T. The F prefix on the license plate indicates that it was a farm truck, and therefore probably had a flatbed or grain box.
How weird – I had never heard of Diamond T until last week when I saw an ad for one on the local Craigslist (albeit misspelled – I wonder if anyone is trolling for a Diamond T and not finding this one due to the spelling…):
And now this CC pops up. Very timely and interesting!
Nash, Rambler, was famous for it’s 7 main 232 engine. Believe AMC also had 7 mains in 232 and 258. Valve cover reminds me of Nash. AMC supplied some 6 cyls to IHC in 70’s.
If everyone has finished with the guessing games, the Diamond T truck in question has the comfo/vision cab which I understand was designed by Diamond T, manufactured and used by International Harvester, provided for Diamond T, FWD, Hendrickson and others. The cab mounting interestingly forms a diamond shape with attachment at a single point at (below) the radiator, spreading wide at the cab floor beneath the windshield area and on to a single point at the rear center of the cab. The system helped maintain cab structural integrity in relation to frame flex in severe operations.
The two speed rear axle in question appears to be a Timkin double reduction. Double reduction does not mean two speed, but drive passing through two gear sets. Double reduction single speed drives have been a Mack trademark for many years. During the late 1980’s automotive journalists and know it alls in general learned the word Eaton and therefore every truck rear from a Chevrolet one ton on just must be an Eaton. Eaton built a double reduction single speed (heavy duty) and a two speed based on their planetary approach both of which are covered in Motors 1935-1949 truck shop manual along with the Timkin split housing single speed, banjo housing single speed and the banjo housing full double reduction two speed.
“Diamond T built their own light duty engines”. And you get paid for this stuff.
Diamond T had a strong relationship with Hercules engines during the years of gas as did Brockway have an almost single minded devotion to Continental. I found myself reading your article hoping to learn more about the shift to another supplier only to quickly realize that it wasn’t to be. For what its worth, the little ton and a half is powered by none other than a (drum roll please) Nash Ambassador Six engine. Overhead Valve: Yes; Seven main bearings: Yes; Thermo siphon cooling: No, Heaven help us all. The water pump is mounted to the side of the block where it originated and was deemed to do a most satisfactory job. The Rambler 196 engine L head and overhead valve had four mains. The 199, 232, 258 and 4.0 engines (242 fuel injected) presented in about 1964 and developed through to modern times, with seven mains.
Interesting that someone said Studebaker had trouble with modern engines; The photos of the Diamond T showing the left front wheel appears to be the same Motor Wheel hub piloted rim and hub/drum assembly and of course the cone lock nut fasteners as used by Studebaker, Reo and one vendor option for GMC (not Chevrolet), subject to my vision.
Splithousing: Thank you for elucidating us. Sadly, we don’t “get paid for this stuff”. I find old cars and trucks, and try to do a half-way decent job of presenting them. But it’s not always possible to find adequate information quickly. We’re just a bunch of enthusiasts enjoying our hobby.
And thanks to the internet, folks contribute information that adds to the original post. Thanks to you, our piece is now much more complete. And others who find it will benefit accordingly. It’s a collaborative process.
And BTW, I called it an Eaton rear axle because that’s what the identification on it specifically said. I wouldn’t have said otherwise, because there’s too many other out there.
I liked reading your reply. It seems like you know your stuff. I recently made a deal with a young farmer who purchased a homestead that has a similar truck in the back 40 with a tree growing through it. I plan to rescue that truck in the spring. I’m not a diamond fan but now am wanting to learn about them. This diamond t 322 may be my legacy!
Paul Niedermeyer: Thank you for the generous response to my providing some filler for the Nash engined Diamond T article. My contribution could add to the weight of the article, er ah, I guess I mean post, if not to the quality.
As you mentioned, getting information in a timely manner can be a problem if a person is not connected to vast automotive literature collections (I personally am far removed from such). I suspect this could be one reason for the loose, breezy quality of writing which describes most of what we encounter and that done by folks who are paid; one fact from the first years, skip ahead 40 years and add another fact, then on to what really matters: How to chop it up and install a Nova subframe.
This is a subject worthy of depth along with the rewriting of history resulting from many of the vehicle restorations (an unqualified term that means nothing)
seen over the past thirty years. Suddenly all sedans and pickup trucks have fenders painted a different color from the body. Where does this come from? Deny the existence of the two door sedan by incorrectly trumpeting coupe at everything from trucks to hearses: “Its only got two doors.” And bingeing on those God awful wide white walls. “I want to give it that thirties’ look.” Unless you are a descendant of the splendid few, your owner improvements will not relate to the thirties in USA America. Fifty plus years from now, I believe that this will be known as the clown car era.
As you can tell I am either a nut or just envious of people who get to write about automotive history and bring the excitement of different periods and vehicles to life for readers. Yet as an outsider and, as William Faulkner said, “Not a man of letters,” I cannot pick up any journal to read without glaring mistakes which make me think “Chinese import” and drop it.
Apologies for this stuff and an offer of help if you feel a need that I might meet.
g’day all could anyone tell me of the tie up between diamond T and federal in the mid to late fifties whereby the 323 was badged as a federal.
we had 13-15 of them here in australia and nothing is really known about this except for the few that still exist.
got a dimond reo giant for sale 1 of 19 in australia phone 0402072386 a great book is worlds toughest truck
Several years ago at a car show in Ontario I saw an identical Diamond T 201 pickup. Very sharp.
Sweet looking truck. It’s too bad parts were never reproduced. It’d make an awesome restoration project, or even a restomod. 🙂
That Sherman being hauled in the 4th photo seems to have extra-wide tracks, which helped solve handling problems in snow. And its turret rear looks odd, maybe it’s on a Sherman VC (aka Firefly) with the added rear turret radio box (facing the camera?) to make room for the 17pdr main gun, which could kill Tigers at combat ranges, at the cost of lower rate of fire.
Shermans could vary considerably across manufacturers, having different hulls, powertrains, guns (later on), turret traverses, etc. For example, the Chrysler-powered version had a slightly longer hull, which the Brits preferred for their VC conversion. The Firefly showed their talent for improvisation, as none of their other tanks were as satisfactory for the 17pdr until the Centurion came out, too late for the War. The Sherman had a huge turret ring for its size, which is why its firepower deficit was so inexcusable. Ordnance had a 90mm turret design in the works, which was canceled. And look what the Israelis did with theirs after the War.
The 17 pdr was the only weapon the Western Allies that that could deal with the Panther and Tiger at equal ranges. The British and Canadian tankers were issued with one per five tank troop, and it acted as cover for the other four. As the Normandy campaign progressed and more of the 75 mm Shermans were knocked out, statistically more Fireflies survived so as time progressed, there were relatively more of them and the Germans made note of it in their action reports, too. Tiger ace Micheal Wittman was probably killed by a Firefly in August of 1944.
It took five 75 mm Shermans to destroy a Panther. The destroyed Shermans were replaced in less than 24 hours.
Not all Sherman models fit the 17pdr well, which was why the Brits couldn’t convert all of theirs, and besides, the stock Sherman was still superior in its design role against soft targets, as its HE shells were more effective & could fire faster. Hence, mixing the two types in platoons was a good compromise.
The US did eventually deploy the 76mm Sherman, which however was late in ’44 & still fell short of the Firefly in kinetic performance (Eisenhower was disappointed in it), and tungsten rounds for it were reserved for tank destroyer units instead of tank platoons. Ever since WW2, the US has been inexplicably an also-ran in high velocity gun development compared to the British, Germans, and Russians. Same goes for aircraft autocannon, except the Vulcan.
Great post, Paul. Photo below of the dash a 1938 Diamond T 406 DeLuxe seen by me at the 2012 ATHS Nationals. It my understanding that the “DeLuxe” refers the the VERY posh appointments of this cab. Compare it to the much more spartan appearance of the interior of today’s feature truck, and you see one reason why the brand earned the nickname “the Cadillac of Trucks.”
Their high overall quality and resemblance of the nose of this one (photo below) and the T201 to the 1938 Cadillac are two more reasons.
1938 Diamond T 406….
Like most renowned US truck brands, Diamond T was also imported here.
Here’s a 1934 Diamond T, body by Dutch coachbuilder Hainje.
More fine examples: http://myntransportblog.com/2013/12/30/buses-diamond-chicago-usa/
And a 1942 980. Originally it had a Hercules engine, now it has a 241 hp Detroit Diesel.
Some other pictures: http://vvvnn.nl/diamond-t-980-pax/853/
A neat old truck to be sure .
Nash used that centrally mounted water pump for a whole lotta engines .
A buddy brought me his ’49 Nash Rambler Custom Convertible (Lois Lane car) saying ‘ ! help ! it’s got a rock knock ! ‘ ~
The long & short of it : the generator pulley was bent (dropped during a rebuild) and so it was slamming the water pump’s impeller against the back of the pump housing , making a LOUD knocking sound… a $5 used pulley set it right again .
Indeed those Nash engines didn’t breathe very well but they were fairly long stroke so you didn’t want to wind ’em up much any ways , super sturdy , they’re always the very last thing to break in anything Nash powered .
Diamond T had a very close relationship with International during the 1950’s, before they got bought out by White and subsequently were merged with REO, creating Diamond REO. The cab on this Diamond T is the Ted Ornas designed Comfo-Vision cab. The Comfo-Vison was developed by International and manufactured by sheetmetal company in Chicago, and was used by a number of truck manufacturers until the mid-70’s. I believe the last IH truck to use it was the M series in 1974. Diamond T had developed their own tilt-cab in the early ’50’s which they in turn shared with International (as the IH CO and VCO), interestingly continuing long after the White buy-out. The Diamond T/International relationship also included Diamond T contract manufacturing certain diesel versions of the International R series trucks. From what I understand, it was quite a shock when White bought Diamond T, many expected that International would eventually end up with the company.
Two yrs ago I bought a 23k miles tanker fire truck, w/ a front pto driven pump. 1956 Series 536, and truck number 16 in the series. Very few known. Took the bed apart and remade the truck as one big pickup truck using almost all original components. It was also the Combo Vision cab, and was powered by a 450 ci International Red Diamond straight six (also original). Mostly original paint even! Lots of man hrs, worth every bit of it.
Just wondering if you still have the diamond T, If so do you think the 450 gas engine is still the original one?
If so just wondering if it still has the engine serial number plate attached to it or not.
I am restoring a 30 Diamond T they had the XL 40 engine in them.
I have a Diamond T service manual and it advises that,
“The engine serial number is stamped on a plate on the upper left hand front corner of the cylinder block on XL 308, XL 372, XL 406, XL 450 ,and XL 501 engines”
I am yet to see an engine with one of these plates on them so I would be interested to see what they look like if your engine still has it attached.
Driving the water pump via shaft from the back of the generator was pretty routine in the 30s, when the Nash 6 was designed, and earlier.
Here’s a short video of a Hall-Scott Invader, designed around 1930, the marine market relative of the 440, with a large, brass, water pump driven by a shaft that looks to be geared to the crank, with the shaft continuing through the pump to the generator. The video also gives a look at the drip recovery system for the updraft carbs, so they wouldn’t drool gas into the bilge.
For those wondering, the Invader was an OHC hemi with dual plugs/cylinder.
DAMN! That thing sounds good!
DAMN! That thing sounds good!
Lustiest engine I ever heard on youtube: Miller V-16 in Gar Wood’s Miss America VIII
Yes indeedy, that’s impressive. Sorry I don’t have audio on this, but this Liberty V-12 that I saw at the Clayton, NY Classic Boat Show in 1995 made the hair on the back of my neck stand up when it was lit off. Only time I’ve ever heard one run.
It was installed in this Garwood Baby Gar.
Beautiful old trucks, with actual style. And only equipped with what they needed to do the job they were designed to do.
Having spent some time in such old rigs, I will agree “that they were only equipped with what they needed to do the job they were designed to do. ” They did however beat the living shit out of the drivers. The reason you never find good seats in old trucks is because the drivers tailbone beat them into dust years ago. Stylewise this truck, even in it’s delapitated condition, has it all over anything being built today. Comfort wise, I’d personally drop every one of these old timers into the crusher if I had to drive one everyday. These were built when labor was cheap. When your back gave out, you were yesterday’s news and they got someone else to take your place.
My friend has this 1956 REO dump truck single axle , runs and drivers good , dump bed has no holes and works fine , minimal rust . Can someone give me an approximate value . Thank you . If anyone interested you can email me . Thanks Scott I can send you more photos .
Another photo of the 1956 REO email me and I can send more photos and my phone number thanks
To those who love Diamond T trucks.
My brother won this truck in a raffle in the mid 1980’s and he brought it home from Hershey PA. We were told it had placed in a national show, was a cover truck of the “1985 Workhorses of Yesteryear calendar” and then donated for a raffle to help fund a automotive museum/library. The truck has been stored in a heated garage since the 80’s up to my brothers death last year. It was then transported to the auctioneers in February this year. This is copied from the Auctioneer’s website listed below.
Zappa Auction Saturday, March 26, 2016 at 10 AM Located at 14052 Garfield Road, Wakeman Ohio……….This is from the estate of David L. Loudin, Lorain County Probate #2015ES01025, Alecia Vidika, Administrator: 1940 Diamond T dump truck (older restoration, not currently running – excellent show truck). 1983 Chevy pickup (restored & show ready), Both trucks have titles.****
Andy Suvar Auctions
New London, Ohio
419-929-8487 or 1-800-765-8301
My family would love to see it go to someone who would appreciate it as much as my brother did. To my knowledge the truck has a Hercules motor and is in great shape in and out, almost ready to show.
That 1938 pickup has about the same front-end style as the Diamond T fire truck that served Marshall IL for many years, including the 16 or so that I lived there. Handsomest fire truck ever …
Speaking of trucks sourcing engines etcetera from all over, I had a ’71 IHC pickup with the AMC (formerly Nash) 232 six and a GM 2-speed Powerglide transmission. I don’t remember the water pump’s being back there, but the integral manifolding was still in use. It needed some head rebuilding, but the local machine shop wouldn’t touch an engine that wasn’t apart already, so a bunch of us got together to remove the head … and it took ALL of us to lift it off! I believe that head all by itself weighed as much as the entire engine of my BMC Mini.
The 232 six in your IHC pickup was a totally different engine. That’s the AMC six that came out in 1964, and was built all the way through the 4.0 for the Jeeps. These engines do not have an integral manifold; it bolts on. And IHC did not use Powerglides.
At one time, I was all for vehicles being restored to original specs and very against hot rods. The perspective of growing older has changed my views. The likelyhood of this truck ever being restored is not good. Limited parts, younger generations with different priorities, who would ask “Diamond what?”. It’s not their fault, it’s just not of their time. This trucks best chance of not rotting away might well be being built into a rat rod. The dented in grille is no longer a problem if that is the case. It then gets out and is seen by young people, like we once were who go to school and tell their freinds about the cool truck that they saw at Dairy Queen. Fifty years from now they are talking about it much like we are now. And so it goes.
Well there are younger guys with hotrods who would be interested in it as a race car transporter, and given the Nash/AMC engine a potential candidate for a modern engine swap might be the Jeep 4.0, which I believe can be easily modified to produce 240 hp, more than enough for that use…
I hope I can add some useful info about the engine. I have a 1959 Chiltons manual that includes 50 thru 56 Nash. This definitely looks like the 60 Series OHV inline six. 50-51 engines were 234 ci with 7 mains. An 1/8 inch bore increase to 3 1/2 from 52 thru 56 made it a 252. It put out 130 hp at 3700 with 220 lb ft at1600. They also had a 2 carb version with slightly more power. The cutawaypicture in the manual is definitely this engine. The water pump was on the side in the cutaway. It also shows a thermostat. The center bottom location of the pump does make sense for symmetrical cooling. In my opinion this was not a flat head conversion. nothing is the same as the flatheads that were sold at the some time in smaller vehicles. Hope this helps Cool Truck.
Here’s a snip from the 1937 Nash brochure. it shows both the 95 hp flathead 234.8 inch six, as well as the 105 hp OHV 234.8 inch six. Take a close look: their blocks are essentially identical, except for the heads.
This family of engines dates back to the 1920s, and the small bore/long stroke makes that quite obvious.
The 252.6 inch version just had a larger bore, but the same 4.38 inch stroke.
The smaller six (later used in the Rambler) was not converted to ohv until 1955 or so.
Oh yea. That sure shows it They did the minimum they could to convert to OHV and be somewhat modern. They still ended up with a stump puller engine for their big cars and obviously other peoples trucks. Great article I love old trucks. Thanks again.
I would just see the dinged grille as ‘battle scars’ obtained from a hard life on the job in this case more than I would see it as damage, as it sorta adds character to a vehicle this old of this weight class, sorta like seeing a Pete 281 or an older International S-series with patina and rust.
Check out my 1940 Diamond T
I think the Nash engine in this truck is not original. The rad. hose is not oem. The exhaust pipe looks like a cluge.
BTW, Diamond did not make their own engines. The Hercules engine in these small trucks had a Diamond T logo cast into the exhaust manifold which made some people think it was a Diamond T engine.
The Nash engine was very much original. Here it is in the brochure:
Several engines had the water pump driven off the same shaft as the generator. Seagrave fire engines, V-12 serried. A modified ‘32 pierce arrow.
A 323 with a custom very, very long towing attachment was used by Jackson Wrecker in the early-mid 1980s. Driven expertly and had quite the presence, especially if you sat next to it at a traffic light.
I had a 1950 model 222 pickup, I bought when I was 17. Unfortunately at that time I didn’t have the skills and money to restore it and I had to let it go. Eventually I know it ended up junked. It had a dual slave cylinder per wheel bendix brake system and it needed all 8 of them. No part store I could find in the late 70’s could supply them and most stores told me the truck was never made. I need to find the pictures. Cab was same body style as this one, first year. I’m still looking for another one……
My great uncle, Vincent Hayes, drove a Diamond T 4X6 prime mover all through Sicily and then on to Rome. From there he was sent to France and was hauling loads the by June 7. He finished the war in Hannover, Germany, in 1947. It took that long to get home as the combat soldiers got to go first.
He spoke glowingly about the Diamond T. Sadly, the war broke this sensitive young man.
My departed father was in the Army (actually initially the National Guard) from 1950 to 1953, the latter period in Germany, and he mentioned having driven REO trucks over there. He remembered taking K rations and strapping them to the exhaust manifold to warm them while driving, and hoping they would stop in time to keep them from getting too hot (which of course they didn’t, and the baked beans ended up making a huge mess on the engine).
The other vehicle he was assigned was a VW Beetle..he later bought a ’59 Beetle as his first “2nd” car.
I don’t recall him mentioning ever having driven a Jeep, which kind of surprised me.
Here is our 1953+ Diamond T model 323 parked beside a 1956 International model S-160 both with Comfo-Vision type cabs.
Our 1953+ Diamind T model 323 and 1956 International model S-160 both have the Comfo-Vision type cab. The 323 has the Nash 252 engine and the S-160 has a Blue Diamond BLD-265 engine. Sorry, the .jpg photo doesn’t seem to upload
They’re too large. Reduce them in size so our server doesn’t get overloaded. Max. 1200 pixels in either direction.
Still waiting to see the pictures…..
Did Scott ever sell his dump truck ? .