One beautiful day in early June, I drove almost six hours to a farm auction in Montana, arriving just before the auction began. Located within spitting distance of Canada, this farm had existed for maybe the last 100 years alone among the wind swept wheat fields many miles from the nearest town. I had driven here on a hunch. The sale bill had listed many farm vehicles, of which I had an interest in…… but more importantly, the list included a, “Truck body in the weeds”. Secretly, this was the real reason I took a chance and drove these six long hours.
After securing my bidders number, I quickly looked through the rows of standard farm vehicles. Some were very special, including a 1948 Diamond T Cabover, which is extremely rare. There was also a great looking late 40’s Dodge Power Wagon, and a bunch of square body Chevy Pickups.
As the auction began with small items in the yard, I widened my search for the truck body in the weeds. Then, as I rounded the corner of a grain bin, I found my treasure. I knew with every step I took that this truck, although relegated to the weeds, was truly special.
This was obviously another Diamond T truck, and a very early one at that…… I could barely contain my excitement. I needed a closer look, but I surely didn’t want to draw any unwanted attention. I hoped no one would pay any attention to me looking it over. All I wanted was a fair chance at purchasing this gem, and bringing her out for the world to see. I quickly took a walk around the truck and took a couple pictures. Then I retreated to blend into the crowd again and wait for my turn to stand tall and rescue this relic.
I anxiously waited for the auctioneer to slowly work his way around the yard toward the back side of the bins and closer to the truck. I quietly waited until just the right time, and then positioned myself within the auctioneers line of site. I was nervous, but ready.
There were only a couple of us with any interest in the truck, and in the end, I thankfully had the winning bid. I wanted to jump up and down….. let out a victorious cry…… but knew I was a stranger among all these farmers, and there were other trucks that I wanted to bid on later that day. Instead, I kept calm and slowly walked away as if I didn’t care about my purchase, knowing that later I would get to really look at every detail.
The true reality of my purchase didn’t come into focus until later in the day when I began pulling junk off the truck, and really inspecting everything in detail. The whole truck was actually there…… hidden in tall grass and weeds, and it wasn’t until I brought the truck back home and did some research that I found out how truly unique this treasure was.
First of all, you have to understand that buying a Diamond T truck in this era would be like buying a Rolls Royce truck (if they ever made one). These trucks were stylish, well equipped, heavy, tough, and expensive. This was a 1935 Diamond T Model 211. The dash utilized the same gauges as a Packard Car, which included a Clock, and Cigarette Lighter in the dash. The windshield still cranks out, and the hood latches still work. On any other brand of truck from this era, these items would all be either rusted away, or broken. The headliner is still there, and there is even an original dome light in the cab. The radiator cap is there, and as I pulled the tall grass back, I found the hand crank to start the motor sticking out at me through the bottom of the radiator. Although barely readable…. We even found the original owners manual inside the cab.
This was truly an exceptional find, and well worth the drive. This is our First ever Friday Fresh Farm Find, and will always and forever hold a special place in my heart. The truck is in our inventory and ready for purchase. I’m looking forward to seeing what someone will do with it from here. This truck has really good bones, and is ready for the next chapter in its life.