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The Diamond T Motor Car Company was founded in Chicago in 1905 by C. A. Tilt. Reportedly, the company name was created when Tilt’s shoe-making father fashioned a logo featuring a big “T” (for Tilt, of course) framed by a diamond, which signified high quality. From its beginnings manufacturing touring cars, the company later became known for its trucks. By 1967, as a subsidiary of White Motor Company, it was merged with Reo Motor Company to become Diamond Reo Trucks, Inc.
During World War II, Diamond T produced a classic heavy truck in the 980/981, a prime mover which was quickly acquired by the British Purchasing Commission for duty as a tank transporter tractor. Coupled with a Rogers trailer, the truck gave sterling service with the British Army in North Africa Campaign, where its power and rugged construction allowed the rescue of damaged tanks in the most demanding of conditions. In addition Diamond T built the entire range of the G509 series 4 ton 6X6s, including cargo, dump, semi tractor, and wrecker trucks, as well as some lighter trucks, and even G7102 half tracks. Diamond T ranked 47th among United States corporations in the value of World War II military production contracts. Diamond T manufactured two pickup trucks: the Model 80 and the Model 201. Both pickups were powered by the Hercules QX-series 6-cylinder engines. The Model 201 was produced from 1938 to 1949.
When manufactured the Diamond-T 969A 4 ton, 6×6 Wrecker was powered by the 6 cyl., 529 cu. in. Hercules RXC engine that developed 106 hp. mated to a five speed manual transmission and two speed transfer case. It was equipped with the Holmes W-45 heavy duty military wrecker bed with its twin boom and two 5-ton winches at the front of the bed as well as a front mounted winch. A variety of other recovery equipment was carried, along with its own air compressor.
The vehicle weighed 21,350 lbs. and could tow 25,000 pounds. It was 292 in. long, 100 in. wide, and 116 in. high.