I shot this truck allll the way back in 2003 at the ATHS National Convention in Syracuse, NY. It was quite the show, one of the largest to date with over 1,000 trucks. To some it would seem strange that a truck like the Diamond-T would stand out in ones memory but as the years pass I still find myself revisiting this truck from time to time. I have always enjoyed the old survivor trucks, the one that have little or no restoration work, over those freshly restored models. That is not to say that I don’t enjoy seeing a truck of yesterday looking as good, if not better, than the day it rolled of the assembly line because I certainly do. But trucks like the 931 below have so much to tell in their faded painted and logos, their dents and missing trim. Stories that become obliterated with fresh paint, engine degreaser and new tires. I love to approach these old work horses to observe their hidden clues of the lives they lead before hitting the show circuit. Squinting to make out the name on the door that has been pealed off. Craning my neck to read old inspection tags. Stooping between the wheels to catch a glimpse of the oil and dirt soaked engine. This is all part of the old truck package. This is why I enjoy this old Diamond-T so much, it has character.
When you take a close look at the door you can only see a gray splotch where some kind of logo used to reside. Below that shadow the gray lettering that remains reads “Department of Energy”. Engage your imaginations…now. Who can say what this truck did for this government agency. I can imagine this truck hauling nuclear reactor parts around the American Southwest. The driver cooking in the non A/C cab. The sun scorched paint and rust free cab could vouch for that story. Who can tell what the DOE used this truck for, maybe it was classified or maybe it was mundane. Did it ever roam the lots of Oakridge or Hanford? Does this truck drive geiger counter nuts? Maybe it glows. To me, it’s all part of the fun with old trucks. Just like yesterday, today and tomorrow they can just about be or do anything you ask of them. Long live the old iron!