1948 Diamond T GPT
(Grand Prix Truck)
by Steve Walker
Commissioned by privateer Colin Case for the 1948 season of Grand Prix Truck racing.
Long distance Grand Prix Truck racing started up after the Second World War. Races were held on demanding transcontinental roads built to move men and material during the war such as the Alaskan Highway, Burma Road, Trans Siberia and Trans Sahara.
Sportsman – entrepreneur Colin Case, (an avid yacht racer who also sponsored formula and sports car racing teams, gravity racers, bicycle racing teams and a hockey club), decided to enter the wildly popular new sport of Grand Prix Trucks.
Colin selected Diamond T to fabricate his GPT racer. The premier truck manufacturer in the world from1911 to 1966, founder C. A. Tilt started out building race cars and established a reputation for innovation and reliability.
Colin commissioned an entirely new design inspired by the forward thinking pre-war Auto Union Grand Prix cars. His mid-engined vehicle features a welded tube space frame, independent suspension, power steering and a straight six engine.
After many seasons of hard campaigning followed by long neglect, this vehicle was in sad shape when abandoned in the Close Enough Engineering parking lot by the last owner, Charles Van Ness.
The ongoing restoration has stretched over years due largely to the shifty character and slack work habits of the occasionally paid personnel of Close Enough Engineering.