UNIVEM already had a Diamond T 981, but at one point, the engine was unusable because of a crack (see restoration of the other one here). But luckily, another Diamond T 981 was found and bought in May 2018. This truck had already been restored many years ago.
The truck participated as is for the event “La Locomotion en fête” in June 2018. After this event, diassembling begins, to give it a third life! Globally, the truck is in good shape, but many details are to be fixed: tanks are not genuine, the rear hatch is not present, the exhaust has been changed, paint faded, tires are too small (and old), brakes and electrical wiring are also to be overhauled. Nothing impossible to UNIVEM! It was decided not to take down the cab and engine because the truck does not need too much work.
Wheels and the bed are exchanged with the old Diamond, with the help of the Griffet.
An oil change is needed!
At the end of the year, brakes are overhauled.
In the sping of 2019, bed is sanded and painted. Wheels are back on the trucks. It can move on its own and gets a major clean-up.
With all the event in the Summer, the project came to a halt. In October 2019, it’s back on track with all the electrical wiring being done. It was a tough job, because after the war, the truck came in the workshop of Berliet to get a lot of modification before seeing a civilian life.
During this time, some parts are painted, such as the dashboard to install all the gauges, the back of the chassis to reinstall the wiring and the bed. During the sanding of the cab, we found traces of its civilian life: yellow paint and “Ponts et Chaussées” (corps of the engineers of Bridges and Roads) written on it.
Fuel line is also to be overhauled. Injectors and filters are replaced. Original tanks are found, repared and mounted on the truck (here again, Berliet workshop did a big modification with modern tanks and a new system of filter, avoiding the primary and secondary filters of the original system).
Some parts had to be rebuilt: air vent in front of the windshield, windshield, brake pedal,…
After winter, the Covid19 crisis and the lockdown put a stop to the project. In May, the restorations tarts again! Second fuel tank is reinstalled, and the bed too!
Final paint can begin. The engine is also painted in its original color. The machine gun mount is also installed.
At the end of June the first marking are painted.
The last marking are painted, some final brakes settings are done, and finally, the truck is finished before the end of summer 2020!