1931 Reo Royale
8-35 Victoria Coupe

Location: Indianapolis
VIN #:
Engine:Straight 8
Transmission:3 Speed Manual

The REO Motor Car Company was a Lansing, Michigan-based company that produced automobiles and trucks from 1905 to 1975. At one point the company also manufactured buses on its truck platforms. Ransom E. Olds was an entrepreneur who founded multiple companies in the automobile industry. In 1897 Olds founded the Olds Motor Vehicle Company (later, as Oldsmobile, to become a part of General Motors). In 1905 Olds left Oldsmobile and established a new company, REO Motor Car Company, in Lansing, Michigan. Olds had 52 percent of the stock and the titles of president and general manager. To ensure a reliable supply of parts, he organized a number of subsidiary firms like the National Coil Company, the Michigan Screw Company, and the Atlas Drop Forge Company. Originally the company was to be called "R. E. Olds Motor Car Company," but the owner of Olds' previous company, then called Olds Motor Works, objected and threatened legal action on the grounds of likely confusion of names by consumers. Olds then changed the name to his initials. Olds Motor Works soon adopted the popular name of its vehicles, Oldsmobile (which, along with Buick and Cadillac, became founding divisions of General Motors Corporation). The company's name was spelled alternately in all capitals REO or with only an initial capital as Reo, and the company's own literature was inconsistent in this regard, with early advertising using all capitals and later advertising using the "Reo" capitalization. The pronunciation, however, was as a single word. Lansing is home to the R. E. Olds Transportation Museum.

The 1931 Reo Royale was a trendsetting design, introducing design elements that were a precedent for true automotive streamlining in the American market. The 8 cylinder model was sold through 1933 with minor updates. Beverly Kimes, editor of the Standard Catalog of American Cars, terms the Royale "the most fabulous Reo of all". In addition to its coachwork by Murray designed by their Amos Northup, the Royale also provided buyers with a 125 hp straight-eight with a nine bearing crankshaft, one shot lubrication, and thermostatically controlled radiator shutters. The Royale rode upon factory wheelbases of 131 (Model 8-31) and 135 inches (Model 8-35); a 1932 custom version rode upon a 152-inch wheelbase (Model 8-52). As many as 3 Dietrich coachbuilt bodies were built on 148 inch wheels base in 1931. Beginning in 1933, the Royale also featured as an option REO's semi-automatic transmission, the Self-Shifter. The Model 8-31 was priced at 2145.00 dollars. The model 8-35 was priced from 2745.00 dollars for the sedan to 3,000.00 dollars for the convertible coupe. The coachbuilt cars were priced close to 6,000 dollars. A convertible victoria was listed at 3195.00 dollars but only one is known to have been built. The 8-35 & 8-52 are considered full CCCA classics.

This appears to be a very soild car that was taken apart to have the engine rebuilt, but the project stalled. All the parts are with the car and after the engine is rebuilt it should be a fairly straight forward process to reassemble the car. The top structure will need reconstructed and as you can see it appears the interior was redone in the 50's or 60's, so its up to you whether you retain that kitschy feauture or restore it to original.

This is a very rare car with few surviving examples.

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