This spectacular specimen of Ransom Eli Olds second attempt at car manufacturing with his new company, REO Motor Car Company, following his abrupt departure owing to irreconcilable differences with the management of his first company in 1904 (Oldsmobile), is nearly 98% original as built in the fourth year of production, with the first REOs available in 1905. This car starts, runs and stops as designed by R. E. Olds, and has not been altered in any manner from its original design.
After it had been driven into a Milwaukee, Wisconsin collectors garage in 1992, this car sat for another 19 years before I bought it in fairly poor condition and began the restoration process around the first of June, 2011. Most notably, much of the wood on this car was in profoundly poor condition, but the seat tub and seat pedestal, engine cover and 45 degree angled floor board were salvageable. The firewall, running boards and horizontal floorboards were warped and delaminated beyond restoration, and had to be replaced. I still, however, retain these original pieces and they will be available upon request of the next owner.
The first task was to get the car rolling, as the existing tires were destroyed during its storage and were cracked, flat and rock solid. I had to cut them off with a hacksaw, and I repainted the snap rings, rims and spokes along with the hubs, and ordered new 28 x 3 tires. The front wheel bearings looked good, and I repacked those along with the rear roller sleeve bearings. Once I mounted the newly refurbished wheels onto the frame, I could move the car around more easily in the process of the refurbishment.
The next step was to remove the fenders from the running boards and frame, and take all of the sheet metal to a local body shop to be repaired and painted Torch Red, a GM color that makes the car stand out significantly. I also used the old warped running boards as patterns to construct new oak running boards, and the brass edge trim was salvageable from the old boards and I polished and reattached these trim pieces to the new running boards. The original frame was painted a flat red, although it may have been gloss red back in its day, and had simply faded over the 100 years, I am not certain nor are any of my resources from the various antique car clubs of which I am a member. I have subsequently repainted the frame black, as a few of these cars had black frames originally.
The wood seat pedestal had a significant crack along the shift handle side, owing to its structural stress of the handle attached to the wood panel itself, and I had to reinforce the inside of the pedestal and repaint the pedestal in black. The original white stenciled REO logo was barely apparent, and I replaced this with a gold REO decal along with the front brass REO radiator emblem. The car had nothing on the rear deck nor any top irons or bows, and accordingly I fabricated a mother-in-law fold down seat using an early original yet deteriorated seat as a pattern. I still retain this old pattern seat and it is available upon request from the next owner.
The top brackets were still present in the original seat, as were the seat springs and seat tub. All were refurbished with new leather upholstery and gloss black paint. The top irons were fabricated by Mels Leather and Horsehair, located in Jeromesville, OH, as well as the cast brass brackets and securing knobs. I fabricated the top bows myself, and had the new irons and bows upholstered in Stay-fast canvas, in addition to obtaining front leather straps from Bobs Antique Car Parts in Loves Park, Illinois. These straps were original equipment on the 1909 Ford Model T Touring and Roadster, but fit perfectly with the 1908 REO application.
The original coil box was in rough condition, but I had it reconditioned by Bob Stauffer of Schaumburg, Illinois along with a carburetor cleaning and reconditioned cork float. The original oiler needed cleaning and polishing, but worked perfectly in providing approximately 12 drips per minute as recommended by the owners manual, of which I have a partial copy. The original starting handle was missing when I purchased the car, and I had a working replica manufactured along with a running board mounted support bracket, and the engine started and ran very well with very little effort.
The running gear seemed somewhat worn, but serviceable, and I did not replace any of these components with the exception of the brake linings, which were brittle and worn out. The original reverse and first gear linings are still in place, as well as the drive chain, rear end, original axles, hubs and axle support rods.
The original battery box secured to the passenger (left side) running board was in poor condition, and was missing the top. I was able to recondition the batter box, and fabricated a wooden top and secured it with a leather strap.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this ad is provided by the seller and not OldRide.com. The prices, terms, and reliability of the item remains subject to the direct negotiation between the buyer and seller. OldRide.com is not responsible for any damages that may occur during a transaction. For more resources about purchasing a vehicle online visit our help section "Buying a