CHASSIS NO: 252962
• Cutting edge engineering, early streamlined design, attractive color selection
• Proven Lockheed hydraulic brakes; dual side-mounted spares
• Solid body and craftsmanship; elite trim and appointments
• Comfortable seating for driver and passengers
268 cid L-head six-cylinder engine, 85 HP, Stromberg single-barrel carburetor, three-speed manual transmission, solid front axle, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 118"
Within three years of establishing his first automotive company, Ransom E. Olds sold his Olds Motor Vehicle Company in 1899 to copper and lumber magnate Samuel L. Smith but agreed to stay on as Vice President and General Manager. However, by 1904, Smith’s son Frederick had come up in the organization and his ideas on management often clashed with Olds to the extent that Ransom E. Olds left the company bearing his name. In short order, he established a new motor car company and using his initials, the REO Motor Company was born. From the start, REO automobiles and later trucks, found a loyal following. Olds was a visionary and ended up owning several other businesses such as organizing the Capital National Bank in Lansing, plus companies directly related to the automotive industry. In 1927, REO introduced the new Flying Cloud series which presented high performance and attractive cars, thanks to the help of stylist Fabio Segardi. REO was a trendsetter even as the U.S. was in the middle of a deep depression. During the early 1930s, it wasn’t unusual for a car maker to present two model years within the same 12-month period. For REO, the first 1933 six-cylinder cars were released on July 13, 1932, with the first eight-cylinder cars going on sale a few weeks later on August 1st. Then on the day after Christmas, the new six, branded the 1933 Flying Cloud, was released the same day as the new 1933 Royale eight-cylinder cars. In the Flying Cloud line were three standard models, a coupe, a convertible, and a sedan, and for about $95 more, the Elite models with a bit more brightwork and upgraded interiors were available. The car we are offering is one of those rare top shelf Flying Cloud Elite sedans. Segardi’s styling presented some of the first attempts to streamline automotive design. This is evident in the high-crown front fenders which flow to full skirting which aided in flowing through the air as well as providing a visual beauty in concealing the chassis and suspension of the cars. Bodies were a bit wider which offered a bit more room for passengers and, with advancements in body construction, rides were smoother and quieter than the competition. The Elite version of the sedan has about a $95 premium over the standard model.
This particular car was located by the consignor while in the possession of well-known REO enthusiast Robert “Gabby” Joiner from Rio Rancho, New Mexico. It is finished in an attractive two-tone motif with the body side panels in Battleship Gray while the roof, body accents and fenders are in gloss black. It is fitted with dual side-mounted spares and all six wire wheels have been painted a vibrant red. To the rear, a period-correct travel trunk is a perfect fit for the factory trunk rack. Seats and door panels are covered with a gray stripe broadcloth and the original wood dashboard has the REO branded speedometer and related gauges are properly mounted and fully functional. Two modern gauges have been added below the dash for water temperature and electrical charging. The engine, which is original to the car, is a strong running powerplant that makes this REO compatible with modern traffic and stands ready to be taken for a leisurely drive. Other appointments include the original style dual-trumpet horns, accessory driving lights, and mirrors attached to the top of the side-mount spares, as well as another pair attached to the driver’s door. This was an exciting car when it was new and offered modern styling for the day and distinctive retro-styling that is ever so appealing today.