1906 REO Model B 8HP Runabout

  • Brand: REO
  • Car Code: 281149

Ransom Eli Olds was successful in selling his Curved Dash Oldsmobile, but when he resisted dropping it in favor of a more modern, expensive automobile he was forced out of his own company. Unable to use the Oldsmobile name, he started a new company using his initials.

In August of 1904, Ransom E. Olds founded the Reo Company. The REO Company manufactured automobiles and trucks from 1905 through 1936. In 1907, it was one of the top four automobile manufacturers in the United States, based on sales. After 1908, the demise of the REO Company began due to competition from Ford and General Motors.

The Depression and a courageous effort to offer vehicles in multiple price ranges ultimately led do the downfall of the company. The company was under the direction of Richard H. Scott from 1915 through 1933. The company was profitable from 1915 through 1925, but after 1933, Ransom Olds came out of retirement to get the company back on track. He resigned a year later and in 1936 the REO Company ceased production of automobiles.

The first REOs were two cylinder runabouts which Olds designated the Model B – with obvious reference to an earlier model he'd left behind at Oldsmobile. The 16hp twin was soon joined by a small, simple 7 1/2hp single competing directly with the Curved Dash.

The 8hp Model B had a single cylinder motor mounted under the body floor driving through a 2-speed planetary gearbox and single chain drive to the rear axle. In a concession to contemporary design trends, the Model B's used a conventional-style hood with the brass radiator at its front. Priced at just $1,250 it offered exceptional value at the time, value which REO demonstrated with the stunts, tours and expeditions which Olds had used effectively to promote the Oldsmobile.

Descriptions & pictures by bonhams & conceptcarz

Production Start 1906
Country of origin USA