Ransom Eli Olds was one of the pioneering leaders of the American automobile industry. Olds was hugely 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. No longer able to use his name for a car of his design, he used his initials instead. Thus Reo was established and built fine, reliable, moderately priced cars until 1931 when the company introduced the Royale.
The REO was a mid-range car. Certainly above the Ford or Chevrolet, but not a Cord, Packard, or Cadillac. REO's luxury model, the Royale, debuted in 1931, arguably one of the most beautiful motor cars ever produced, and perhaps the most ill-timed. The depression effectively killed the company, along with many other prestigious companies of the time.
The Reo Royale was a tour de force in virtually all respects and even though the company was losing money, over six million dollars were set aside for its development, with the hopes of appealing to a new market.
The Reo Royale was one of the first automobiles to be wind tunnel tested. With the attractive coachwork designed by Amos Northup of the Murray Corporation, it was also beautifully aerodynamic as its flowing lines and extensive exterior detail gave it an appearance all its own. A top speed of 90 miles per hour was guaranteed and at a cost in excess of $3,000 it exceeded most everyone's expectations as it delivered style, technical innovation and individuality in a crowded luxury motor car market.
The Royale came as a sedan, coupe or victoria, and its lines flowed gracefully from a V-shaped grille, with fenders much rounder than on previous models. Its wheelbase measured 3,429 mm (135 inch). A small number of 3,861 mm (152 inch.) wheelbase chassis was also produced for custom bodies. Of the Convertible Coupe only 50 were made between 1931 and 1932. Less than ten Reo Royale Convertible Coupes are believed to remain in existence.
I am not a natural flatterer, I like to think that I "tell it like it is", politely I hope. So when I tell you that I am very impressed by the contents of your website, it is just not English politeness. I of course love the subject matter but you deal with it in an energetic and respectful manner. I am overwhelmed by the research that has gone into compiling the list of coachbuilders/bodybuilders for Europe and North America. I have never heard of the vast majority of them.
Congratulations on an excellent website.
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