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For Sale at Auction: 1906 REO Runabout in Hershey, Pennsylvania

Auction Vehicle
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Vehicle Description

  • Ransom Olds's second car
  • High-quality award-winning restoration
  • Excellent one- and two-cylinder tour car


Although his curved-dash Oldsmobile was America's best-selling car, Ransom Olds found himself quarreling with his principal investor, Samuel Smith, and Smith's sons Frederic and Angus, who were managing the Olds Motor Works. After a blowup with Fred Smith, Olds left in the early part of 1904. He didn't stay away from the auto industry very long. That summer he founded the R.E. Olds Company, changing it to Reo Motor Car Company, using his initials, after the Smiths complained.

The first Reo car was completed that October and exhibited at the New York show in January 1905. A 16 hp twin-cylinder car selling for $1,250, it was soon joined by a smaller single-cylinder sibling, with an engine just half its size and priced at $650. At curved-dash Olds prices, it was a lot more car, and Olds could feel vindicated when Reo sales surged ahead of Oldsmobile's in 1906. Single-cylinder cars were continued until 1910, the cars gaining two inches of wheelbase in 1908.

Acquired by the Merrick Collection from Arthur B. Smith in 1995, this Reo Model R has received a number of trophies at local shows. A high-quality restoration, it presents very well, with a deep red body with white accent striping and black hood and fenders. The dashboard and steering wheel are highly varnished hardwood, which complement a dovetail tool and incidentals box mounted on the rear deck area. Dietz brass lighting is used throughout.

Ideal for one- and two-cylinder tours, this early Reo will be an excellent addition to any collection.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/hf19.

Vehicle Details

  • Listing ID:CC-1262233
  • Price:Auction Vehicle
  • Location:Hershey, Pennsylvania
  • Year:1906
  • Make:REO
  • Model:Runabout
  • Odometer:0
  • Stock Number:759488
  • VIN:4616