1954 Reo F221B Civil Defense Truck
2-Ton, Winch, Siren, Limited Slip
1954 REO Gold Comet F221B Civil Defense Truck for sale. At the onset of the Cold War, the Federal Government wanted to prepare American cities for a potential nuclear exchange with the USSR and ordered up 1,300 Civil Defense Rescue Service trucks such as this REO Gold Comet. They were referred to as "Calamity Janes" and stocked stretchers, gas masks, drinking water, tools and first aid along with many other emergency supplies.
I purchased this 1954 Reo F221B locally from an estate. We were told that it came from the Southern California area when purchased by its last owner 21 years ago. They were told that it was used on the MASH television series after its life as a civil defense vehicle (though I have nothing to support this and not enough time to watch the 250+ episodes to verify). The odometer shows 6,275 miles. A family friend/mechanic believes these to be close to the original though the odometer failed at some point so we have no way of knowing. The cabinets are all in working order and most of the wood is in decent shape though the panel behind the driver's seat has taken on some moisture and will need to be replaced for the master cabinet lock to work effectively.
The truck starts runs and drives. It had been sitting for a couple of years unused but a fresh battery and a shot of gas in the carburetor and it started right up. I drove it 21 miles without issue, however, it should be checked out before any long-range regular driving. It is equipped with its Gold Comet 128-hp, 292ci engine, delivering 128 horsepower at 3,200 RPM. It has its original 5+2 Eaton non-syncronized transmission with a Detroit NoSPIN differential along with heavy-duty power winch and working siren. It has 20" 6-lug wheels with Duallys in the rear. The spare tire is present. The clutch works well and the steering seems fine. This is a big truck, the maximum GVR is 20,000 Lbs., we estimate that the vehicle weight to be somewhere around 10,000 Lbs. It is 121' tall, 98" wide and 285" in length.
This REO is an interesting piece of American history. It could be used as a business promotional vehicle, food truck, mobile store or any number of things. For more information on this rare REO, contact Donn at 707-332-8331.
#militaryvehicle #foodtruck #metrovan #coldwar #duckandcover #vintagetrucks #vintagevans #stepvan #leftcoastclassics
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