1932 REO Royale Convertible CoupeSOLD
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Estimate: $220,000-$275,000 US

Sold: $220,000

Model 8-350. 125hp, 358 cu. in. straight eight-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission with vacuum-controlled clutch, four-wheel leaf spring suspension, lever action chassis lubrication, Lockheed four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 135"

Ransom Eli Olds was undoubtedly 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. Despite the poor economic times Reo felt he could compete with Chrysler and Packard in this luxury field. 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 Royale featured one-step lever-action chassis lubrication, thermostatically controlled radiator shutters, large 15-inch hydraulic brakes and a nine bearing 358 cubic inch straight eight engine. In addition, the Royale benefited from a vacuum-controlled clutch for automatic-like driving. 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.

Perhaps most interestingly, the Reo Royale was one of the first automobiles to be wind tunnel tested. With the attractive coachwork designed by the great 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.

S. Ray Miller purchased this rare Royale Convertible Coupe in 1988 from noted collector Mr. Tom Lester of Florida. The car was then treated to a full restoration by the award-winning experts at LaVine Restorations. Following restoration the Reo scored 100 points while winning an AACA National First Place trophy and a CCCA First Place award as well. It was acquired by the current owner within the last five years and has been properly stored and cared for ever since.

Finished in an elegant two-tone navy blue and silver with red pinstriping, its colors are enhanced by many period accessories including dual side-mount wire wheels, twin horns, a golf club door, fender lights and a rear-mounted trunk. The navy-colored cloth Haartz top is perfectly matched with the handsome navy interior as well. It is hard to find fault in the Reo’s overall condition as the interior shows only minor wear, the brightwork appears better than new and the paintwork, engine and bay are all in truly beautiful concours condition.

In 1932 Reo built just 3,560 cars, of which this Royale Convertible Coupe is believed to be one of only three known to remain in existence. The Reo Royale is recognized by the CCCA as a Full Classic and is a welcome participant in Classic Car Club of America events and tours nationwide. Notably, the CCCA currently shows very few Reo models registered, making this car a likely standout among the myriad of Packards and Cadillacs so often seen at club events.

Reference Number 38600

as of 2/10/2009

Car 1932 REO Royale Convertible Coupe
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