In 1896 Ransom Olds created the Olds Motor Company. In 1903 he left the company due to a conflict of ideas over the direction of the company. He formed the R.E.O. Motor Car Company, the name REO was formed from his initials. Production of the REO automobiles began in 1904 with the first vehicle being ready by 1905. A year later, the company was producing around 500 vehicles a month. By the beginning of World War I, the company was producing 100 cars a day. The REO Model H Power Wagon had a total capacity of 1500 pounds. The one-cylinder, engine was located under the seat and sent power to the rear wheels through double chains. The base price was $750 with the Panasote folding top setting the buyer back an additional $50. By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006
REO was the second successful company created by Ransom E. Olds, founder of the recently defunct Oldsmobile. REO began building cars in 1905 and added trucks to its lineup several years later. Ransom Olds' initial designs borrowed heavily from the carriages and buggies of the period, as seen in this early utility truck. REO's best known model was the Speedwagon of the 1920s. The Speedwagon was basically a heavy-duty pick-up style truck available on a 1/2 to 1-ton chassis. This nameplate was adopted by a popular rock band of the 1970s and 80s, R-E-O Speedwagon.