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1905 REO Two-Cylinder

1905 REO Two-Cylinder 1905 REO Two-Cylinder 1905 REO Two-Cylinder Sold for $60,500 at 2014 RM Auctions - Automobiles of Arizona.
High bid of $40,000 at 2016 Mecum : Monterey. (did not sell)
Ransom Eli Olds was 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 by his principal investor, Samuel Smith, and his sons, Frederic and Angus, who were managing the Olds Motor Works. The Smiths felt the future lay in larger, more expensive cars, while Olds was committed to more economical vehicles. Unable to use the Oldsmobile name, he started a new company using his initials.

In August of 1904, Ransom E. Olds founded the Reo Company. The REO Company manufactured automobiles and trucks from 1905 through 1936. The first REO car was completed that October and exhibited at the New York Auto Show in January 1905. This 16-horsepower, twin-cylinder car sold for $1,250, and it was soon joined by a smaller single-cylinder sibling, with an engine just half its size and priced at $650. By 1906, sales had surged past Oldsmobiles.

In 1907, the REO Company was one of the top four automobile manufacturers in the United States, based on sales. After 1908, the demise of the REO Company began due to competition from Ford and General Motors.

This particular two-cylinder REO was built soon after manufacture commenced on October 15, 1904. It wears an older, well-cared-for restoration. It has correct and authentic brass, including a center-mounted spotlight with a dash-mounted carbide generator, a running board-mounted Sunlyte carbide generator for the Gray & Davis headlights and matching side lights and taillights, and a clock, speedometer, and bulb horn.

To make the vehicle safer for modern driving, the car has been fitted with brass electric turn signals. A modern electric starter was added for convenience and stress-free driving.

It is believed that this car was in the previous owner's family for over five decades. It has been in California since the 1950s.

Power is from a horizontally opposed L-head two-cylinder engine displacing 35.4 cubic-inches and offering 16 horsepower. There is a two-speed planetary transmission and two-wheel mechanical drum brakes.


By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2014
1905 REO Two-Cylinder 1905 REO Two-Cylinder 1905 REO Two-Cylinder Sold for $38,500 at 2014 Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction.
The REO Company was formed in 1905 after Mr. Ransom Eli Olds (the initials forming the name of the company) had departed ('retired'0 from the Olds Motor Works the year before after a disagreement with his business partners. They had wanted Olds to move beyond the firm's popular curved-dash buggy and start building larger and more powerful automobiles. Mr. Olds did not share the same vision. The court finally got involved and they managed to keep the rights to his name, but not his initials.

REO completed their first car in October of 1904, a two-cylinder Tonneau producing around 16 horsepower and was priced at $1,250. It was unveiled at the New York Auto Show where it was well received. A less-expensive, single-cylinder Runabout soon followed. A line of four-cylinder models were later introduced, after Ransom Olds watched the success of the Ford Model T.

The REO Company would continue until the mid-1930s when the Great Depression and financial woes brought the company to an end.

This particular Runabout is believed to be from the company's first year of production. Robert Ullrich purchased this car in complete, but disassembled, condition from Don Short of Port Ludlow. Mr. Ullrich reassembled the car and put it into correct running order. In 2002, the car completed the five-day 'Tour of The Country' from Spokane, Washington, to Seattle, commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the American Automobile Club of America.

The Runabout is fitted with a 2-cylinder L-Head engine fitted with a single carburetor offering 15 horsepower. There is a rear band-type brakes and a 2-speed planetary transmission.


By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2014
1905 REO Two-Cylinder 1905 REO Two-Cylinder 1905 REO Two-Cylinder Sold for $44,000 at 2014 Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction.
This particular Runabout is believed to be from the company's first year of production. Robert Ullrich purchased this car in 2006 from Southern California collector Robert Ricewasser. It has been shown many times and won a number of awards, including a class win at Hershey, Pennsylvania. It was also used frequently in classic car club tours during his ownership.

The car is finished in bright red with black fenders and trim. It is a right-hand drive REO Roadster which features a tufted black leather seat.


By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2014



Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1905 Two-Cylinder
$1,250-$7,000
1905 REO Two-Cylinder Base Price : $1,250

Model Year Production

#1#2#3REO
1910Ford (32,053)Buick (30,525)Overland (15,598)6,588
1909Ford (17,771)Buick (14,606)Maxwell (9,460)6,592
1908Ford (10,202)Buick (8,820)Studebaker (8,132)4,105
1907Ford (14,887)Buick (4,641)Maxwell (3,785)2,458
1906Ford (8,729)Cadillac (3,650)Rambler (2,765)2,458
1905Oldsmobile (6,500)Cadillac (4,029)Rambler (3,807)864
1904Oldsmobile (5,508)Rambler (2,342)Cadillac (2,319)
1903Oldsmobile (3,924)Cadillac (2,497)Locomobile (1,897)
1902Locomobile (2,750)Oldsmobile (2,500)Columbia (1,583)
1901Locomobile (1,561)Columbia (1,427)Winton (686)
1900Columbia (1,393)Locomobile (767)Winton (218)

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