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alsancle

Reo Royale

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alsancle    436

I wanted to start a thread on Reo Royale. I'm putting it down here in the CCCA forum instead of up in the Reo forum because the Reo guys will come down here but I'm not sure the CCCA guys will go up there!

I have always liked the Royale because of its styling and I gravitate towards big straight 8 engines. Introduced in the fall of 1930 for the 1931 model year the styling was 3 or 4 years ahead of the curve. As a 12 year old I have vivid memories of my dad's giddiness when he discovered the two Royales in Bill's Junk Yard down in Rhode Island had a bunch of Model J Duesenberg parts attached to them.

Quick Overview. There were basically 3 models, the 8-31,8-35 & 8-52. The second number indicates wheelbase, 131,135 & 152. There were also 1 to 3 coachbuilt bodies put on a 148 inch wheel base which have come to be referred to as 8-48. In 33, the 8-31 became the N2 and the 8-35 became the N1. I think the 52 was dropped.

The 8-35 & 8-52 are considered full CCCA classics. The 8-31 was basically a Flying Cloud with the Royale underpinnings. I find the 8-31 interesting because it is a smaller car that got the bigger engine which became a popular performance technique with manufacturers in later years.

There were 4 standard factory bodies, a Victoria, Sedan, Conv Coupe (made only in 31 & 32), and a 3 window. At least one convertible Victoria was built on the 8-35 chassis. There was mention of 3 coachbuilt Dietrich cars on the 8-48 chassis. One of those is known to have survived.

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alsancle    436

There are 10 to 12 of the Convertible Coupes known to still exist. I think there were 50 originally built. Much like Packard, The convertibles were built by taking the 3 window and removing the top. Much unlike Packard, no 3 windows have been turned into convertible coupes - as far as I know.

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edinmass    274

Can someone post engine and chassis photos and comments? What shocks. steering box, brakes, ect did they use on the REO?

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alsancle    436

Jason - good question. I have no idea and have never seen full production figures. I'll see what I can find.

Ed - I'll dig up some pictures. The engine is a 125hp 358 cu. in. straight eight-cylinder. Most cars were delivered with a 3 speed but a 4 speed was a 50 dollar option. I think the 4 speed was a Warner but not sure. Brakes are juice and many of the components are shared with Model J Duesenberg.

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alsancle    436

The 3 window coupe is very rare with 3 or 4 known to my knowledge. This is the one that Barry Brown found in a garage in Canada where it had sat for 50 years. I would own this now if I didn't get talked out of it. It is now in Ohio hopefully being restored. There is a beautifully restored one with wood wheels down in Texas that is fairly regularly seen on the Concours circuit.

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trimacar    537

I've stood next to the purple car, and while the color isn't my favorite, it was easy to see why the car should be, and is, a Full Classic.....

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alsancle    436

The purple convertible coupe was restored to match the catalog colors by John Barker who was the Royale club expert for many years. It is now in Sweden. The colors are not for everyone and I think definitely hurt the resale price. However, they did build at least one with those colors.

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trimacar    537

Is the color based on the catalog illustration, or is there documentation that one came from the factory that color?

A lot of catalog illustrations are just artist's misconceptions.

The car would be so much classier in a more sedate paint scheme.....all that said, would love to have it in my garage, complaining about the color!!

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alsancle    436

The Victoria was a closed 2 door with seating for 5. The trunk was an option although it seems most cars came with it. There are 5 or 6 known 8-35 Victorias and maybe 2 or 3 of the 8-31.

Not the factory photo with the polished top and no accessory trunk.

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alsancle    436

There was thought to be 3 8-48 chassis built with custom bodies by Dietrich. This is the long survivor. The 2 others were a convertible victoria and a convertible sedan. I'm wondering if the convertible victoria is confused with the 8-35 car I posted earlier in this thread. The body on this car is identical to the 835 Packard that was in Harrah's collection for many years and then to Nethercutt.

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Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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alsancle    436

If you get out your CCCA register (I was looking at the 2012 one) you will see that out of the 10 or 12 Royales in club, 80% are 8-35 Sedans. I assume they high rate of survival correlates to the highest rate of production originally. This particular car has the wood wheels which are known to be on only a 2 or 3 surviving cars.

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alsancle    436

The 8-52 long wheel base cars were only built in 1932 and seem to be exceedingly rare. There are only a few known (2,3?) to survive. I don't know if anything other than the sedan body was ever mounted on this chassis.

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Matt Harwood    985

Here are some engine and chassis photos of the silver/blue convertible coupe shown up above. The owner is a friend of mine with one of the most spectacular collections of high-grade #1 quality American Classics. By far my favorite collection to visit.

Several innovative features on the Reos, including hydraulic brakes. This one might be ridiculously over-restored because there's a lot of bling on the engine. It's one heck of a flashy car. Shockingly, the restoration dates to 1984, when it was both an AACA and CCCA National First Prize winner. It's still excellent, although you can see some wear on the moving parts and the result of a little brake fluid leakage on the master cylinder. A very impressive car nonetheless.

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alsancle    436

I think all the chrome on the engine is correct with the exception of perhaps the heat tube and the head bolts. The finish looks to be a bit shiny of course.

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alsancle    436

Matt,

That is a really nice looking car. I see the owner had a common issue which is finding 650-18 tires. The 700-18s that are on the car make it impossible to install the sidemount covers. There are a number of choices in the 700-18 size but nothing in the 65-18. Maybe when you get a chance you could ask him where he found it. This is one of the 10 or so known convertible coupes.

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West Peterson    100

I agree. The engine compartment looks normal to me, too. When you say "over restored with a lot of bling," you make it sound as though it doesn't belong. The car doesn't come across to me as being over restored.

If I remember correctly, this car was sold at auction a few years ago, out of a Pennsylvania collection.

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West Peterson    100
If you get out your CCCA register (I was looking at the 2012 one) you will see that out of the 10 or 12 Royales in club, 80% are 8-35 Sedans.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]257342[/ATTACH]

If you look at the current Directory, 100% are sedans.

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West Peterson    100
I've stood next to the purple car, and while the color isn't my favorite, it was easy to see why the car should be, and is, a Full Classic.....

There are two purple cars. Both of which are illustrated above.

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alsancle    436
If you look at the current Directory, 100% are sedans.

By current count, there are about 20 known cars that are not 8-35 sedans. I would like to figure out original production. Some of the standard reference guides state production in the thousands which I do not believe.

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alsancle    436
The one I saw was the one with chrome/stainless wire wheels.....these are great cars for sure....

From a color perspective, I actually prefer the other with the painted wheels. That said, not sure I would be painting anything other than a Challenger plum crazy purple.

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One of the Purple Royale Convertibles was here in the Detroit area and did the show circuit for a couple of years before being sold to another Detroit area collector who had it repainted all silver (!!!!) about five years ago or thereabouts.

I recently was able to drive a mostly original, low mileage Royale sedan and was extremely impressed with how nimble and easy it was to drive. Much easier to handle than many of the other Full Classics of the same year.

Edited by motoringicons (see edit history)

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