Jump to content

1931 REO Royale Victoria 8-35

Guest Gump159

Recommended Posts

Guest Gump159

OK, Here is the story....

In 1982 I bought a 1931 REO Royale Victoria 8-35 in Argentina and had it shipped to Seattle. It took a little fresh gas and a new battery and the car fired right up. I drove it around for a while then started a frame up restoration. This car was originally purchased and shipped to Argentina by an ESSO executive and remained in his possession until WWII, then owned and driven daily by the same gent until I bought it.

The good news and the bad news:

The soft top was replaced and welded in solid

The original trunk was replaced with a lid

The spokes on the wire wheels were tacked in place on the rim

There were some rust out spots in the fenders and battery box

Most of the body wood was replaced in Seattle, the original wood is still intact and available

There were a number of small dents here and there (running boards)

All of the paint has been stripped and primered gray

The seats have been re-upholstered twice (3 layers of covering)


Engine and transmission

Running boards (Amateur restoration)

Headlights (originals were converted to sealed beam)

Taillights & stantions (complete with the correct lenses both clear and red)

An assortment of literature, including a copy/copy of a shop manual


Title and Registration

One exterior door handle

One fender light


Some of the Detroit Lubricator fittings

Trunk box

Hub caps and wheel covers (I have one "Lyon" cover)

This car is in my garage in Seattle and I have now lived in Dallas for several years, my interests have changed and I am considering selling this car. I have no recent pictures of any of the restoration/disassembly, I can only tell you what I remember of it. The car was taken apart and the nuts & bolts were put in labeled boxes and pieces preserved as best we could. I may be able to get someone in the shop to take some pictures of the body/parts and pieces.John_Maddock@Yahoo.com

In twenty five years I have seen only one Victoria in restorable condition come up for sale, Hemmings could find records of no other Victoria since this one (Sept/Aug 82).

The current Old Car price guide (June 09) lists the value of this car as described between a #6 at $1280 to #5 at $3840. Gents, let me be real frank here, I won't even consider letting go of this fine car at these prices. Particularly when I see a fender light sell on E Bay for $410. I have no intention of "Parting Out" this car, I'd leave it in the garage for another 25 years first.

It will not be practical and I have no interest in flying to Seattle and show this fine car to a bunch of "Looky Leweys" but I will make the trip with a substantial deposit on hand. I realize this is right up there with “Buying a Pig in the Polk”, but maybe something can be worked out. If you are interested or need to learn more info, please start a dialog via this posting or e-mail me at John_Maddock@Yahoo.com.

What I propose is this, if you are interested in owning and completing the restoration of this car to it's full potential, make me an offer based on these points: This is a restorable & extremely rare (5 to 7 known to exist), Classic Automobile as listed by The CCCA.

I will certainly consider all offers that are reasonable based on the preceding information.

Thank you for your interest and understanding.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

TG's Recipe For Disaster:

Take a deserving old car, in this case, a full-blown True Classic.

Add a vague, but highly-decorative description.

Throw in a good measure of the goods and bads.

Whet your guest's appetites, but don't forget to exclude photos.

Toss out the title and registration, a faux pas at any car connoisseur's table.

Mix it all together in large boxes and bins, carefully fold in a generous dash of attitude...

Et voila!

We're all ready to run screaming from the table. :rolleyes:


aka Lookey Lewey

Edited by TG57Roadmaster (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The "trunk" mods sounded like a huge problem, but there are at least two cars on google images that have fairly good pics of that area. The trunk seems very simple in design, and likely easy to fabricate.

I would have put the best pic up here of a red car in storage, but the photo is copyrighted.

Interesting that some pics have a rack and one does not.

Well, the market is pretty gloomy for projects and may never recover, but I hope someone gets it back together again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dismantled projects are always tough sells. On the plus side, I think we could all agree that a REO Royale Victoria is a desirable & cool car. The only way to sell something like this is lots and lots of detailed clear pictures and a very detailed inventory of what parts are in the disassembled lot. I agree that the car is worth more then the 4 or 5k blue book. However, keep in mind that the prospective new owner will never get their money back on a restoration, even if you give them the car.

I've posted in some other threads a Victoria with a completely polished aluminum top. I don't think it would be the greatest sin to simply finish it off (assuming it's not a hack job) the way it is and paint it. Frank makes a good point on the trunk too. The wheels are probably ruined or at least would be cost prohibitive to fix so some other wheels will need to be sourced. Was there a set posted recently - I thought I remember a set for a Royale.

The last thing is the title would be a huge problem in my state. It may make the most sense if you can prove you imported the car from Argentina in 1982 that you title it before selling it.

Edited by alsancle
I hate spelling mistakes (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 2 years later...

Well I hope it gets back to original. Yes, a lot of money will be needed to restore it, but the current pricing is not too bad in my opinion, as far as what it could be. In other words, I don't feel the seller is trying to get greedy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now and then we toy with the idea of establishing a lower hourly labor rate for pre-war cars in an effort to get more of them into the shop. We cut our teeth on them and surely enjoy working on older vehicles but inevitably more and more of the work that comes in is '50s and now some '60s.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's happening in a local shop also, used to be the late owner would only take in pre-1948 or so cars, now to keep busy it's 50's and 60's. There's one early sedan in the shop now, late 20's, but that's rare now at that particular shop.....

It is a shame things are so expensive to restore now, chrome, paint, mechanical, and labor throw the costs through the roof.... this Royale would bring good money restored, but still not the sum that a professional shop would cost....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

John Maddock is selling his Reo Royale 8-35 Victoria through an add in HMN but always without pictures:

REO: 1931 Royale Victoria coupe, restoration project, last driven 1982, restoration started and has been stored in Seattle; extremely rare, Full Classic as recognized by the CCCA, some extra parts, missing door handle, fender light, clock, great potential, $15,000 obo. 206-218-5240, WA; Price: $15,000

If I search on Google, there is also an other telephone number ........... near Forth Worth, TX, let 817-301-9195, as apparently the car is in Rockwall, TX. The car! it is a great word because we never have seen a picture of it. In which state it was on September 20, 2010, when he posted the history and in which state it can be now four years later??? WE CAN NOT PURCHASE A CAT IN A BAG !!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

The Victoria is still owned by John Maddock. I talked to him and he was kind enough to refer me to his son Jack and let me see the car and take many pics which will help in my restoration. John lives in Texas, but his son lives in Seattle at the property where the car is kept. The car is almost completely appart, with good wood, a good body... but it will need a complete restoration. It would be a nice project for somebody having the time and cash to do it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The nice older restoration in blue earlier in this thread sold for around 60k. There was an older restoration in the club newsletter last year for 45k.

To clarify my comments, the powder blue 8-35 sold 4 or 5 years ago. The one in the club newsletter was a 8-31 older restoration. I do not believe it has been sold.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Significant Cars of Indianapolis has a Reo Royale Victoria Coupe for sale on its site, "car taken apart to rebuild engine", with 26 photos. Black car, unrestored, front of body & motor off of car, engine still not done. Can I assume this is the same Reo the OP described 7 years ago?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...