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For sale 1932 REO Royale what should I offer


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I need some help on a fair offer for this car, a good friend owns it and her husband just passed away and she is looking to sell it. It has been torn apart with no organizing, the parts a scattered all over the shop. It has an early 70's Oldsmobile rocket 350 that was last ran in 1993 when the project was started. It does have new independent front suspension with the motor and transmission mounted. Most all the major parts appear the be there, the gauge cluster does appear to be missing. the wood is just able to hold things together and the roof and upper body on the passenger side are starting to split, any and all help is appreciated! 

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Hi Lane. Welcome to AACA forums ! But please do keep in mind that you are on here with a bunch of AACA guys and gals. A REO Royale is a desirable , rare and valuable car. So you may get some powerful reactions here. So prepare to duck and cover. And AACA : please keep in mind that Lane is not the one who made a chopped up parts pile of this car. He just needs our help. Oh , hey Lane ! Speaking of helpful advice : probably turn off the fan , too. I have a premonition that something is about to hit it !     - Carl 

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Skip it. Not a desirable custom or rod and costs are high for a restoration. Now if you have lots of time and money go for it. Personally I feel it should be restored back to original but if the motor and other removed items are gone that would be difficult.

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That is really rolling the dice. Cars/situations like this are sad. If I was to say to you, think of any car that you would like to have? Would a 32 Reo sedan basket case be high on that list? I really feel for the seller, When cars are sold like this. The value is the sum of the parts that you can carry away. If you do buy the car, and move forward with the build. Put the front fenders on, and see if the front suspension is even in the right place, before you get to far into the build.

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18 minutes ago, alsancle said:

If it only includes what is shown then maybe 5k. The missing parts add up to about 30k.

 

Just from my own experience (which is limited), and not having examined the car (parts) personally, I was going to toss out a figure of $5k.  So, with alsancle's and my guess, you have two votes for $5k.  A MAJOR problem, in my opinion, both from the standpoint of restoration and hot-rodding, is the poor condition of the body shell wood frame.  From the description, the wood is in poor shape and probably needs replacing. 

 

Best of luck.

 

Cheers,

Grog

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Frankly, if you were to get the car for $1, whatever you then spend on it to create a usable car (perhaps another $25K+) will not likely be recovered if you decide to subsequently sell. Only face value right now is in the parts, including the body shell, (perhaps worth $3K as donor pieces). If She wants to see car finished as her husband envisaged, she is going to have to donate it to someone who has the time, energy, enthusiasm and $ to do it. Just my 2 cents worth.

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I agree with most of the above estimates. The car may be worth $5K, but only if you are taking on a labor of love. If you think you can restore the car and sell it for a profit - forget it. 

 

Several points:

  • Make sure the car is a Royale and not a regular REO.
  • Don't bother with the engine and transmission - you'll have to rebuild them.  It will cost you less money to get a rebuilt Chevy 350 and a 700r4 transmission.
  • Test fit the fenders, brake master cylinder and steering linkage. You may have to do substantial refitting. 
  • You're going to have to rebuild the woodwork yourself. It will be prohibitively expensive to have someone else to that for you. There are plenty of people on this forum who will give you advice. 
  • Start categorizing what parts are there and what are missing. Especially door handles, window mechanisms, side mounts, bumpers, luggage rack, seats, etc. Too many missing parts would make this project too costly.
  • One big question: why didn't the owner restore the car? What was preventing him from finishing? If it was lack of parts or money, why do you think you can finish the car?

I love REOs and would like to see this one restored to its original appearance, even though it has a modern drive train. It will be a beautiful car. But make sure you jump into this project with eyes wide open. It's going to cost you $$$. Frankly, I'd offer $3K and promise to finish the car. 

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Ebay auction, no reserve, cash and carry. Forget the money it represents, just get it out of the widow's life and out of her garage so she can move on. That's all she wants anyway. There's no cash score in that car, just get it gone.

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WOW you guys are great! What a fast response! I really do appreciate everyone's input! The motor and transmission are gone :-( so yes restoring to original is out of the question. My gut feeling was to offer from 3K to 5K thanks for confirming that. I was a little thrown off because it was a REO Royale and how rare they are. However in 1993 it was decided to be a hot rod. The main reason I have interest is to invest for the future, my farther and I have many pre war projects that can consume more money than I will every have and not to mention time as it is even more limited (can't make any more).

 

I'm sure it is a Royale see attached picture.

 

Also I have to share a photo of my son driving his 1966 mustang at Goodguys Texas Motor speedway last weekend (we restored together) sorry its off topic.

 

Thanks so much everyone!

Lane

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2 hours ago, RansomEli said:

I agree with most of the above estimates. The car may be worth $5K, but only if you are taking on a labor of love. If you think you can restore the car and sell it for a profit - forget it. 

 

Several points:

  • Make sure the car is a Royale and not a regular REO.
  • Don't bother with the engine and transmission - you'll have to rebuild them.  It will cost you less money to get a rebuilt Chevy 350 and a 700r4 transmission.
  • Test fit the fenders, brake master cylinder and steering linkage. You may have to do substantial refitting. 
  • You're going to have to rebuild the woodwork yourself. It will be prohibitively expensive to have someone else to that for you. There are plenty of people on this forum who will give you advice. 
  • Start categorizing what parts are there and what are missing. Especially door handles, window mechanisms, side mounts, bumpers, luggage rack, seats, etc. Too many missing parts would make this project too costly.
  • One big question: why didn't the owner restore the car? What was preventing him from finishing? If it was lack of parts or money, why do you think you can finish the car?

I love REOs and would like to see this one restored to its original appearance, even though it has a modern drive train. It will be a beautiful car. But make sure you jump into this project with eyes wide open. It's going to cost you $$$. Frankly, I'd offer $3K and promise to finish the car. 

To answer the "big" question, I believe it was money and time given the fact it was started in 1993 and has only progressed to the point you see it now.

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1 hour ago, Lane Jacobs said:

The main reason I have interest is to invest for the future, my farther and I have many pre war projects that can consume more money than I will every have and not to mention time as it is even more limited (can't make any more).

 

Honestly, if you are looking at this as an investment, you will likely be disappointed at the outcome. That car will spend more then it will ever return.

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Mr. Jacobs, here is another angle that maybe you haven't thought about.  Maybe you could ask the owner how much they would be willing to pay you to get everything cleaned out of their building.  Seriously, to a lot of folks, everything in the photos is scrap yard fodder.  Not speaking for myself here, but, putting money into something like this would be a case of throwing good money away.  Matt Harwood makes good sense in his posting above.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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Lane, re-read answer #11.   This is a situation to often found in this hobby,  Husband gone instead of the project.   She gains only garage space and peace of mind.  If you can help her sell it on Ebay, there is a possibility of some return and you won't be the guy who took advantage of her problem.  Wooden body cars are a lot more expensive to finish right than all steel cars, as shown by the progress in the last 24 years.

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If it was given to me, or a customer came to me with the project. The best use of the car  would be to build a custom out of it. Cut it in half, pull the rear section of the sedan forward. Removing the rear door, filling in the wheel openings in the body. You would create an extended 32 Reo truck cab. Cut the frame, add a few inches to the wheel base, fab a truck bed like a 33-34 Dodge truck. Modify the Reo rear fenders to fit the bed. And have a one off custom 32 Reo Royale extended cab pick up. Forget about the wood in it. And replace it all with steel. It would make a beautiful custom, and would not be that hard to do. There are a lot of companies the reproduce truck beds from different year/make/models. Car is not a waste, just takes some vision and desire on someones part to give it a new life.   

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I think $500 would be about right. No way is it worth more with all the stock parts missing and modified. Unless you want a 1980 Chev with a funny body and don't care how much time and money it costs you.

 

If you don't have the hots for a butchered REO then it's a rough condition parts car.

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A few simple FACTS.

It IS NOT a REO Royale.

It WAS a REO Royale.

It IS a hot rod project. One that will cost whomever takes it on far more money to finish than it will ever be worth.

Unless one could get it for free, it is a lousy investment.

There are a handful of parts there (including that grill shell!) that are worth considerable money, but only as parts. Without more information on all the parts there, I won't speculate further on that.

Many hotrodders like to have something different. That certainly is, and may well be sellable for the 5000 previously mentioned. Frankly, I wouldn't give a dollar for it if it was a mile from my house.

I used to have a REO, and like them. They were great mid-price cars.

 

Wishing you well.

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Xander W, I cannot go into details. Suffice to say, I have severe family issues to deal with on a daily basis. Your comment hit me in ways you probably did not anticipate. However, worry not. I am not hurt, nor offended in any way. And, maybe, your comment was intended in exactly the way it hit me (believe me, I probably would have shrieked with delight if someone weren't going to sleep in the next room.

 

The last puppy we got, basically for free, cost us over a thousand dollars for the five months we had him. I love dogs. It darn near killed me to have to be the one to take him to a new owner. And for all the misery he caused (he didn't do it intentionally, some people simply should not be allowed to have pets in the first place), the money he cost in food and supplies and etc, just hurt all the worse.

 

I hope nothing I ever say hurts or offends you in any way either. I enjoy many of your comments. The ones I haven't enjoyed are probably only all the ones on threads I never read.

Have a wonderful evening.

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The radiator shell and chrome trim could bring 500-1k if they are usable.   But now that I look at it on a computer and not my phone I want to change my assessment downward to 2-3k.  I don't see the door handles or any other trim parts.   If the fender lights, head lights and tailights are there then 3k or a bit more.  If not 2k or a bit less.

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When I look at adding another car to the too many I already have I consider the garage space. I will buy one, but if I have to slide something into a storage unit at my frequent user price of $110 per month, that adds $1300 per year for starters. And a disassembled car takes up two car spaces. Imagine that situation going on since 1993.

 

Too bad it is all messed up now, but if the guy enjoyed the dream for the last 25 years of his life it has served its purpose. It wasn't a very good idea in the first place. Let them both rest.

 

Better get that one picture with the Confederate flag out of there.

Bernie

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8 hours ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

Getting the car for free, would be like a free puppy.

More like a free white elephant.

 

I agree that you might be able to sell $2000 to $3000 worth of parts off the wreck. But you don't do business to hope you get your money back. You pay $500 and hope you can sell enough parts to make a profit after paying for the car, transportation, storage, advertising, your time and work, etc.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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5k is more than I would pay for that even with a good title. it is just not a desirable car for a hot rod. if was a 1934 with the more rounded fenders it would be more desirable but still I can buy those with a title and in the same condition for 2k. As for replacing all the wood guys weld the areas where wood was at instead of replacing the wood.

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But if you buy a finished car. You miss out on the joy of breaking a glass lens, chrome shop loosing pieces, new glass not fitting, wrong brake parts, machine shop having the engine for two years, a painter going through three marriages, white walls turning yellow over time, an interior shop telling you that material is no longer made, missing wiper parts, window cranks that had vise grips on them for the restoration, using sheet metal screws where no on will see them because you lost the 12-32 machine screw, looking at anything made of rubber to see if it will work on the running boards, sending the gauges off and never getting them back. So when stepping back and really thinking about buying a finished car over the project. A person has to wonder, why would you ever buy a finished car???  

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Bravo , X' ! Very well put ! As a mere old tinkerer , I appreciate this realistic perspective from a real Master. It is starting to dawn on me that I have recently bit off more than the old chompers can handle. Lots of work at the mini ranch here in Central Washington has forced me to face the fact that I can't "pick up the yoke" , "when the ox fall down" anymore. As a fellow Northwesterner , do you ever find yourself driving I-90 , or U.S. 97 through the Ellensburg area ? Thanks for the reality check ,   - Carl 

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I've noticed that modern-day car collectors tend to refer

to this car as a "REO."  The name of the company did indeed

come from the initials of Mr. Ransom E. Olds, but even the

company itself referred to the car as the "Reo."  That's 

documented in old ads, and even on the grill shell pictured

in Posting #12.

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1 hour ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

I've noticed that modern-day car collectors tend to refer

to this car as a "REO."  The name of the company did indeed

come from the initials of Mr. Ransom E. Olds, but even the

company itself referred to the car as the "Reo."  That's 

documented in old ads, and even on the grill shell pictured

in Posting #12.

true and modern day collectors also say motor even though engine was the word used in the adds. never motor.

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I agree with the 2-3K value.   That's what I would expect one like it to be listed on craigslist for,  probably for a few months with a slow downward price correction until it got traded for some equally screwed up project car which will then be listed for 5K by the new owner.  Hopefully not ending up under a tarp in a back yard with the new pictures taken when they dig it out of the snow bank. 

Hate to say it as a guy who really likes stock cars,  but a Reo Pickup done right would be pretty cool.   Not as a rat rod,  but a nicely done custom.

Edited by auburnseeker (see edit history)
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On 10/4/2017 at 8:54 AM, Lane Jacobs said:

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How was the steering column going to be connected? That's a rack and pinion? That hood it too long if it doesn't have a straight 8 under it. I just don't think it would ever look right.

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41 minutes ago, mike6024 said:

 

 

How was the steering column going to be connected? That's a rack and pinion? That hood it too long if it doesn't have a straight 8 under it. I just don't think it would ever look right.

The new radiator with a 23 inch core (for extra cooling) is not pictured. That will balance out the engine bay.

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2 V8s in a line might look just about right. A 700 cu. in. "V16" ?  Or a couple of .050 over big Cads for a 1028 cu.in. "V16" ? And no Mick Mouse nonsense. Do it RIGHT ! ROYAL(E) right ! You could do it X' !    - CC

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Whatever you pay for it is going to be too much. Whether it's 2K or 5K, it is nothing to what your outlay of money and time is going to be. I hate to say it, but it's a parts car. The value of this car was as a Classic, which it is not today. As a street rod it has little or no value commensurate what would have to go into it. I honestly doubt that most rodders are going to care whether it's a REO Royal or a 1932 Chevrolet. It's a sedan, not a coupe, roadster or convertible sedan-not much interest in a sedan.

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