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Circa 1937 REO Speedwagon.

Another gem from Stephen Creasey's archive of images, taken during his family's involvement in motor-vehicle coachwork in the 1930s. Shown below, with a Luton-style removal van body, is an American REO Speedwagon. The registration is DYO 445 - a check of the YO registrations page here at OCC confirms that it was first registered in the London area, during 1937. Signwriting for its new owners, C. Black & Son (telephone Larkswood 1857), has been applied to the forward end of the upper body - in fact the chalk markings used by the signwriter have yet to be wiped off.
Click to view:
Pre-war REO Speedwagon
The REO Motor Car Co. of Lansing, Michigan, was founded by R.E. Olds, and produced its first truck in 1911. A four-cylinder chain-driven machine, it was joined in 1913 by the Model J, a 2-ton vehicle that featured such modern conveniences as electric lighting, and also an electric starter. The Speedwagon, a 1-ton truck, joined the line-up in 1915, commencing a model name that would continue in use for many years.
In 1929 the Junior Speedwagon was launched, and in the same year REO Motors (Britain) Limited was formed, to handle the import and subsequent assembly of knocked-down truck kits in Britain. The last of the Speedwagons was produced in 1939, replaced by a new line of vehicles.
In 1957 the company was taken over by the rival White Motor Co., the Lansing factory from then on was called the REO Division where, from 1960, production of Diamond Ts was transferred to. In 1967 the parallel production of REO and Diamond T trucks was combined, the vehicles from that point being sold as Diamond REOs.
A photograph of a much earlier REO truck, seen at Tatton Park a few years ago, may be found on this page of the site.
Return to Page 18 in the photographic archive, or visit the main index of images here.

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