When Ransom Olds left his namesake Olds Motor Works it was to pursue his ideal of the automobile America needed, something similar to the original Olds Curved Dash Model R. While the first cars built by his new company, the REO Motor Car Company, were twins a single like the Curved Dash soon followed. Updated in looks with the single cylinder engine placed under the hood and with wheel steering, the inexpensive 8/10hp 1908 Runabout such as this fine example retained much of the simplicity, reliability and quality of the Curved Dash. This car was found in Blythe, California in 1965 by Harry Bean who completed a comprehensive and thorough restoration to Concours condition over the next few years. Fortunately for subsequent owners he documented it thoroughly including a letter from the widow of the original owner, a description of the restoration, photos both as-found and during restoration, drawings, schematics, repair and owner's manuals. It is lavishly equipped including brass and copper Rushmore acetylene headlights, a brass Solar acetylene generator, brass sidelights and multi-lensed brass taillights. A folded trumpet bulb horn is attached to the steering column. Finished in Maroon with Black fenders, it has Black leather upholstery and a Black folding top. A semicircular trunk compartment sits atop the rear deck for storage of essentials and white rubber tires are mounted on the bright red wood spoke wheels. The bodywork is carefully hand coachlined throughout in Gold and the overall presentation belies the years since its restoration. This REO needs nothing at all and can be shown with pride and confidence in its present condition. On tour it will be a showpiece that will be admired and appreciated by the most discriminating participants. Its combination of history and quality make it a rare and highly desirable example of early American motoring.
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