1905 REO Runabout Model B – SOLD

  SOLD, my 1905 REO Model B Runabout.  Possibly the word’s oldest running pick up truck, although it is technically a motor car and more closely could be described as the great great grandfather of the Ford Ranchero.  It was the first year of production by the REO Motor Car Co.  The major features that distinguish this car as a 1905 are the brake rods running along side the lower body, the straight angle of the body running up against the dashboard , as compared to a curve that was added at some point in late year 1905 cars and continuing from that point.    Some of the components that had to be fabricated/replaced with other than original materials are: wooden spokes and falloes used from 1904 Curved Dash Olds, (front hubs are original).  Also, the solid brass hubcaps have been fabricated, the rear axles and  brake drums have been modified. The original radiator core sections are intact, but the cooling fins had to be replaced throughout.  The radiator tank, gas tank and battery box had to be replicated using the original units as patterns.  The original seat was in such poor condition, I used a few pieces of the original seat that were solid and replicated a replacement seat using the original delaminated and fragile pieces as patterns using bending Birch, and it turned out nicely.  Also missing were the front wood fenders, and I traced the patterns from a 1906 REO in the R.E. Olds Museum in Lansing, Michigan, and bending Birch as the material that worked well to replicate these.  I had an Amish artisan from Arthur, Illinois replicate the groove details on the fenders, and he did a splendid job.     The original compression relief starting system was missing, and I opted to instead install an electric starter, along with a starter/generator, oil drip alarm and other upgrades engineered by a retired Motorola electrical engineer who lives in Schaumburg, Illinois to the 12 volt system, which replaced the original 9V system on these cars. The original hand crank survived, however, and I was able to start this car with the hand crank in the early stages of my restoration project.    No spare came with these cars, and this spare I had fabricated can be used by removing the hub of the flat tire and remounting the hub bolts through this fresh wooden spoked wheel: much easier than trying to remove and replace a flat tire/tube on the side of a road.  Although the original carburetor is included with the sale of the car, it ran poorly and leaked considerably when the engine was not running, and accordingly I installed a 30mm Mikuni carburetor and now the car runs perfectly, and starts like a modern car.

History of this 1905 REO Model B Runabout: 

I was unsuccessful in finding the name and state of the original owner, but through the Nebraska license disk #395 nailed to the firewall, the owner in 1911 was Harry Seward Villars who registered this used car with the Nebraska Sec. of State.  It’s possible that Harry Villars bought it new and kept the registration current through 1916, however Nebraska records only verify records starting in 1911.  In 1916 while driving around on the U. of Nebraska campus, where he was a Ph.D candidtate, Harry suffered a cracked cylinder wall and the car sat idle in his widows barn for another 40 years through around 1956.  It was subsequently purchased by Jack Gardner and shipped to Elba, Michigan where the engine was rebuilt in 1962 but never run.  The rest of the car was in pieces and remained in this barn until purchased by the previous owner around 2003, and subsequently sat in his shop until I laid my eyes on it in June, 2011.  I purchased the car in October, 2011 and the restoration process was finally completed around September, 2012.  I successfully drove the car around my subdivision in Burlington, IL  in early May, 2012, the first time this car had been driven since the Howard B. Taft administration.

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By oldmotorsguy

1926 Model T Coupe – ‘Pinky’







This car was quite the project for me, I purchased this partially restored Model T from a party in Indiana, and was quite pleased at what I received for my money: the paint, engine, wiring and frame had been completely restored by ‘Grampa,’ and then when Grampa died, the widow stored the car for about 25 years and then decided to part with Grampa’s pride and joy and the guy I bought it from sat on it for maybe 5 years before getting rid of it.

This was the best looking car to date that I had completed, one of my favorites.  I named it ‘Pinky’ because the burgundy color appeared pink to me in the Ebay photos that the previous owner posted.  My daughter renamed it ‘Christine’, but I still called it Pinky.

By oldmotorsguy

1925 Ford Model T Roadster – “Joey”

This particular car was completed a few years ago, and my daughter subsequently dubbed it “Joey.”  Joey the 1925 Model T Roadster had a fiberglass turtle deck on the back, and I added an interchangeable pick up truck bed made of oak, mahogany and poplar.  This car was subsequently rented to a high school production of “Ragtime” as a prop during a few scenes.

In time, I sold Joey to a collector in Switzerland, and before shipping overseas the Swiss buyer insisted that I install Rocky Mountain brakes, since there are some hills here and there in Switzerland that he was preparing for. 

By oldmotorsguy

1923 Dodge Brothers Touring – “Suzy”

This old beauty was our first antique car, and it ran like a top for the four years we owned it.  Originally purchased as a birthday present for my wife, it eventually became just a weekend tourer that I used to tag along with my fellow Model T Ford Club, Int’l – Fox Valley Chapter members.  The farthest trip Suzy completed was from Outside Chicago to Clinton, Iowa, or approximately a 200 mile round trip.

I did not have to restore this car, as it was reasonably intact when I purchased it in July 2006, but significant small items needed attention before it became reliable enough to tour with.  It was sold with some regret to a gentleman in the Czeck Republic in October, 2010.  This was the car that got oldmotorsguy interested in old motors. 

By oldmotorsguy

1979 Volkswagen Super Beetle convertible – “Herbie”

Although ‘oldmotorsguy’ (that’s me) normally handles only antique cars of 1930 vintage and before, this little cutie slipped into my production lineup as an exception.  I had been commissioned to provide an old friend’s college age daughter a dependable old Volkswagen beetle (the original bug, not the new ones) that she could use in and around her campus in Michigan.  I found this car in Newport Beach, California and was fairly pleased with its condition.  Being from CA, very little rust other than some surface spots here and there was found.  The engine had recently been rebuilt, and the interior was in outstanding condition, once I removed the hideous surfer-style seat covers (they were so ugly, I can’t include a photo without cringing).

As things would turn out, the college age daughter would fail to come up with the money to reimburse me, so sadly I put it up for sale on eBay, and it landed a respectable $8,250, versus the approx. $6,500 I had into it to that point, to include a new front window seal, a chip repaired in the front windshield, a paint touch up, and the windshield washer mechanism replaced along with the radio antenna.  It turned out nicely, and it turned quite a few of the teenage girls heads here in the neighborhood, and “Herbie” clearly was a girly car that ultimately went to a gal out in Michigan.

By oldmotorsguy

1926 Ford Model T Coupe – ‘Chloe’

This nice old car was a real looker when I purchased it locally around Thanksgiving, 2010, and my daughter promply dubbed it ‘Chloe’ (pronounced KLOW’-ee).  When I was going over the car at the sellers garage prior to buying it, I noticed that it was very loud and looked at the muffler to see DSC_0567that it was in need of replacement.  The engine was also painted black, a common engine color chosen by amateur mechanics over the years, but incorrect: the engines rolling out of the Model T Ford factory in Dearborn, MI from 1908 through 1925 were not painted at all, and were simply a grey cast iron in appearance.  In 1926, Hank Ford started painting his engines what is now called ‘Antique Ford Green,’ and he used this color for the remainder of the Model T run through 1927, and on all of his Model A engines from 1928 through 1931, in addition to a few later year engines as well.

Accordingly, all I had to do was change the engine color to its correct antique Ford green, spiff up a few components here and there and this one sold quickly.

Some of the minor items that had to be changed out to return Chloe to original were the following:

DSC_0576* spark plug wires

* fuel shutoff and sediment bowl

* steel gas line from bowl to carb

* hose clamps on radiator hoses

* passenger door lock and key

* rear view mirror

* cowl gasket for tank lid

* although not original, I added a driver side rear view mirror and brake light for driveability’s purposes.

* with most of the cars I acquire, the spare tire (if present) is always flat, and accordingly I had to replace the tube and flap (which was missing).

By oldmotorsguy

1926 Model T Ford Tudor – “Sara”

This nice old car was the first Model T that I owned, and one on which I learned to drive, after I was taught how to work those ‘diabolical pedals.’  I had initially purchased it on eBay from a party in Cedar Rapids, Iowa after the previous owner of around 50 years had passed on.  The son-in-law was sad to see the car move on, as it had been in their family for as long as he could remember, but when I asked him what the name of the car was, he looked at me in a puzzled manner and replied ‘the car doesn’t have a name, as far as I know, we just called it ‘the Model T.’

Since my daughter names all of my cars, this nameless Model T immediately became ‘Sara.’  Sara the Model T Tudor ran fairly well upon my purchase, and needed just a little TLC here and there: some detailing of the engine and wheels, repair the flat spare tire, along with new floorboards and a few minor pieces and parts here and there.  Once Sara was ready for sale, I ran an ad in Hemmings Motor News, and when my November issue of 2010 landed in my office, lo and behold our Sara was on the cover to my astonishment.

The ultimate purchaser of Sara was an older gentleman from downstate Illinois for the meager sum of $10,000, to whom I gave my copy of Hemmings to go along with his purchase of Sara.  I don’t know if the name stuck, but you always remember your first Model T: farewell to you, Sara, wherever you are.

This was the photo selected by Hemmings for their Nov 2010 issue cover

By oldmotorsguy