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1938 REO

Speedwagon 1B4 1 1/2 Ton


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Body Color
Engine Size
268ci Inline 6
Transmission Type
4 Speed Manual

1938 REO Speedwagon 1B4 1 1/2 Ton

1938 REO Speedwagon 1 B4 1-1/2 Ton

First introduced in 1915, production continued through at least 1953, and made REO, (the initials of its founder, Ransom Eli Olds), one of the better-known manufacturers of commercial vehicles in America prior to World War II. Although the basic design and styling of the chassis remained consistent, the Speed Wagon was manufactured in a variety of configurations, (pickup and panel truck, passenger bus), to serve as delivery, tow, dump, and fire trucks, as well as hearses and ambulances. Other manufacturers provided refits for adapting the Speed Wagon for specialized purposes. The Speed Wagon used REO's "Gold Crown" series of engines, and was well regarded for power, durability, and quality.

For consignment first purchased by Splitler's Feed mill in 1938 from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, then sold at an estate sale in '93 where it was restored around 2000 by Henry Welding, where it remained all original to that time. Our consigner got it and with his fabrication shop experience set out to make it a show truck where he fabricated the entire body behind the cab, running boards and front glass window frames. We give you a 1938 REO Speedwagon and not the JoJo's Bizarre adventure character or 70s hair band, but in the flesh straight steel from 1938.

Looking at the big truck of the era, this truck leads the way with a large vertical ribbed grille painted white. It sports a single round headlight flanking oil either side, curved fenders which create the running board eventually, and a nice shiny bumper below. A beautifully styled Art Deco hood ornament sits atop the radiator cowl and just behind is a central hinged cowled hood. It has beautifully preserved chrome trimmings on either side, and the truck is bathed mostly in green paint showing a few faults in the form of scratches, minor inclusions and small cracks. The fenders and running boards are painted black, along with the headlight casings. A rounded over cab with well minded gaps sits behind the hood, and behind this is a newly rebuilt long bed with rolled edges. Some black exterior framing is noted on the sides for extra structural stability, and a wood gate and green stained floor makes up the bed. Green steel truck wheels are on with black center hubs wrapped in 6.50-20 rubber all around. We're back on the road again!

Slightly textured brown paint covers the stamped metal door panels, and some shiny handles are within this brown field. Rubber floors and a long brown vinyl bench floating on them is seen. Up front is a brown texture painted original dash now with restored REO badged short faced gauges in the round. These have shiny bezels, and the dash is all excellent showroom condition. In the center is the ignition, a few bakelite pulls, and an ashtray. Above is a black vinyl headliner stretched between some grain painted steel ribs, and a cabin light. Also, a wiper motor is mounted up here as well. The dual glass windscreen will fold out for some extra ventilation when needed. I can't fight this feeling.

Under the cowled hood is a beautifully restored and showroom condition 268ci inline 6-cylinder engine. It is original to this truck and has wonderful painted green block and black painted bolt ons. Some of these are a 1-barrel carburetor and a 4-speed manual transmission on back with load carrying 5.83 rear geared axle. This mill has all like new wiring and hoses and even the exhaust is a matte black with no rust. Time for me to fly…

All looking like new with nary even any road dirt, this undercarriage presents in black is near perfect. Solid framing, leaf spring suspension and drum braking along with an aqua painted transmission showing no leaks can be seen in all their glory.

A quick starter and off to the test track where it performed flawlessly. Good acceleration, good braking and shifting was a bit loose and the consigner states the transmission will most likely need to be rebuilt. Although slightly sloppy it went through the gears. All other simple functions were in working order. Roll with it.

Just a beautiful build and an interesting history, this truck has been around for over 83 years and looks like it is brand now thanks to back-to-back restorations. Keep on loving it!

Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special interest automobile showroom, featuring over 650 vehicles for sale with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the vehicle in person.