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’33 REO Speedwagon build w/ a twist

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Barn Find, May 6, 2013.

  1. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    The Internet has been key to the success of this project. The coolest thing about the Internet is not the high tech satellite imagery or the search engines. It is the people. There are a lot of great people in the old car hobby. I've been participating on the Dodge Power Wagon forum ( http://www.dodgepowerwagonforum.com ) for more than a decade. I've made a lot of good friends there. A handy thing about truck guys is that they have a habit of hauling old junk around with their trucks. Through that network, I found a fellow enthusiast who was travelling to the Portland area. I subsidized his fuel and he picked up the REO in Shaniko. He transported the truck back to his place in central Nevada. While that was still 1,500 miles from my house, it was 400 miles closer to home. More importantly, he took the REO apart for me, so the cab would be ready to transport back to Missouri in the bed of a pickup truck.

    I know, it is kind of a shame that the 2-ton REO was relegated to parts, but we're confident that it will be for a good cause. I'm deeply aware that the old REO sheepherder's truck was a part of the history of the high desert and a fixture in the town of Shaniko. I like to think that I preempted the inevitable removal/recycling of the truck by people who may not have appreciated its rarity or had the resources to put it back on the road. This REO will be back on the road. It will live on. I think the best thing we can do for the history of Shaniko is to keep telling this story.

    I shared these thoughts with the guy who helped me disassemble the truck. He is metal sculptor. The unused parts will be incorporated into his art. We brought home the cab. The grill and headlights are decorating our shop. The rest, we left in Nevada. I particularly hope the tic-tac-toe game painted on the right front fender will be incorporated into some art that carries on the spirit of those that painted that on the old truck.


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    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  2. 296moon
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 645

    296moon
    Member
    from england

    Cant put this book down, more please
     
  3. captainjunk#2
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,361

    captainjunk#2
    Member

    got to have more of this build please , feed the addiction
     
  4. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    I was out at Dad's today and copied some old photos. It was actually 1984 when we saw the Speed Wagon at the Chicasaw swap meet. I don't know why we didn't take better photos.

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  5. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    It was also 1984, when a collector showed us a pair of home-made Franklin trucks. This was a 1930 Airman ( a real Franklin, not a REO). The back of the sedan was hacked off and the rest built from wood. This inspiration would linger for 28 years, before we started fulfilling the wish to have a Franklin pickup.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. IWB
    Joined: Mar 17, 2007
    Posts: 95

    IWB
    Member

    Great story I can't wait to see how this turns out.
     
  7. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620

    BuiltFerComfort
    Member

    I'll be watching this.


    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
     
  8. draggler
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 238

    draggler
    Member

    Tell me more,tell me more.
     
  9. KFC
    Joined: Jul 17, 2008
    Posts: 369

    KFC
    Member
    from UK

    Like did he have a car
     
    55Deso likes this.
  10. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    Here's a photo of Dad's Olympic sedan when he bought it in 1981. It was really too rough to restore, but he did it anyway. Sorry for the poor picture quality.

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    Also in 1981 at its first car show in Jefferson City. You can tell we had fun with this car. I was one of the kids climbing on the roof to get a better view of the drive-through judging.

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    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  11. I'm in! This is too damn cool.
     
  12. Me too.Gotta love the history and drive.
     
  13. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    Thanks for the interest and encouragement. I will keep the updates coming. A good thing about this project is that Dad works steady until he finishes something, so there will be a payoff before long.
     
  14. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    The process of finding the Shaniko REO, contacting the owner, and working out transportation logistics took several months. During that time, a few other pursuits were made in parallel. I flew to Colorado to see this '35 Speed Wagon advertised on Craig's List. It would have served our purposes just fine, but was really too nice of a truck to part out.
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    With some crude help from a digital photo editor, I tried to envision what could be made of our castoff sedan parts and this solid truck, but that would have to be a project for someone else.[​IMG]

    A friend and fellow hot-rodder from back home heard about our quest. He had bought some Henry J's from a guy 20 years ago that had a Speed Wagon sitting in the barn. It stuck in his memory, because REO Speed Wagon, the band hadn't been off the top 40 but a few years before that. The chap had moved, but a little web-stalking helped me find him. Turns out, that REO was less than 10 miles from Dad's house. We drove Dad's sedan to go look at it. We tried rather aggressively to buy that truck, since we could drag it home on gravel roads. I have to respect the feller's dedication to keeping his REO even if it only sat decorating his barn for a few more decades.

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    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  15. 45_70Sharps
    Joined: May 19, 2010
    Posts: 331

    45_70Sharps
    Member

    This is looking like an awesome build.
    Can't wait to see how things come together!
     
  16. ididntdoit1960
    Joined: Dec 13, 2011
    Posts: 943

    ididntdoit1960
    Member
    from Western MA

    I know where there is one sitting in a barn in CT - I took the emblem off it 30yrs ago
     
  17. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    Here's the REO that couldn't be bought just a few miles from home.

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  18. Subscribed!
    Looking forward to more progress.
     
  19. 27 dodge
    Joined: Apr 27, 2013
    Posts: 134

    27 dodge
    Member
    from las vegas

    riding the storm out. waiting for the thaw out.
     
  20. Oh, you're gonna go there? I heard there's one at 157 Riverside Avenue....
     
  21. jreeder41
    Joined: Jul 23, 2009
    Posts: 477

    jreeder41
    Member

    Awesome story!!!!
     
  22. 27 dodge
    Joined: Apr 27, 2013
    Posts: 134

    27 dodge
    Member
    from las vegas

    Yes i did . On a full moon night in the rocky mountain winter. Ok that's enough ,i'm stopping .I don't wanna distract from the real r e o here ,This thread could eventually be made into a book,Thanks for sharing.
     
  23. Great story. Subscribed!
     
  24. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    I don't mind the tangent. This truck has a cool name. Neal Doughty must have thought so when he borrowed it for the band he started in 1967. Coincidentally, 1967 was the year that White started branding trucks by the name Diamond Reo. This meant the end of Reo and Diamond T, even though both trucks had been sharing components since the late 50's.

    Ransom Eli Olds started REO after leaving Oldsmobile in 1904. The Speedwagon name was first used in 1915. So, Mr. Olds gave his name to no less than two motor car companies and two bands. Diamond Rio, being the second bad, which was formed in 1984.

    We like the name so much, we want to keep it, even though we are building a Franklin. Dad made these hood emblems out of babbit material. He has made many parts in the past out of silicon bronze, but the babbit is much easier to work with.

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    kiwijeff likes this.
  25. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    To add another tangent, I've been kind of excited about having a Speed Wagon in the family fleet to join my Power Wagons.

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    Cosmo49 likes this.
  26. 64 DODGE 440
    Joined: Sep 2, 2006
    Posts: 4,103

    64 DODGE 440
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from so cal

    That "Franklin Speedwagon" Plate is too cool. Perfect for the build!

    Haven't done a Power Wagon, but did the military version. Restored a '60s vintage Viet Nam era M37B1. Hard to imagine that a 55 mph vehicle could be so much fun.
     

    Attached Files:

  27. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    It's good to get confirmation of that. There is great temptation to put Franklin script on the tailgate. A couple of the REO owners have had their tailgates stamped with the REO logo. It looks great on those trucks. Originally, all the tailgates would have been blank.

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    kiwijeff likes this.
  28. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    M37s are more fun to drive than Power Wagons. Maybe not quite as pretty, but smoother riding and easier to manuever. We have a lot of fun with our olds 4x4s. For more proof see our trailride photos at
    http://imageevent.com/shaggy/trailride;jsessionid=0xzzbcj0h1.eagle_s

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  29. Jungle Jalopy
    Joined: Mar 31, 2010
    Posts: 200

    Jungle Jalopy
    Member

    Aaargh, more please!
     
  30. I have yet to trail ride my M-37, still working on some fuel issues.
     

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