REO’s two most memorable cars were its Reo Flying Cloud introduced in 1927 and the Reo Royale 8 of 1931.The Flying Cloud was the first car to use Lockheed’s new hydraulic internal expanding brake system and featured styling by Fabio Segardi.
While Ned Jordan is credited with changing the way advertising was written with his “Somewhere West of Laramie” ads for his Jordan Playboy, Reo’s Flying Cloud – a name that provoked evocative images of speed and lightness, changed the way automobiles would be named in the future.
It had a 115-inch (2,900 mm) wheelbase. The final REO model of 1936 was a Flying Cloud.In April 1927, Reo introduced the Wolverine brand of cars as a companion model to the Flying Cloud.
With a Continental engine, artillery wheels, and a different pattern of horizontal radiator louvers from the Flying Cloud, the Wolverine was made until 1928.The 1931 Reo Royale was a trendsetting design, introducing design elements that were a precedent for true automotive streamlining in the American market.
The 8-cylinder model was sold through 1933 with minor updates. The name was used on a lower-priced 6-cylinder mode through 1935. In addition to its coachwork by Murray designed by their Amos Northup, the Royale also provided buyers with a 125 hp (93 kW) straight-eight with a nine-bearing crankshaft, one-shot lubrication, and thermostatically-controlled radiator shutters.
The Royale rode upon factory wheelbases of 131 inches (3,300 mm) (Model 8-31) and 135 inches (3,400 mm) (Model 8-35); a 1932 custom version rode upon a 152-inch (3,900 mm) wheelbase (Model 8-52). As many as 3 Dietrich coachbuilt bodies were built on 148-inch (3,800 mm) wheelbases in 1931.
Beginning in 1933, the Royale also featured as an option REO’s semi-automatic transmission, the Self-Shifter. The Model 8-31 was priced at $2,145. The model 8-35 was priced from $2,745 for the sedan to $3,000 for the convertible coupe. The coachbuilt cars were priced close to $6,000. A convertible victoria was listed at $3,195 but only one is known to have been built. The 8-35 & 8-52 are considered full CCCA classics.