The first thing to say about the REO Speedwagon is that it is a used car by some very famous car racer, John Sullivan. John was a professional car racer who had joined forces with Earnie Motors and they had built a very good company in body building and auto racing. John and Earnie had bought this Speedwagon in June, 1940, for $12,000. The car was an all model that was rare, it had just been introduced into the market. It was only used for the two to three months of the war.
John was known to drive his Speedwagon faster than any other car in the industry. He would race his cars all the way from Texas to New Orleans. His first race was on the back of a flatbed truck, but the car did not impress the top NASCAR drivers so much and it was not taken further in that line of work. Earnie was not willing to give up his Speedway car so he let it go.
After that period Earnie went to work on making another one of his cars, this time it was a two-door station wagon. It was built by the same man who had offered the cheap REO Speedwagon tickets and he called it the Blue Streak. Earnie did not sell this car and it sat in his garage gathering dust for over fifty years. When it was finally purchased by a car salesman in Texas, it was listed as being sold “as is”.
Eventually this car was discovered by Richard B. Johnson. He had been working with Dr. Johnson of Motorola and had come across the blue Streak and knew right then what he had been looking for, a true working car. He bought the car and it was put through its paces in his garage for a few months before it was ready for sale. He offered it for sale to a private buyer in Dallas, Texas at a price that was two thousand dollars less than what John Sullivan had paid for it. It sold quickly and was soon followed by the rest of the Speedwagons.
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After the Speedwagon disappeared Earnie decided to revive the line of Reo Speed Wagon. The new cars were much better than the first ones, and he was able to make a nice profit selling them. The next step was to create a whole new line of cars. They proved to be a huge success and even more so when they were introduced to the car market during the 1980’s. The first cars in this new line were based on the Ford Model 3. Since Earnie had enjoyed good success with the Ford models he decided to develop something just a little bit different and so the red line was born.
These cars are truly a show of beauty. They have unique factory bumpers and everything works like it should. They were so well made that many people claim they look like they came from the movies.