1916 Reo The Fifth
|Despite its present appearance, this delivery truck rolled off the assembly line as a touring car, Reos R-5. Basically a refinement of the companys first four-cylinder vehicle, the R-4, the Fifth was declared by Olds to be his farewell car. Olds even went so far as to declare that the R-5 marked his limit. Of course, Reo went on to improve its cars, but Olds leadership became less and less apparent, and his declaration of the R-5 proved to be prophetic.
According to the only family that has ever owned this vehicle, it was purchased new by M. Walter Tobey, of Winslow for use in his Lumber business. Tobey subsequently received a contract to provide lumber for the reconstruction of a bridge in Wiscasset. As his touring car was by no means sufficient for such a job, Tobey had the passenger car converted into a delivery truck. For how long the Reo was in service for Tobey is not known. The truck was later placed in storage and left to one of Tobeys nephews. The truck remained in storage until 1976, when it was made operable and run in a parade in Camden, celebrating the nations Centennial.
Specifications: 30-35 horsepower, 240 cubic inch, four-cylinder engine. Cost new: $875.
Connections: The R-4, introduced in 1910, was inspired by Fords Model T, which showed Ransom E. Olds that his company needed to produce a four-cylinder vehicle.
1916 was the last year Ford Model T made truck conversions available from passenger cars. Starting in 1917, Ford produced a one-ton dedicated truck chassis.
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