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1948 REO Speedwagon: Car Hauler?


Can you imagine using this old flatbed listed here on eBay as a car hauler? It’s got a tilting flatbed, so all you need to do is add a winch. There’s no reserve and bidding isn’t very high yet. It’s a two ton truck with a tilting flatbed, a flathead six, and a 4 speed. It needs a fuel pump and battery cables to run. It has good tires and should be ready to haul. Can you imagine showing up at a swap meet or car show with your treasures perched on this thing? I’d work out the mechanicals and leave the finish as-is, but wouldn’t it look grand with shiny new paint too?


  1. Avatar photo Fred

    Love it and at present the bid price is downright realistic. Not every truck has a famous rock band named after it!

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  2. Avatar photo Dave Wright

    Well, first. This is not a speedwagon. It is simply a Reo truck. Speedwagons are light trucks more like pickups. One of my first semis was an old Reo. It was a typical heavy truck for it’s time. It had the same Gold Comet 6 cylinder gas engine used in the Reo military Duce and one halfs. It got about 2 miles to the gallon. We used it mostly to pull loaded hay trailers out of the field to our diesel over the road tractors. Once I sent it with a small load of hay to California, it blew a head in Cedar City. My military truck buddies at Boyce Equipment had a head for a military truck and it fit perfectly. I went down, spent 2 days changing it out and it was back on the road. We never sent it out with a load again. These are hard riding low power trucks. Hardly suited to today’s roads. Now, a Speedwagon is another thing entirely…….few survivors, wonderful light trucks of there era, many with custom bodies.

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  3. Avatar photo Tirefriar

    Dave, yours is the type of comment I hope to come across every time I open a posting. It s very informative, thank you for sharing

    As for this listing, I’m always weary when seller says how simple it would be to get their car or truck back to running condition. Yet they don’t follow their own advice. For example, the difference between this truck in running condition and non running is certainly worth more than the few bucks one will spend on a fuel pump, battery and a cable…

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  4. Avatar photo Fred

    Not a Speedwagon?

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  5. Avatar photo DREW V.

    “Well, first. This is not a speedwagon. It is simply a Reo truck. Speedwagons are light trucks more like pickups.”??? Looks like factory “Speedwagon trim on thesides of the hood. REO also made buses and depot trucks under the Speedwagon name… At various times through the history of automobiles anything under a 2 1/2 (5,000 lbs capacity) truck was considered light duty

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    • Avatar photo Dave Wright

      Have you looked up Reo Speedwagon?

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      • Avatar photo Rustowner

        Yes, some of us have. And some of us have also seen them in person too. This is the upper GVWR end of the Speedwagon line post WWII. While most were of lighter GVWR and had single wheels, many were manufactered with duals. My families farm/gravel pit had two dumps from the late 40’s that looked just like this and both had the Speedwagon logo on the hood sides, just as this truck does.

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    • Avatar photo geomechs Member

      Drew, I think you’re referring to a ‘Speed Delivery.’ They were the lighter pickup trucks. They also made the Mack Jr. which was essentially the same…

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  6. Avatar photo Matt Tritt

    Like the man said; it’s a Speedwagon. Anybody serious enough to own and use this truck is not going to be the kind of person who would be swapping badges to confuse the Experts. Until recently, this area was mainly a cattle and dry-farmed grain region (just North of San Luis Obispo), and REO’s and International flatbeds like this one were all over the place. Every REO I can remember seeing carried the Speedwagon badge and I believe that this one is just the way it was born. These age excellent short haul trucks for 2 lane roads, but using one to move cars on the freeway? Gulp.

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  7. Avatar photo jim s

    seller also has a 1956 GMC 150 listed on ebay. both listings have less the a day to go and seem like good deals at the current bids. i too think the seller should have put the effort into getting the reo running. make this safe and use it around town, on the job site or on the farm. great find.

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  8. Avatar photo Rustowner

    Here are several links to pics of trucks very similar to this one. Notice all have dual wheels and “Speedwagon” on the hood sides. Dave and others, just do a simple search for “1940- 1949 Reo Speed Wagon truck” and there are a bunch of pics of trucks that look just like this or similar. While the Reo Speed Wagons were originally introduced for light to medium applications, they grew in size and ability as years went on, especially just before WWII and after.



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  9. Avatar photo TBall

    Despite the ‘speed wagon’, non-speed wagon… Had I had the resources to make this work, I would definitely attempt to get my hands on this truck, install modern heavy-load drive train and use it for shows with my current “toys” and to bring home the new ones. Great “find”, thanks for sharing.

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  10. Avatar photo geomechs Member

    I look at this and say that it should be restored to original. On the other hand I couldn’t blame someone for wanting to install a more modern driveline and convert it into a ramp truck. I wouldn’t be surprised if this truck was sporting a Warner T-9 crash box which would keep the driver very busy shifting, especially while also jockeying the two-speed rear axle. I saw a couple of these on farms when I was a kid. Didn’t get the grain hauled to the elevator very fast but they got it hauled…

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  11. Avatar photo BRAKTRCR

    You mean it’s not a rock and roll group? Sorry couldn’t resist. Beautiful truck. Bet the AC just needs recharge too

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  12. Avatar photo Chris

    it’s a speed wagon alright, I should know, I own one. Gold crown engine with peak h.p. of (wait for it…). 89 HP !!! Geared extremely low, I don’t even think it’s capable of approaching highway speeds without killing itself. It’s a workhorse, not fast at all despite what the name implies. It’s extremely heavy and would benefit from updated power train, suspension and brakes although the massive drums do a good job of stopping it at its stock low speed capabilities. Best option for these is a chassis swap to something more modern but still a bit beefy like an f450 chassis. Although the Reo’s stock chassis weighs more than a modern truck in its entirety, the frame is ridiculously thick gauge steel and it’s a straight rail frame, no bumps or curves. Just like two railway tracks running parallel to each other. Even more weight if you have one like mine with the dump (that’s like adding an s10 frame to the top of the reos frame.

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