Grand Old Driver: 1930 REO Flying Cloud

David FrankBy David Frank

The prices pre-war cars are selling for have really dropped and some very nice cars are being sold for very reasonable money. This REO is listed on eBay in New Providence, New Jersey. Bidding is just over $7,000 with about a week left. It runs and drives well and is said to be in good condition. The seller has owned it since 1970 and was likely restored in the 1960s. It appears to have been treated well and still be in very good condition.

The dash and interior look to be in usable condition. The upholstery under that blanket, however, will most likely need more than casual attention.

The back seat looks like a place one could stretch out and be comfortable for a good long while. The upholstery looks serviceable but needs attention. The carpet looks plush but likely not original.

This is the only peek provided of the engine. The seller seems to think showing this data plate is more important than showing the engine. The engine is a flathead 6 with about 85 horsepower.

If the seller’s claims are true, this might be a really nice driver. It’s not a show quality car, but it appears to have been treated well. It’s not likely it really “Drives like new” but if it runs and drives well, the new owner will have a grand old car for about the price of a Model A. Of course, it will require a much larger garage. Hopefully, the buyer will continue to enjoy and preserve this grand old REO.

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    The owner must think it has one of those “Delco-Remy” motors. REO used Continental’s and I read, the Flying Cloud was one of the 1st REO’s to have hydraulic brakes. Again, and I’m not alone, but I bet many younger people must think these cars all look the same. Unless it’s some swoopy body style, I think these will continue to spiral down in price. Shame, but you gonna drive this around? Best of luck with that.

    7+
    • Brakeservo

      The Delco Remy distributor looks nearly identical to the unit used by all post-war Bentley and Rolls-Royce six-cylinder cars – I wouldn’t be surprised if quite a few parts interchange!

      0
  2. redwagon

    Odd to think but yes, if it goes for under $10k I would drive it around. If I paid a lot more if be more careful about adding miles.

    The tough part is once something breaks – and it will – how/where do you get it fixed?

    2+
    • Fred W.

      Certain parts would be hard to find, but many would be surprisingly easy, due to the standardization of parts at the time. Continental made engines for another 40 or 50 years after this was built, and they didn’t change a lot (look under the hood of a ’54 Kaiser). The Delco distributor is another example. Even the brake parts are probably the same as other manufacturers of the time (Bendix, etc.). I would drive it down the backroads, enjoying every minute.

      9+
  3. GearHead Engineering

    Listed on Central New Jersey Craigslist for $13k.

    Nice car. Would make a fun local driver. I agree the market is pretty small. Hopefully it finds a buyer.

    – John

    3+
  4. Roger

    The Continental six cylinder engine in this REO (a company started by Ransom E.Olds,hence the name)looks like a two cylinder larger version of the Red Seal engines that were produced for many years,I drove many an old forklift that used these engines and can tell you they were pretty tough old brutes,the distributor in those went through the cylinder head just as the one does on the REO, if I remember right the Red Seal used three main bearings so don’t know how many the six cylinder ones use however but anyway they’re good engines if treated right.

    5+
  5. Michael

    In truth an REO of this vintage and in a condition that’s reasonably close to being considered a ” driver” it’s at best a number 3 condition car. Could be closer to a 4. Nevertheless REO’s are not usually seen. The vintage is not popular as most of the car collectors these days are looking for muscle or an open car. I hear it all the time…a four door is stodgy. Hopefully a buyer can pick this one up for $8k or less. It has a nasty interior. Even a do it yourselfer will invest $3 k just to get the insides on a par with some modest level of comfort and style. This car deserves a devoted new owner.

    3+
  6. Tommy

    I love the shape of the hood louvers.

    1+

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