A famous cross country trip from Halifax to Vancouver (with a slight detour through Washington State) in 1912 helped to establish Reo as a quality car manufacturer.
The Great Depression was not kind to Reo, and the company never really recovered. They stopped producing cars in 1936, and after bankruptcy and new owners took over they struggled until 1957 when they sold Reo to the White Motor Company. White used the Lansing-built Reo cab on their "vocational" trucks, but the brand did not flourish. In 1967 it was merged with another White subsidiary, Diamond T, forming Diamond Reo. Eventually in 1975 even that brand was liquidated. Executives went on to form Spartan Motors in Lansing-it is still going strong.
The best remembered Reo for me was the early 1950s model with distinctive radiator and Gold Comet engine. There were highway tractors but probably more straight trucks. The same hood and chassis was used for school buses,
1. Classic Reo from the early 1950s, seen in Fredericton, NB June 20. Something odd about the frame at the rear axles, but the front end is the Reo thing!
2. Bob and Marguerite drove this from Oklahoma to a square dance convention in Halifax in 1979.
3. It is a rear engined Reo chassis with a much modified urban bus body.
4. Under White ownership the cab remained in use for many years. Kaiser Construction and Services of Halifax were using this Reo in 1981. Hood and fenders are essentially White, but it still carries the Reo V8 engine symbol.
Reos are long gone now, although they are favourites among collectors because of their distinctive styling, and that is why I am for Reo.