REO SpeedWagon Limousine
Perth’s most popular vintage limousine.
The REO SpeedWagon revolutionised trucks in the 1920’s. Built by Ransom E Olds, the man who started Oldsmobile, REO made a range of highly regarded cars and trucks from the early 1900s to the late 1930’s. His trucks were much faster than other lumbering commercial vehicles of the time which gave rise to the name ‘Speed Wagon’.
The REO limousine is the only six-wheel equipped limousine (having spare tyres in the front fenders) available for hire in Perth and has been re-painted in the period colours of black over ivory to match our Rolls Royce Silver Wraith. It has also been fitted with a new set of white wall tyres to recreate the glamour and style most often associated with Rolls Royce Phantom limousines of the period.
If you know this is the limousine for your occasion get in contact using the our quick contact form. If you are after more information about or pictures of the spectacular REO SpeedWagon simply scroll past the form.
REO SpeedWagon limo occasions
Couples with vintage themed weddings love the REO. It is Perth’s only authentic vintage limo painted in period black and ivory colours. When accompanying our Rolls Royce Wraith bridal car is makes a spectacular period statement.
They REO limousine in our regular format seats up to six passengers in the rear. We can simply adjust the seating pattern to accommodate eight passengers (including the front passenger seat) if required but we will need advance notice if required.
The REO limo is ideal for short hire limousine services for special occasions when you require a vintage themed arrival or just the fun of something completely different. It is frequently used for marriage proposals, milestone birthdays and anniversaries, and for the young at heart who want to make a special entrance.
The REO SpeedWagon limousine is a great way for a small group of friends to explore the Swan Valley wine region, sampling great wines, sharing a fun lunch at one of the wineries or breweries along the way.
The REO is also proving popular for promotional work as a theme setting prop as it was used for the Hale School senior ball and for promotional photography promoting a range of products.
REO SpeedWagons revolutionised commercial vehicles in the 1920 – 1930s.
The name is derived from the fact they lifted the speed of trucks to that of cars of the day. Our REO SpeedWagon is an original long-wheel-base BN series only made in 1933-1934. It was a special crossover model incorporating both the speed and comfort of a car and the size and strength of the REO trucks.
Only a small number of high speed delivery vans(BN series REOs) were made, very few of these had the long wheel base chassis, making the Belle REO one of the rarest examples of SpeedWagon. A long wheel base chassis and cross-over of truck and car technology of the time laid the base for our REO limousine.
I’m not sure how many SpeedWagons made there way to Australia, our REO may be the only one. It was fitted out as an eight passenger country service vehicle in northern Victoria.
The Belle Classic REO Speed Wagon is a rare survivor of Australian and US motoring history.
Our REO SpeedWagon was imported into Victoria in the mid 1930’s to begin service as a Country Service’ limousine’ in northern Victoria, transporting passengers and mail between towns around rural rail stations. It is possibly Australia’s oldest surviving ‘stretch limousine’ having been converted into a passenger service vehicle by the Prestige Body Works in Melbourne at the time. Various businesses transferred passengers and mail to small country settlements around the railway stations, few if any of the original vehicles remain in service.
Fully restored in the 1990’s the REO limousine is a rare historical car in excellent condition offering a unique travel experience.
Our REO was based in Corowa on the Murray River at the end of the Victorian railway line. Its main job was transporting passengers across the boarder into nearby towns in New South Wales that were not serviced by rail. Neither state government wanted to fund a railway bridge across the Murray at the time. The picture above shows a REO in the nearby town of Renmark in the 1930-1940’s. I suspect it is our REO on the left because of the fender mounted spare wheels which was uncommon on the smaller Ford and Dodge vehicles of the time. Other pictures available from the period show no other six-wheel equipped limousines.
Similar fleets of vintage limousines transferred passengers to health resorts and hotels throughout Victoria. Their function was not bus-like with regular routes, it seems they operated more like limousines for hire dropping passengers at their chosen destinations. An equivalent today might be airport chauffeur vehicles.
The REO was salvaged from a truck wrecking yard in Corowa in the 1980s were it had sat for many years since being retired in the 1960s. According to the locals it had clocked up 600,000 miles on the first engine and 500,000 miles on the second engine during its first working life – such was the reputation of the REO truck motors. The REO was fully rebuilt from a very poor condition under supervision of Christopher Constantine and used in his limousine business until 2013. Remarkably it is still in its original body form, however, it has been mechanically upgraded to modern Ford running gear and engine.
Subtle differences from original are:
- facing rear seats instead of three rows of forward facing seats
- a reinforced full steel body framework instead of a hardwood timber frame in parts of the rear body
- smaller diameter wheels used on the modern drive-train
- electric window fitments to the doors
Surprisingly the REO changed hands twice in a year before it found a home with Belle – we love it. Since purchasing the REO in late 2014 Belle Limousines has supervised its return to a beautiful period colour scheme with whitewall tyres starting an exciting new chapter in the vehicle’s history as a feature wedding limousine in Perth.
We have since amassed our usual spare parts catalogue for the REO including a spare engine, axels, power steering box and drive line and have serviced the vehicle to our specification so you, our customers, can expect reliable and continuous service from the REO SpeedWagon limousine.
There is some dispute over the pronunciation of REO. Opinion is split between ‘Rio’ like the city or R-E-O. as three distinct capitals. Both were used by the company at various times through their history and continue to be used by different commentators. We tend to use both, affectionately calling the limo the ‘Reo’, but formally referring to it as the R E O SpeedWagon.
A popular 1970’s glam rock band also took the name R.E.O. SpeedWagon in an interesting twist to the vehicles’ legacy.
REO comes from the initials of Ransom Ellis Olds, an early American vehicle manufacturer who started Oldsmobile (a very well known American motor car). He sold Oldsmobile to the newly founded General Motors and continued building cars under his own name – the REO Wolverine, REO Royale Victoria and the REO Flying Cloud were three popular models. Olds’ cars were highly regarded but his trucks (the SpeedWagon) revolutionised service vehicles, setting a new standard for strength, speed and reliability.
In the late 1930’s during the great depression REO ceased car manufacture and concentrated on the more profitable truck division. The business remained a key truck manufacturer in the USA under various owners and product names – Diamond T and White – until the 1980s.
The REO SpeedWagon was an iconic leader in the industry and as is the fate of commercial vehicles very few examples remain today making them some of the rarest vintage cars in the world. See more interesting sales material for REO in our dedicated REO SpeedWagon gallery.
The REO SpeedWagon 7-8 passenger limo has luxury period appointments including:
The REO limo upholstered in grey leather to the seats and door trims with matching head-lining and black carpets.
The REO has modern dual air-conditioning to keep the passenger cabin comfortable in all seasons.
The limousine is fitted with a modern music system incorporating a CD player with iPod / iPhone connectivity. It is best to prepare a playlist on your iPhone before your event, then you can relax and enjoy the day with your friends.
Seven passenger limousine
The REO is best used in its seven passenger configuration. Six passengers in the facing rear seats plus the seventh in the front passenger seat if required. This is our recommended passenger load when being used for special occasions and wine tours and in weddings where the bride and groom will be travelling in the limousine.
Eight passenger limousine
When we purchased the REO it was permanently configured as an eight passenger limousine with the ‘jump seat’ always positioned in the rear cabin. We have simplified the jump seat attachment so it can be easily removed or replaced allowing the flexibility for the eighth seat if it is being used to carry a wedding party of eight.
Some couples do use the eight seat configuration as an economical solution for wedding hire including the bride and groom. If you intend to do it we recommend that you come and view the vehicle to be sure you are happy with the seating before you secure it for your wedding.