CAL-RODS DECEMBER 2017 FEATURED CAR
written by Doug Bithell
Owner: Bob & Carrie O'Neal
YEAR: 1948 MAKE AND MODEL: REO SPEED WAGON
COLOR: RUSTIC PATINA UPHOLSTERY: COWHIDE AND ALUMINUM
ENGINE: CHEVY 350 C.I. TRANS: 700 R4 REAR END: FORD 9"
WHEELS: WIRE FRONT & 12 X 16 CHEATER SLICKS BACK
O. K. how many of you have ever seen a REO SPEED WAGON before? Well take a look at Bob and Carrie O’Neal’s 1948 REO Speed Wagon. This rare Rat Rod (Latin: ratatouiee rodius) is really a fun car to drive. Bob says he gets all kind of looks when he takes it out and all kinds of questions to “what is it”.
Bob got the cab and hood in Las Vegas, got a frame from So-Cal, and built the car in his garage. He made the truck bed out of heavy steel c-channel to give weight to help keep it on the ground, it was a little squirrely without that weight. He has entered in the drags with it and turned 88MPH in the 1/4 mile with an ET of 16.54 and didn’t need a parachute to slow him down because of the Corvette disk brakes he put on the truck.
The name on the door has meaning, his initials are REO, his son’s initials are REO, his grandson’s initials are REO, and his company’s name is (you guessed it) REO. Furthermore the VIN# on the vehicle is RO111 which represents the three of them.
The cowhide seats are another special feature. The hide was purchased in Texas. After going through some 300 hides Bob settled on the perfectly colored one to match the patina of the truck.
They have taken the truck to Santa Anita, Sycamore Inn, Veterans show, Elks Lodge show, Cool Cruise, Legends, and a few other local shows. It always puts a smile on your face when you see the truck with its unique look and it adds to the specialty cars of Cal-Rods. Nice job Bob.