• Sep 18, 2008
At Pebble Beach this year, the descendants of R.E. Olds – founder of Oldsmobile and the REO Motor Company – bought a 1906 REO Model A. The car is over 100 years old and doubtless cost them a pretty penny or two. But it wasn't even the car they were interested in. Bundled in the lot was a 1/8-scale replica known as the Baby REO. That's what Debbie Stephens, Olds' great granddaughter, wanted to get her hands on.

The Baby REO was initially made as a marketing tool for the motor company, traveling around the country before being loaned to the Barnum & Bailey and Ringling Brothers Circus in 1911. Along the way, the Baby REO would make occasional stops at the company headquarters and family estate in Lansing, Michigan, where the children would have their portraits taken. The miniature Olds made its way back to Lansing in 2004 for the company's 100th anniversary, but the family has been trying to acquire it for decades, frustrated when its various owners would sell it without offering the family the opportunity to bid. But the car – along with its full-size counterpart – has finally returned home, where it will be on display for public viewing at the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum. Just make sure there isn't a family picnic going on if you're planning on stopping by or the Baby REO may be out on a field trip.

[Source: The Detroit News, Photo by Rod Sanford/AP]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 6 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Someone made a mistake somewhere. If the original R.E.O. Model A was a very large 200" long, 1/8 of that would be 25", or just over 2 feet. From the pictures, it's clear that this thing is big enough for kids to sit in. It's more like 1/2 scale (possibly 3/8 or 5/8?). Possibly they were measuring by volume, but that's not how scale is measured with cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Man.. I miss Olds. :(
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've got to be honest, I never really knew than an R.E.O. Speed Wagon was a real vehicle.

      Secondly, I never knew it was made by the same guy who started Oldsmobile.

      Very interesting.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have no love for that miserable town.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What do you miss, the stale designs or the senior citizen clientele? The people who bought that brand really put the "old" in Oldsmobile.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I miss being able to purchase a new car that is not only a comfortable size, attractive interior and exterior, the long standard features lists, and easy to handle cost.
        Oldsmobile shared everything with the other divisions of GM but was never just a rebadged GM, they were always special and often more attractive.