Among this august group of Reo Royals experts, does anyone know anything about the Royale-based professional cars (hearses and ambulances) National marketed between 1931 and 1934? I am looking for any information someone may have - photos, prices,specifications,literature and production statistics. I would be most appreciative of any assistance you could render in this regard. These cars were the result of a three-way effort. The chassis were purchased from Reo by the National Casket Company of Boston, Massachusetts and shipped from Lansing to the Henney Motor Company in Freeport, Illinois. Henney constructed the custom-crafted bodies and mounted them on the Reo chassis. Henney then delivered the completed vehicles to National - at whichever regional office that had submitted the original order. This line of vehicles was announced to the funeral service profession by National on May 1, 1931 and, in addition to the Royale-based models, offered coaches on the Flying Cloud 8 and 6 chassis as well. National's involvement with Reo and Henney came to an end in 1934. As I said, I am seeking any information you may have on these vehicles. Thanks.
Yes, Juha. That's a 1931 National-Henney-Reo Model AE8. You will note the "Henney" name on the hub caps. I most appreciate the images and continue to want additional information, photos or other related material. Thank you very much. - Tom
Thank you for your quick reply. I guess the front part of the Reo is factory made; radiator, hood, fire wall, front fenders etc. The chassis is the same as in Limousines - I believe. Somebody told me here that the body is locally made here but now with your information I think the body is maden in the US. Perhaps the read doors are made here locally or did the hearses have rear doors. Is there any information how many made hearses or ambulaces were made on Reo Royale chassis?
Juha, The complete chassis was supplied by Reo. Henney then lengthened it to obtain a wheelbase of 162-inches and mounted its custom-built bodies there on. This was a four-year deal between Reo, Henney and National and, as far as I now know, 181 National-Henney-Reo professional vehicles were built in this four year period. However, not all of those were based on the Royale chassis. It is currently estimated that only 65 were based on the magnificent Royale with an additional 116 based on one of the Flying Cloud chassis - either the six or eight-cylinder versions - which were also available. So....there you go. - Tom
Thank you again for this additional information. This is a good opportunity to learn from each other. So there may a good chance to find few more Reo Royale hearses in the US. Did the hearses have double rear door?
I did some googling and found that hearses do have rear doors. So I guess in the case of this Finnish Reo Royale only the tailgate has been romoved when the car has been turned into Sedan.
Last Edit: Feb 11, 2017 10:43:28 GMT -6 by juhakai
Juha - Yes, these coaches were fitted with a single, large loading door at the back. I know of only one other surviving National-Henney-Reo Royale funeral car. It's a Model AE8 and is, or was, owned by a chap in Denver, Colorado a number of years back. It was fully restored and beautiful. take care. - Tom
Pierce Arrow also sold chassis to Henny for professional cars. There seem to be two different type of Henny cars. Factory modified bodies, using factory doors and hardware that are then modified. The other is an entirely new product only using front grill and fenders. I have seen P-A Henny hearses both ways, most commonly using a modified factory body. Also, Henny would buy a 9 passenger commercial sedan in the white, and finish the interior to match the fleet. Henny also had a special market for a side door hearse, and it could come with an electric table that would turn and slide perpendicular to the car, neat accessory and VERY expensive. I have seen two cars with the electric tables. Also, Henny and others made Invalid Coach, a car with side doors to allow a wheel chair and ramp, or as an ambulance/hearse and worked for placing gurneys in the car. A message to the Professional Car Society would probably benefit you search for Reo professional cars. Ed
Last Edit: Feb 12, 2017 11:32:59 GMT -6 by edinmass
tim: Mark my hood is complete and you are welcome to examine when you come over to Michigan. Also, the chrome strip or stainless stops at the rear of hood. Does not go to the windshield
Apr 24, 2015 13:38:30 GMT -6
davidsnow: Just saying hello as a new member. Thank you to John Phillips for reaching out and letting me know about the forum. I live in Wisconsin and have been in the REO club for several years. My wife and I currently are serving as custodians of REO merchandise.
Jan 17, 2016 10:57:38 GMT -6
harley: My attempt at creating a thread with an attachment of the Royale stationary does not seem to allow the attachment to open for view. What did I not do correctly? This is my first time on a forum so it is all new to me. (Harley)
Aug 20, 2016 13:49:41 GMT -6
JohnGPhillips: The spam topics and offending users have been removed. Apologies to all.
Aug 14, 2018 11:36:56 GMT -6
lovecars1: My Father owned a 1931 Reo Royale 8 that once belonged to Premier Hepburne of Ontario Canada in the 1930s,my Dad owned this car in Kingston,Ontario in the mid to late 1940s.I remember him saying it was horrendous on fuel.
Aug 22, 2018 15:02:20 GMT -6
coley: Hi John and Mark. Coley here. Making more REO door handles. I need to find a supplier for the lock cylinder and keys for the outer locking door handles for a 1930 flying cloud and others. Or a handle with keys.
Feb 22, 2019 12:08:45 GMT -6