1931 REO Model 15 Flying Cloud Sedan Ransom E. Olds (REO) began working for his fathers machine shop after finishing school. From here he had a fascination to produce a horseless carriage car that could be propelled forward with an internal combustion gasoline engine. After several tries, the Oldsmobile curved dash car was perfected and began selling in 1901. It did fairly well despite a devastating fire during the year, which they came back from and produced 600 cars. For consignment, a 1931 REO Model 15 Flying Cloud featured styling by Fabio Segardi, while Ned Jordan is credited with changing the way advertising was written with his Somewhere West of Laramie ads for his Jordan Playboy, Reos Flying Cloud....a name that provoked evocative images of speed and lightness....changed the way automobiles would be named in the future. A not oft seen model, and due to the sales climate of the time many models were carried over and sold as the new model year example. This is one of those cars, still having its original sales invoice from the Harrisburg Motor Car Corporation, REO dealership paperwork, and is listed as 1 of 3 in the 2022 REO club directory. Exterior Moving up the social ladder was always a goal of the American Worker. When one would achieve this measure, typically they would show off some of that success with the car they drove. Enter the Flying Cloud, a 4-door large sedan which most likely be chauffeur driven, offered up plenty of roominess and a very smooth ride. This example, befitting of better than the barn find category, but all the while still drivable, shows up with a 2-tone finish of blue and black with both areas showing as our consignor says a 20 footer finish applied to the Murray body. Upon closer inspection we wonder if the paint was applied with a roller at some point due to the heavy texture of the finish in some areas, while others have been sanded and buffed smooth. It retains most of its integrity though and panels are all fairly straight considering their age. There are a few areas of invasive rust mostly limited to the running board areas where they meet up with the body and these are minimal. This luxury liner has all its original glass, lighting and dual bar bumpers. A shiny radiator surround is up front and has very light tarnish noted. Black curved fenders on either side are held together with running boards in the center covered with rubber. Meanwhile up top a mix of black steel and black vinyl covers the roof. These two black sections frame the central blue body and fully accentuate the flowing lines of the car. 18-inch wooden style spoked wheels are on all 4 corners, and we can note a black trimmed windshield. Interior Gray broadcloth covers the door panels as well as the tuck and roll stitched seats that remind me of my grandmothers couch. These seats are in wonderful condition and provide ample comfort for 3 across the front. In back a bench stretches across the rear finished in front matching gray broadcloth with arms set into the broadcloth covered side panels. Above, the roof has been restored with more of the gray cloth and holds a courtesy light over top the rear seat passengers. A black plastic 4 spoke steering wheel, sans its center adjustment levers, (they are included as are a pair of levels our consignor had reproduced), fronts a wood burl dash with a central art deco bezel holding fully restored and rebuilt gauges courtesy of Bobs Speedometer in Michigan, including the hydrostatic fuel gauge. Clean mauve carpeting floods the floor and growing to the drivers right is a black long armed shifter meanwhile to the drivers left is the parking brake handle. Drivetrain Under the long-cowled hood is a restored 214.7ci L-headed inline 6-cylinder engine in its olive drab glory. It has a 1-barrel carburetor attached as well as a 3-speed manual transmission on the back. Motoring you down the back roads of our great country is a rear axle weighing in with a 4.45 ratio. Undercarriage Leaf springs and drum brakes and plenty of surface rust can be seen down below. No invasive rust is noted, even on the underside and supports for the running boards, which can be attributed to the past 35 years of careful indoor garage storage. A stock style single exhaust system is on to aid in spent fossil removal and appears nearly new from the muffler back. We note that the fuel tank was removed, cleaned and resealed for years of trouble-free motoring. Drive-Ability This old gal fired right up and ran smoothly. She gets up to speed nicely, and shifts very easily, and it stopped smoothly, albeit with some extra pressure from my right foot. All gauges and functions were in working condition. This writer just loves the whine of the old transmissions and this one was no exception. If you watch any movie from the 1930s and there is an automobile involved, listen carefully for it, it is iconic! All the basics are here, and there is definitely plenty to work with on this luxury long car. Lots of ornate details can be seen but need of TLC to take it to the next level. Definitely a piece of history awaiting the capable hands of a restorer who could have a very special car in the end. Then you can see how the other half lived.