The 1906 Baby REO is an identical, working gas-powered 1/2 scale miniature replica of its full-sized Mama. Built as a REO promotional tool for the 1906 model year, Baby REO was the first fully functional miniature gas-powered car ever built. The pair is valued at a priceless amount.
The Baby REO was first unveiled in January 1906 at the National Auto Show in New York’s Grand Central Place, it subsequently made a cross country tour visiting dealers’ showrooms, fairs, conventions and other auto shows to critical acclaim and enthusiastic reviews.
Baby REO was used for 30 years as an exhibit at fairs and conventions but was ‘lost’ in 1936. In anticipation of REO’s 50th Anniversary, the company started a nationwide search for Baby REO. It was found in 1954 in Altoona, PA in a REO truck dealer’s collection and was returned to Lansing for the first time in nearly 50 years. It went on temporary display in the REO corporate offices but was again lost until the mid 1980s when Dick Teague, a noted car designer found it in Mississippi. Mama and Baby REO have traveled as an identical pair continually since the late 1980s.
In mid-August 2008, Mama and Baby were auctioned in Pebble Beach, CA and were purchased by Peter and Debbie Stephens, the great-granddaughter of Ransom Eli Olds and her husband. The Stephens are loaning the cars to the R. E. Olds Transportation Museum in Lansing on a permanent long-term basis. The family is pleased to have the pair back together and in an ideal place for display.