REO Speedwagon - The World's First Pickup

Most people know REO Speedwagon as the rock band that gave us the hit songs “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” “Keep On Loving You,” and “Take It On the Run,” but people in the early 1920s knew it as a truck manufactured by REO Motor Car Company (pronounced “REE-oh” as one word). First introduced in 1915, the truck was produced 1953. The REO Speedwagon served as a delivery truck, tow truck, dump truck, pickup truck, and even as fire trucks and ambulances. They were known for their power, durability and quality. After years of equal focus on cars and trucks, REO Motor Car Company shifted its focus to trucks, ending automobile production in 1936. In 1954, the company was sold to White Motor Company and REO Speedwagon became Diamond Reo Trucks. In 1966, Neal Doughty and Alan Gratzer started a band, naming it REO Speedwagon after the truck. Doughty had seen the name written across the blackboard when he walked into his History of Transportation class, but rather than pronouncing REO as a single word as the motor company did, they chose to spell the word out and pronounce it “R-E-O.” The rest, as they say, is history.