The R.E.A. engines from Paris in France were built in relatively small numbers by Raymond Edmond Arnoux (or possibly by three individuals bearing those surnames) between 1938 and 1963. They were sold exclusively through “La Source des Inventions” in Paris, being in effect a “house brand” for that company. “La Source” was one of Paris’s oldest and most famous scientific supply houses, having opened its doors in 1907. It was located on Strasbourg Boulevard in Paris.
Model engines were among the early products sold by “La Source”, with steam engines being offered from 1908 onwards. These were joined by compressed air engines in 1920 and finally by petrol engines in 1938. Among the first petrol engines offered by “La Source” in 1938 was the first design produced by Arnoux and his associates, namely the initial version of the R.E.A. 10 cc spark ignition model. This was essentially a very competently-designed and well-made copy of the Brown Junior from America. It was joined in the same year by the first version of a very similarly-designed 5 cc model. A marine version of the 5 cc unit followed in 1940, after which the German occupation of Paris seems to have curtailed further development of these engines.
After the conclusion of hostilities, the company resumed its former model engine manufacturing activities, producing a series of engines in displacements ranging from 2.5 cc up to 10 cc. These were all very high quality units, many of which exhibited some unusual design features. Somewhat strangely, R.E.A. never produced a diesel model at any time.
The firm appears to have had a strong interest in model boats, offering marine versions of a number of models. Their crowning achievement was perhaps their unique monobloc 2.5 cc glow-plug marine engine designated the 2.5 cc G.P. Marin. This was surely one of the most unusual yet eminently practical marine units ever manufactured. However, all R.E.A. production ended in 1963.
Full details regarding the R.E.A. engines may be found in a separate article on this web-site.