Last january, in an interview with the late Mr. Gordon Usmar about Vinot et Deguingand cars, I referred to the hybrid Rolls-Royce this gentleman constructed after the First World War, by putting a Silver Ghost engine into an old 20/30 Vinot chassis, retaining the Vinot’s gearbox. A Vinot coupedc-yule body was fitted, later changed for a Park Ward coupe. Mr. Usmar told me that he sold the car to someone in the Midlands after a year or two and had never seen it since. When I had this talk with him at Lynwood, the Motor & Cycle Trades Benevolent Society’s residential quarters, Mr. Usmar said he had never seen this car since but would dearly like a photograph of it. Alas, he died, aged 94, before the article appeared.
Recently, researching something quite different, I came across pictures of his hybrid R-R.. Mr. Usmar said he built the car in 1922-23 but it seems his memory was slightly at fault, as these pictures were taken in 1919, the chassis used being described as a 25/30 Vinot and the engine that of a 1912 Rolls-Royce. The body is clearly that from the pre-war Vinot, an odd-looking four-door saloon with a wide panel containing an oval window separating each pair of doors, below a roof that dips in the centre. Indeed, it looks as if two Vinot coupe bodies may have been united to make this lamer body. Bonnet and radiator are plainly R-R but the badge is a circular one, either from a Vinot or one made up for the car, which was called “Rouge et Noir” by Mr. Usmar. The Reg. No. was LW 4197, should anyone have a Rolls-Royce that does not quite make sense.