Albert Guyot

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Sir,

The interesting letter of Mr. Ploeg finishes with an invitation to comment on its contents. In one respect I beg to disagree with him. Albert Guyot did not design the RollandPilain Grand Prix car of 1922. Several authors, Posthumus, Lurani and the team Hough-Frostick, when writing about the 8-cylinder 2-litre Rolland-Pilain, reveal Ingenieur Grillot as the designer of this car.

Except for the left-hand steering, the Duesenberg of 1921 and the Rolland-Pilain of 1922 have little in common. As regards the use of hydraulic four-wheel brakes on both cars, Rolland-Pilain possessed a priority, because they exhibited such a layout during the London Motor Show of 1910. Comparing the engines of both cars shows a complete difference in design:

D’berg 8-cylinder

Bore x stroke: 63 x 117 mm.

Three valves: 1 inlet, 2 exhaust.

One overhead camshaft.

Crankshaft in 3 bearings, 2 plain, I ball.

Two Miller carbureters. Rolland-Pi/ant 8-cylinder

Bore x stroke: 59.2 x 90 mm.

Two valves.

Two overhead camshafts.

Built-up crankshaft in five ball-bearings. Four carburetters.

Returning to Albert Guyot, he started his racing career with a Minerva in the 1907 Kaiser Preis. In the second series of the eliminating races he finished 9th, but unfortunately in the actual race Guyot gave up on the 2nd lap. During the year 1908 he joined the Delage stable and won the Grand Prix des Voiturettes. His successes for Delage arc as follows: 1911 4th, Coupe des Voitures legeres. 1913: 4th, Grand Prix de L’ACF, 2nd GP de France at Le Mans. 1914: 3rd, 500Mile Race Indianapolis. With a Sunbeam he finished 4th in that race during the year 1913. After World War One he became a member of the Ballot team and succeeded in finishing 5th at Indianapolis in 1919. From Ballot he went to Duesenberg and secured once more a 5th place in the Grand Prix de L’ACF of 1921. In the same year he also drove a Bignan car in the Corsican GP, winning this 275-mile race. In the next two years he was engaged by Rolland-Pilain, winning the 1923 San Sebastian GP.

From 1924 to 1931 Guyot built his specials, using the Rolland-Pilain underslung chassis and the Burt-McCullum engines (not McCallum, as Erwin Tragatsch erroneously writes). His cars were, perhaps, good-lookers but bad performers. In July 1927 at Montlhery during the “formula libre” race de Courcelles crashed fatally with a Guyot-Special. After this tragic accident, which put an end to the career of this well-known Lorraine-Dietrich driver, these cars disappeared from road and track. It seems to me that Albert Guyot was a far better racing driver than a designer!

Bloemendaal KORTHALS ALTES