"Huh?", you say....
Well back in the nineties Mercedes-Benz formed a study team headed by Dieter Zetche to look into the possible purchase of Rolls-Royce and base the new model RR on their (then current) V/W140 S-Class series V12 engined car.
In the mid 1990s Tony Gott, chief executive of Rolls-Royce was looking for a new engine supplier was a new modern Rolls-Royce. I will quote from a book on the final takeover , but the rest is my own speculation.
"What started as purely engineering discussions with Mercedes-Benz ended with Gott and a small team from Crewe working on a practical project in Stuttgart....
The team returned with enough evidence to convince the Rolls-Royce board to go for the Mercedes bid."
Vickers didn't agree.
At the RROC National meet last week I came across an original Crewe styling sketch of what the seller thought was just a Silver Spirit.
I was fascinated by this rather expensive drawing....
It has Mercedes-Benz styling cues all over it!
The grey lower cladding on the body, the fog lamps in the lower front valance.
Interiorwise, sure it has traditional RR/B round air vents but look at the MB switches, instrument cluster, glove box, shifter, door handles......
Oh my! This, in my opinion is the Rolls-Royce Mercedes we have never seen.
When Mercedes-Benz withdrew from the 'Squabbling' involving BMW and Volkswagen , they said they had a better pursuit ahead - Chrysler.
Again, this is my speculation but why is it that when the Maybach came out it was based on Mercedes-Benz's previous generation 140 S-Class and not the 220 series which had been out since 1999?
They had produced a Rolls-Royce of their own and I think this picture is of the car that started it.
Have I started a debate?
I should have bought the sketch. I was right there staring at it....!
(Posted by David Irvine)