Raoul De Rovin

Raoul De Rovin

9/7/1896 - 0/0/1949

Raoul Pegulu, marquis De Rovin, was born in Granada, Spain, thrid in a family of eight children. After finishing his studies he went to fight for his country in the First World War. He was wounded and was awarded the Croix de Guerre.

From 1920 to 1934 Roaul de Rovin built motorcycles at 14 Boulevard de Valmy in Colombes. These machines were powered by Train, JAP, Velocette, Rovin and MAG engines. He used two-stroke, ohv and sidevalve engines with capacities from 98cc to 499cc.

There was great demand in this sector of the  market and Rovin prospered, helped in no small part by the competition success of the marque. Amoungst Rovin motorycycle's results were 15 world records in the 75cc to 175cc classes, 8 wins in the Bol d'Or and 7 victories in the Tour de France.

In September 1922 at the Journée des Records du M.C.F. on the Allée des Acacias in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris, Barthélemy on a 125 Rovin achieved an average speed of 82,285 km/h for the two way run. An amazing achievement on a 125 in 1922!

The following year at the same event though this time in July, Barthélemy rode the Rovin to set a World Record of 86,245 km/h km/h for 100cc machines and 91,621 km/h for 125's. In August the magazine l'Auto organised the second Grand Prix des Bicyclettes à Moteur at the Parc des Princes. Because of the number of entries in the up to 100 cc class, a series of 100Km eliminaton races had to be held. Barthélemy won the first by 15 minutes with an average speed of over 71 km/h, Lézin the second by 17 minutes. In the final Lézin won, setting world records for 10 km and 100 km on the way, Barthélemy was second. Third place was 11 minutes behind.

The same year Rovins won the French Motorcycle GP again with Lézin on the 100cc machine and De Rovin himself on a 125 machine.

In the mid Twenties with the company continuing to grow, de Rovin decided to start building cars. His tiny automobiles were well balanced, had good handling and were capable of spritly performances thanks to their light weight and the single-cylinder 500cc JAP engine.

In 1928 he purchased the Sans-Sou-Pap motorcycle factory and also built three-wheelers.

Raoul was raced Delage cars and took part in the very first  Monaco Grand Prix in 1929 with a Delage 8. He retired on the 82nd lap because the gear lever got too hot to use. This was because he was only using the first two gears in the five speed box. He had to receive medical attention as he hand was so badly burned.

Raoul de Rovin was the only person to have competed in the Bol d'Or on a motor bike and in a car in the same event. That amounts to 48 hours of driving with a just 4 hours of rest.

Raoul was also an aviator and flew his Potez 36 in the Tour de France in 1931.

In 1948 following the success of the new D2 automobile, he bought the huge former Delaunay-Belleville factory.

Roaul died in Paris in 1949 at the age of 53.

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