Four cylinder engine with twin spark plugs. The two sets of plugs come from two different ignition systems???
Fairly standard procedure to have both battery and magneto systems on quality cars - look at Rolls of the era. Ease of starting, get you home capability and (theoretically) better combustion
Constantine, as you are looking at Beans, are you off on another Birtles adventure?
Bean Cars we built at Tipton, Dudley, West Midlands, England between 1919 and 1929. A rugged family car, solidly built but only about 14,000 were made in ten years. They found it difficult to compete with Austin and Morris cars that were half the price. Dual ignition was rare on family cars, more frequently seen on Rolls Royce cars where the battery/coil/distributor and magneto ignitions ensured reliability - at a price. Dual ignition was quite common on Leyland and Dennis fire engines too , also post-war military trucks.
I suspect the twin ignition shown is simply two distributor / coil ignitions. This was used on several makes during the 1920's and 1930's. In the USA Nash used "Twin Spark Ignition" for many years, with the British using their engines in the Frazer Nash.
Frazer-Nash Did NOT use Nash engines.
Mr. Frazer-Nash used a 1.5 liter enine with four cylinders.
The twin ignition engines built by Nash were only pre-war overhead valve eight cylinder engines.
After the war they only built the sixes (a flat head in the 600 and an OHV in the Ambassadors), and none with dual ignition.
The dual ignition cars used one distributor, dual points and two coils with 16 spark plugs-all the wires came out of one cap.
The Nash Healy was made in England, used a six cylinder Ambassador 234 or 235 engine but no twin ignition.
The man's name was Archie Frazer-Nash.
The company's name was Frazer Nash, with no hyphen.
They may have used engines larger than 1.5 liter in later years, but never a straight eight Nash engine, or any other Nash engine.
Cool, I learned something new today! I always liked the Frazer Nash cars. Chain drive was always interesting, and the cars were light, fast, and competitive.
Jay Leno has at least one....
Hey Royce, are they distributors, or magnetos, it is interesting that they would use two different on the same engine, the Continental engines use two nearly identical magnetos on the back of the engine, one rotates to the clockwise and the other anti-clockwise.
Jem, sent you an email.
Ian is right, Bean was a tough reliable car as proved by Birtles. Bean cars used Hadfield steel (manganese steel).
Here's a photo of Birtles (wearing an Australian bush hat and double breasted 3/4 length leather motoring coat) and Sir Robert Hadfield (with cane and white gloves) inspecting the Bean 14 "Sundowner" in London. Very different men but both knew a great car when they saw one. Note the Dunlop tyres, which are still made in the UK today and available for the Model T. Big $$$ but best tyre out there for a Model T.
Yes, love to have a Bean to keep my T company but I've not yet managed to meet the rich widow or divorcee I'm looking for...hehe.
Whatever my next car will be, it most definitely need to be an open car as I'm used to driving a T touring...sort of feels wrong having a roof above my head and glass all around.
To prove the point, on my recent trip to the UK I rented the car in the photo below and drove 850 miles in three days most of the time with the top and windows down despite near freezing weather; even at 70mph on the motorways. Though I did cheat by wearing my leather helmet and jacket and having the heater on full.
Forgot to mention, Sir Robert Hadfield (in the photo with Birtles) was a metallurgist and the inventor of manganese steel (also know as Hadfield Steel).
On the Frazer Nash, the cars were fitted with engines by made by Meadows - their 4ED. It was 1500cc, four cylinders. From 1933 a few cars were fitted with a 6 cylinder engine by Blackburne, still only 1500cc. The Meadows is said to perform better, but did not take well to supercharging. In the Bean photo's, the distributor nearest the camera is for coil ignition, I am sure the far distributor sits on top of a vertical drive magneto. In UK David Best has the biggest collection of Beans,I will ask him if he knows.
Ian, any idea of the price range for a nice Bean 14 in the UK is, and what the parts situation is like?
I would think you would be paying around 15,000 sterling for a reasonable but not immaculate car. They are pretty rare here, and the parts supply situation is virtually non-existant. You would have to get most things made or rebuilt, or be lucky and find a Bean enthusiast who has a hoard of parts. If you are seriously interested I could put you in touch with David Best, who has several. I nearly bought one from him, in poor condition, but instead went for a Model T (because I knew I could get all the parts).
I have looked up the website for David Best, it is www.bwlr.co.uk/beancars.php and also the Bean Car Club are on www.beancarclub.org
I hope this is of some help.
Ian, thanks for the info. Prices are a bit cheaper here for British vintage cars, even with a the current weak GBP. There is a Bean 14 for sale in Australia at the moment:
Seems it needs a repaint (the most expensive part of a restoration) and is an older restoration. I'd want a car in better condition than this, but as you said they're rare especially well restored and in great condition.
Have you seen the one for sale live, Constantine? I think it looks great in the photos. Maybe some scratches on the fenders, but a fender only repaint shouldn't have to cost all that much?
No, it's about 700km from where I am. The price tells me it's worse condition than what it looks to be in the photos; which is almost always the case. A good car at that dealer would be $24000+. Still probably a good car but not for me.
Check this Bean out - for sale in NZ. great project and cheap as chips.
Interesting, lots of spare parts there too.
The NZD is very strong at the moment. Must be many cars from the USA and elsewhere being imported into NZ currently.
There has been a steady stream of US cars coming into NZ for many years including many Model Ts. Certain parts of the country are noticeably sinking from the weight of imported yank tanks.
That is interesting, Ken. In the 1960's and early 1970's the movement of historic cars was the reverse. I believe that Americans on Operation Deep Freeze, could bring their personal car to N.Z., which they did. Because of the restriction on new cars in the country the older Yank Tanks sold at a premium, so a nice profit toe the visitors. When the visitor's time was up, they took home one of the popular US cars of the 20's or 30's such as Model A's etc., which they had found in N.Z. and which they could sell at a premium in the USA.
The photo's in the advert for the NZ Bean clearly show one magneto and one distributor, so that explains the first photo and question clearly.
The Bean for sale in Australia is sold it seems. Off to the UK?