I was delighted to see your article on the Bean in last month’s issue, forgotten make or not! May I take this opportunity of correcting a point you raise about the “Imperial Six” Bean. This was, in fact, a completely separate model from the 19/50 car and designated Model-10 by the factory (the 18/50 was Model-7).
When Hugh Kerr Thomas took over as Bean’s General Manager in 1926, he was never officially Chief Designer, though the post 1927 cars and commercials were largely his work. Thomas felt that the new Beans should be rather more fleet of foot than the earlier 14 and 12-h.p. models, and the 14/40, which appeared at the end of 1927, heralded the first of the “new look” cars. Up to this date Bean’s had not bothered with a separate export model, the overstrong 14-h.p. car looking after sales both at home and abroad. The Imperial Six was to be the new overseas car and, unlike the 18/50 model with its Meadows engine, had a 82.54 x 120.6-mm. Tipton-made 6-cylinder engine with Ricardo head. In view of what happened en route to India, it is perhaps just as well that only one prototype was made and the model dropped. The full story of this trip is ably recounted in M.H. Ellis’ book “Express to Hindustan.”
Thomas seems to have been unlucky with 6-cylinder engines as his 69 X 120-mm. effort in a coach chassis (Model-9). somewhat unfortunately named “Sir Galahad,” failed to reach the production stage despite its appearance at Bean’s Stand at the 1927 Commercial Motor Show.
Incidentally, the 14-h.p. car “Scarlet Runner,” driven across Australia by the Ellis/Birtles/Simpson expedition in 1924, is unfortunately no longer in the Science Museum. In 1928 it was returned to the Tipton works and hauled into a loft where it remained under the mid-‘thirties. When it was sold for scrap.
Thank you for providing such an interesting and informative article.
Reading. Jonathon Wood, Historian, Bean C.C.