Christmas delvings into matter contributed to Motor Sport during the war, but unused when peace broke out and we had to change somewhat the make-up of the paper, produced, amongst other things, an article by R. Brookes on his experiences with a 1925 Bean Fourteen. This article is too long to publish in this busy day and age, but, although we have only encountered three of these massive cars in the past twelve months, some of Brookes’ findings are not without interest. He first rebuilt his car, using the rear part of a Cluley two-seater body with a 12-gallon Bedford fuel tank in the dickey to supplement the Bean’s 11-gallon reservoir. This, and new wheels with 6-in. section tyres, improved roadholding, but 30 in. by 3.25-in. tyres were required in front before the car would steer. Eventually a Morris Six steering box replaced the original worn-out box. The vast, long-stroke 75 by 135-mm. engine gave 32 b.h.p. at 2,400 r.p.m. from 2,380 c.c. and some 12, 25 and 50 m.p.h. on 2nd, 3rd and top gears. This was improved by substitution of an S.U. for the Smith’s carburetter and by rigging a second magneto above the original instrument, driving it by cycle chain. This magneto fired an additional set of plugs normally intended to be used in conjunction with a coil set which the makers listed as an extra. The owner’s difficulty here was to find the cash for the four additional plugs needed, but at the time Jowetts were offering a set as a prize in a letter-writing competition, so an entry was sent in and four E.R. plugs duly arrived A guard over the exposed chain to defeat oil-fling, and a new vernier-coupling to look after the increased load were also necessary, after which starting and acceleration were improved, the weak mixture setting could be employed even in winter, while water temperature fell from 92 deg. C. to 85 deg. C. Other ingenious modifications were a Berkshire electric screen wiper with variable control provided by a resistance from an old radio set, electrically-heated ex-R.A.F. clothing for the driver, controlled through the resistance formerly used in the Bean’s headlamp dimmer, bucket front seats from a Morris Oxford, and a dumbiron apron so arranged that it could be clipped up to the radiator for starting and automatically released by a spring and held by a clip to rubber buffers on the dumb-irons when the engine had ceased to cough. An induction-actuated trumpet wind-horn was another addition. It was given a long lever for sensitive operation, embarrassing if the driver’s sleeve became entangled with it in traffic!
Apparently these old Beans “had something,” including 16-in, front brakes, for Brookes’ specimen did 110,000 miles without needing a rebore — at which period a dealer declared her market value as 30s.! A possible snag was the drag on the gear-lever when trying to change ratios with the oil cold. Although a suitably massive lever was provided, one owner preferred to start each morning in top gear to “avoid loss of face;” fortunately he lived on a slope. After which bit of unwarranted journalism we can only conclude by recalling that one of the former Editors of Motor Sport ran a Bean Twelve with a Fourteen engine and used it for pioneer experiments with portable radio. But that was twenty-five years ago.