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BEAN, Tipton / Dudley, UK, 1919-1929


The research company "A. Harper, Sons & Bean" from the town of Dudley in the county of Worcester in 1919 decided to start manufacturing cars. The basis was taken by the pre-war light machine company "Perry", putting on it a more powerful engine with a working volume of 1794 cm3.
Former military ammunition workshops in Tipton quickly converted and started production of the BEAN-11.9 HP. The bodies were made at the old factory in Dudley. BEAN cars were cheap and in demand, although in a hurry neither the engine nor the transmission passed control after assembly. Each week, 80 cars were manufactured, and the company was already dreaming of annual production of 50 thousand cars. Meanwhile, the period of euphoria ended, and numerous defects were increasingly found in BEAN products. At the same time, litigation began within the consortium, which, in addition to BEAN, included automobile companies ABC, Swift, Vulcan and several manufacturers of automotive components. As a result, production at BEAN declined sharply, and when they decided to resume it again in 1922, it turned out that the market was already occupied by passenger cars like the Morris Cowley.
The new “BEAN” cars were no better in quality than their predecessors. Nevertheless, production and sales grew, as the demand for simple and cheap cars after the war was too high.
In 1924, the “14 HP” model appeared with an engine displacement of 2385 cm3. She was introduced as "the fastest car in its category with incredibly effective brakes at a reasonable price." The cylinder block and gearbox housing formed a monolithic structure. At the same time, production began on the lightweight “12 HP” model, which was only a “11.9 HP” modification.
In 1926, the Sheffield steel company Hadfield celebrated its centenary with the purchase of a controlling stake in BEAN (it owned only a small portion of the shares since 1919), which led to the closure of the Tipton plant.
The following year, “BEAN” introduced the “18/50” model with a 6-cylinder overhead valve engine and a 4-speed gearbox, as well as a sports version that developed a top speed of 110 km / h. In the same 1927, a prototype “Imperial Six” appeared with a 3.8-liter 6-cylinder engine. It Australian researcher Francis Birtles dared to make an advertising run from England to India, but on the way the car crumbled into pieces.
Since 1928, passenger cars received the “Headfield-Bean” brand. The new “14/40 HP” model with a separate gearbox and main worm gear shocked the automotive world with a complete lack of quality and reliability. Its units worked with difficulty: the gearbox often did not turn on, the clutch disc warped, the brakes were ineffective. This situation could be considered a complete failure, but the cars of the British company due to the low price were still in significant demand. Therefore, the company did not give up and released the sports model "14НР Short" on the chassis "12НР2" with the engine from the car "14/40 HP". In 1929, just before the liquidation of the company, another sports car "14/70 HP" appeared with a brake booster. For two whole years after closing at BEAN, special machines were manufactured for industrial purposes, and only in 1931 did the firm finally cease to exist.

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