Some cars just get lucky, managing to survive against all odds, even after being dumped in a bramble bush following an accident with a horse drawn cart in the WW2 blackout of 1944.
This rare surviving vintage tourer in fine condition with an interesting known history since 1936 has been brought back from the dead by a man who then tracked it down once more after 41 years to own it once again. The car is unique, as no other 1928 Hadfield Bean Tourer is known to exist.
This rare Bean is now coming to auction with H&H Classics at their October 19th sale at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, and one can only hope that it finds another owner who will cherish it as the current owner Andrew Neate has done. Andrew owned the Hadfie4dld Bean between 1968 – 1974 and then once more from 2015 to the present date.
It is offered with magazine articles, sales poster and list of spare parts.
Andrew Neate and the car he rescued.
Andrew takes up the tale: “In 1968, whilst working in Three Mile Cross, Berkshire, I noticed, amongst a large bramble bush, what looked like a car. It was indeed - a 2.2-litre Hadfield Bean Tourer which I learned had crashed into a horse and cart during the wartime blackout in 1944. Simply pulled off the road, it had lain there for 24 years on this four acre field that backed onto a small old fashioned petrol station owned by a man named Percy Runyard. Seeing my interest in the wreck he said the car’s name was Lady Percy. I thought it would be fun to rescue her.
In the condition the car was found in and taken to Andrew Neate’s garage in Newbury.
Beginning the restoration work.
Eventually, I acquired the car and set about freeing it from its ‘prison’, a massive tangle of vegetation. With the aid of a tractor, we finally had it out in the open air and loaded onto a trailer. It was not surprising that it had seen better days with the bodywork detaching itself from the chassis with great ease! We took it to my home and garage in Newbury and I set about freeing the wheels and acquiring new tyres. That way I could move it and commence work. A daunting challenge and one which I soon realised was beyond my skill level and pocket!
So, with great reluctance, in 1974, I advertised it for sale and very soon a deal was done. Imagine the “interest” of neighbours as a covered lorry arrived and out stepped two Pearly Kings (or more accurately a King and Queen). As the Bean was being loaded, I persuaded my wife to go up to the bedroom window and to take a photograph as the car departed. I was somewhat upset to see it go, to put it mildly.
In 1986, my wife’s uncle was Treasurer of a village fete in Surrey, not far from where we lived. To support him, we went along and there on the hillside was a row of old cars. Naturally drawn to have a look, imagine my surprise when I recognised the number plate and saw a copy of the photograph that my wife had taken all those years ago resting on the bonnet! The car was beautiful! The owner and restorer having driven down from London for the day. I gently asked for first refusal should he ever wish to sell and he readily agreed. However, this was frustrated by my employer sending me overseas and when I returned 10 years later, the car had been passed on. I tried to keep in touch, learning it remained in very good shape and had been on the Shetland Island car rally in 2008.
The car still held a special place in my memory so in 2015 I made another enquiry as to its whereabouts, only to learn that it was now in Lanarkshire. My correspondent happily agreed to forward my email to the owner and three days later I had a reply to the effect that the car was in great shape, but that he, the owner, was “getting on a bit” and wanted to sell. There and then, and I did “forget” to consult my wife, I bought it back, 41 years after having sold it. A trip to Scotland with a friend, a trailer and a Land Rover brought it home.
I researched what history I could, the earliest records not being available. The Hadfield Bean was only made for two years, and the production run was not high. Thus, and being the only model known to exist, it is rare. In fact, we believe, unique.
The history can only be traced back to 1936 when it was owned by a Londoner which may not be surprising as the Company had a showroom in London. Then came the accident in 1944 and it remained off the road until 1968. Following the 1974 sale it was restored over the next four years in Isleworth. In 1991 it found its way to an owner in Hertford and then, in 1995, to an owner in Alcester. Another change of ownership found it in Ayrshire and on to Lanarkshire. Then in April 2015, I acquired the car back again.
The history of the Bean Car company is well covered in the Veteran and Vintage magazine of the Automobile Magazine of October 1983 and the car itself was featured in the Automobile Magazine in November 1983. It reappears in the Automobile Magazine of March 2009
and copies of all of these Magazines are included in the sale. Also included are an original Owner’s Handbook, an original sales poster, a complete list of spare parts, a copy of the Bean Bulletin from March 1928 and a Buff logbook with the earliest stamp dated January 1943.”
Described as having “excellent” bodywork, pale yellow / bronze paintwork, engine, electrics and transmission with “very good” brown leather interior, this delightful vintage tourer is very much one of a kind.
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