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Homepage. This page: Details of spark plugs recommended for commercial vehicles in the late 1940s.
List of spark plugs

Champion Spark Plugs.

The leaflet shown alongside I think was issued in 1948, detailing the various Champion spark plugs that were available to drivers of British, European and USA-built commercial vehicles. Pocket sized, it folds out into a small chart listing several hundred makes and model of lorry. Some of the British and European makes I've heard of, such as Austin, Crossley, Lister Auto Trucks and Saurer, whereas others I've never heard of, eg Krupp, Multiwheeler, Pagefield and Vomag. The list of American trucks is extensive, with everything from American La France, Corbitt, Duplex and Fargo, through to yet more obscure manufacturers such as Hawkeye, Kelly Springfield, Sanford and Yellow.
Fold out this pocket-size leaflet, and details of the different style of terminals used on Champion spark plugs is given, as is a diagram showing the Champion-branded gap tool and adjusted that you could buy, for 8d a time. Interestingly there is no mention of the Champion Plugometer, perhaps this was a later gadget.
Spark plug gap tool

Identifying different types of Champion plug.

Incorporated within the leaflet is a handy guide to the different types of sparkplugs that you could buy. From left to right, it shows the following plug options:
  • L10 (14mm, 1/2" reach) and the N8 (14mm, 3/4" reach)
  • 7 Com. D (18mm, 1/2" reach)
  • 9 Com. L (18mm, 7/8" reach)
  • 11 Com. (18mm, 1/2" reach long body)
  • C5 (7/8" S.A.E. 5/8" reach)
  • 7 Com. L (18mm, 5/8" reach)
  • J8 (14mm, 3/8" reach) and the J10 Com. (14mm, 3/8" reach)
Different types of spark plugs on sale
Champion were keen that anyone who purchased their plugs should only use them in a particular manner, and for the purpose they were intended for. The leaflet contains the following legalese, not something you often see in early motoring literature:
"Champion Sparking Plug Company, Limited, grants to the purchaser of Champion Plugs and to any person into whose hands such plugs may come, a limited licence to use or to sell the same upon the express conditions :-
  • that they shall not be resold, or offered for sale, new, secondhand, used or partly used, at a price lower than that published in the Champion official price lists ;
  • that no allowances, bonuses, rebates, gifts or other consideration of any kind shall be made or given by a seller or accepted by a purchaser whereby the price paid if bought below that published in the Champion official price lists ; and
  • that the plugs shall not in any circumstances be reconditioned or renovated for re-sale.
Any breach of any of the above conditions by any person dealing with Champion plugs will render such person liable to an action for infringement of Letters Patent."
Interest in the older style of sparkplug means that there is a band of collectors out there who seek out rare types of plug for their own collections, some of whom advertise in the automobilia section of this site, in the spark plug collecting section. Some advice on how to check the plugs in your car's engine can also be found here.
Return to the motoring memorabilia section to read about more oddball, motoring-related, collectables. Included is a look at the Belling-Lee Sparkmaster, an inexpensive gadget designed to improve the performance of a car's ignition system.
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