Nowadays mention the name Lucas in any sentence and owners of British cars and motorcycles could errupt into big gaffaws of laughter. The problem being that as the years went by the reliability of Lucas products came under heavy scrutiny with an increase in failures but most of this could be attributed to lack of maintenance. The most interesting thing to remember is that Lucas produced magnetos from the mid 1910s to approximately 1964, a period of nearly 50 years and so would have manufactured over a million, if not millions of such ignition devices. Not such a bad record really, and there are a lot of Lucas magnetos still giving sterling service to the owners of vintage and classic motorcycles being ridden every day throughout the world.
The information contained within comes from the factory listing of all Lucas Equipment and Spare Parts for motorcycles from 1936 to 1950 and covers marques from AJS to Zenith. It includes magnetos, dynamos (generators), regulators and associated lighting equipment, and the photographs are excellent in helping to identify parts that may be lying in the bottom of that box in your cupboard.
To publish the complete listings the file would be too big so we have split it up into the various magneto, generator, distributor and lighting sections. First up is the magneto section at 35 pages, as we thought that this would be of the most value, and as time permits we will add the others.
The magneto section of the catalogue is quite complete and covers years from 1936 to 1950 for most if not all of British motorcycles manufactured. It also has a brief 1 page piece on the Lucas racing magneto, sometimes referred to as the Wader magneto, as well as a parts supersession chart.
There is also a conversion table from the old Maglita units that had been out of production for many years, to the newer replacement Lucas items.
Click on the cover below to see the complete listings of magnetos and their associated parts.
It is a 10.7M PDF and you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it.
Finally, it is believed that when smoke escapes from the wiring of a British vehicle (motorcycles included) that used Lucas equipment, that all hope should be given up of life being breathed back into the electrical system However all has not been lost as a rather crafty individual has started producing jars of smoke to replenish what has escaped. Click here to inspect the product.