This looks to me like some sort of setup for a 24V coil.
Can't tell by the picture if it is for running a 24 volt ignition system with a 12V vehicle or just part of a 24V coil setup.
Since your pictures and explanation are incomplete, so are the answers that refer to them.
They don't show and you don't describe where the high tension lead connected, but perhaps you don't know and neither do I.
Uncle "Richard" Douglas has a Land Rover with big wheels that never gets stuck... until he breaks something so it won't go. Uncle Douglas always breaks something. - Anna Crowther at the Conclave 2012 (AKA Carburetor Neck)