Craig, I'm not that knowledgeable on these things but it looks to me that the magneto is gear driven off of the cam, but I guess you're saying it is the other way around. If the car is pushed to start, there would be no need of a coil or battery, correct?, thus further lightening the car. It is a strange looking contraption. Upon closer inspection I would have to agree. It s a timer. You can see the studs sticking out around the circumference.
I found the reference on the HAMB site and tried to contact the person claiming the motor exists but was unable to do so. It is probably in the Gertler collection. I would love to see pictures of it today.