The Conoulty Special Austin Comet - also known as "Musso"Bill Conoulty driving his 'Special Austin Comet'.The above photograph shows Bill entering Pit Straight at Bathurst -C1938.Photograph supplied by Peter Maher New South Wales, AustraliaThis highly competitive Special raced in New South Wales during the 1930's and 1940's and was the test bed for for many of the Bill Conoulty developed engines during that period. Written documentation during these early years refers to the Special as 'Conoulty Austin 7', 'Conoulty Special', 'Conoulty Special Austin Comet' and 'Musso'.Thomas William (Bill) Conoulty was born in Sydney, NSW, Australia in 1901 and attended Ultimo Technical College. He married and had three children. One son William (Bill) Conoulty Junior followed in his father’s footsteps choosing engineering as his profession. Bill Conoulty passed away in 1961. Thanks to Bill Conoulty Junior, much of his father’s early motoring history has been preserved.William Conoulty Senior is best known for his involvement with building and racing Austin Sevens, motorcycle racing (Douglas Isle of Man) and NSW motor sport from the late 1920’ to the late 1940’s. He was the first man in NSW to achieve 100 mph on a motorcycle. He was an avid supporter of the controversial Maroubra speedway in the 1920’ and early 1930’s. Bill Conoulty is also known for his design of the 'Comet 65' (Sydney built road going Austin Seven Sports model), the ‘Cushioned Power’ Austin Seven head, an overhead valve conversion and an overhead cam conversion for the Austin Seven. He also designed small Austin Seven power "tractors" for indoor use featuring enclosed exhaust gas collection. The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney commissioned one of these in 1937 to pull linen trolleys around the wards. One of his more interesting projects was the Sydney version of the ‘Globe of Death’, which in its original form, featured a modified Austin Seven and a Douglas motorcycle travelling in opposite directions!
Historic racing cars hit the track in Sydney for 2012 Tasman Revival Start your engines for Australia's premier historic racing car event: the 2012 Tasman revival in Sydney from 23rd-25th November 2012 at Eastern Creek Raceway The 2012 Tasman Revival is an unrivaled opportunity for racing car enthusiasts to experience the excitement of 1960s “formula cars ” and 1970s Formula 5000 cars in full flight with over 30 racing events over three days. Spectators can soak up the sights, sounds and tremendous atmosphere of historic motorsport over three days of almost continuous racing, with close trackside access to races, cars and drivers. Presented by the Historic Sports & Racing Car Association of NSW, the 2012 Tasman Revival will bring together ex-Formula 1 and Indy cars including Ferrari, McLaren, Spirit Honda, Brabham, Surtees, Lola and Lotus.
A grid of fearsome Formula 5000s will feature at the event when over 12,000 hp rattles the windows and shakes the ground of Eastern Creek. Other categories will be there too – production sports cars such as Austin Healeys and Porsches, touring cars including Mustangs and Falcon GTs and single seaters from Formula Vee through Juniors and Formula Ford to F1.
Many of Australia ’s best known drivers will be at the track with opportunities for autographs.Patron of the Tasman Revival FRANK MATICH AM, two-time winner of the Australian Grand Prix and builder of some of Australia ’s most iconic and successful racing cars will be attending on Sunday. Spokesperson for the Mr. Stephen Knox said: “The Tasman Revival is a not-to-be-missed event for racing car enthusiasts.It ’s a rare chance to see some of the fastest cars from the 1960s and ‘70s compete on track with almost continuous racing over three exciting days. “Spectators get incredible access to the cars and drivers with the Memorabilia Marquee displaying many significant and spectacular cars. Full access is available to garages and marquees throughout the paddock areas and no special passes are needed.
“Historic racing is the biggest and fastest growing branch of motorsport in Australia and throughout the Western world. We are expecting about 450 entries including more than 50 international competitors.
“It ’s a great day for the entire family and something you will never forget. TICKETS from $20 available from Ticketmaster.com.au or phone 136 100
For details visit www.tasmanrevival.comJoin us on facebook: www.facebook.com.hsrca And follow us on twitter @hsrcaFor details visit www.tasmanrevival.comJoin us on facebook: www.facebook.com.hsrca And follow us on twitter @hsrcaMEDIA CONTACT: Mr. Peter Addison – 0412 403 582
Cool hill - hot times - Rob Roy 22nd April 2012
There used to be a guy who sang on the wireless about how terrific April showers were because they made the flowers bloom in the Spring. Some classic car drivers in Victoria didn't have the same seasonal instinct, and didn't seem to be all that chirpy about the prospect of rain on the VHRR Hillclimb scheduled for April 22. Ron Simmons resorted to the web; coaxing members to send in entries. “If your Mum turns up with her shopping trolley she will probably get a run,” he wrote. “Scrutineering commences at 8am on Sunday morning, and we will be accepting entries onthe day." Apparently that did the trick. There was a turnaround, and it looked as though it was going to be a good day after all.
|Nigel Gray - just after turn 1|
A selection of Richard Abey's photographs of the Myrniong Sprint - Sunday April 15 2012
Jim Russell in this Ford V8 Spl holds the course record of 28 seconds.
*Vale Bob Booth
http://www.motormarques.com/drivers-and-cars/202-booth-bob-bob-booth-specialStephen Harrison has written to inform me that "Bob unfortunately passed away last week but before he did the car was run at Eddington (a few problems) and Myrniong. Bob did get to Eddington but was too ill to go to Myrniong, however he did see the video captured on the day and get to see and hear the car running fast and sweetly."
** Richard McWhannell wrote from Auckland:"I have seen that car from other angles. I think it may be an Abernathy Brooklands replica?
Have a look at this ... Bill Conoulty who I mentioned to you: http://www.austinsevenfriends.com/Bruce/The%20Conoulty%20Special%20Austin%20Comet.htmand
http://bruce-white.austinharris.co.uk/Musso%20(or%20Conoulty%20Comet%20Special)%20Bathurst%20and%20Penrith%20Races%201938.htm "*** From Tony Press: The car is a replica Austin 7 Australian GP car, with many original parts, based on Captain Arthur Waites wining car.
|John Marriott Athey A7||Patrick Ryan Vauxhall||Allan Tyrell Austin 7 Ulster S/c||Bill Cooper MGA special|
|Phil Safford MG Wolseley||Bob Lewis -MG TC||Connor Ryan MG TC Spl||Dick O'Keefe Photon|
|Nigel Gray Singer Le Mans Spl||Trevor Arklay - Lotus VI||Frank Hook - Austin Healey||Aaron de Fina - Honda S600|
|? Bob Lewis - MG TC||Gary Ball - Record holder - 30s||Roger Allgood - Bolwell Mazda||Ken Seelenmeyer - Cobra Daytona|
|? Lucas Morling - Tyrrell A7|
|**See comment from Richard McWhannell below||Patrick Ryan - Vauxhall 30/98||Martin Stubbs - Austin 7 Sports||Phillip Gray - Ford V8 Spl|
|*Bob Booth Special||Bill Cooper's Nedenko - MGA Special.||Ted Geermans - Lagonda Rapier||***Graeme Steinfort et al Austin 7|
Roycroft Trophy Race Meeting Hampton Downs Motorsport Park - 14/15 April 2012 This story would not have been produced without the aid, information, guidance, and genial support of Richard McWhannell The Waitemata Branch of the Vintage Car Club of New Zealand, in association with the New Zealand Classic Motorcycle Racing Register and The Historic Racing and Sports Car Club (Inc) presented the Roycroft Trophy Meeting, April 2012.
Hampton Downs is 60 km drive south of Auckland on State Highway No 1, on the North Island. The purpose-built track is only a few years old, and all the facilities and service areas are pristine.The complex is set in 450 acres of rolling hillside. Many of the photos shown in this artiicle reflect the beauty of the location.The circuit is a bit under 4 km long. The main straight is 1000 metres long, with a kink in the middle with 11 metre rise and fall. The back straight is flat with a length of 800 metres. Circuit direction is clockwise.
Fom its conception, the design took into consideration both FIA specifications and the views of drivers and teams. Corners and straights were to provide safety, good racing, and spectator enjoyment. The writer of this article enjoyed it. Trackside, overlooking the main straight, is a set of modern apartments built during 2004. Many of these are offered to rent. They accommodate up to six people, who can choose to sit out on the balcony with an uninterrupted view of the circuit and immediate access to the fridge. By Sunday afternon quite a few folks were out on the balconies, looking down over the whole circuit, and enjoying themselves extremely well.One of these days, so the brochures tell, the complex will include a swimming pool, tennis court, fitness club and restaurant. Ah, the Pacific.
The Motormarques team arrived in Richard McWhannell's Suzuki towing his Austin 7 Dieppe Sports car on a hired trailer. We came to a wide 'official' concrete area that was lined with competition cars. A scene of bustling activity. Crews were preparing for the day.A pretty girl dressed in a high-fashion prewar outfit was dashing about on a bicycle delivering official messages from Central Command. An awestruck teenager was helping his father tune the polished engine of his vintage racing car. Grant Cowie was the centre of an admiring throng. Ann Thompson was lifting children on and off her 1906 Grand Prix Darracq. A jolly chap sitting in a single cylinder car built before the turn of last century was explaining to the press and other onlookers the intricacies of starting and running his five MPH machine. A 12 seater Renault Charabanc spent the day ferrying sightseers around the pits.And a very swinging Jazz band played Duke Ellington classics fom the 1930s.
The history of motorsport in New Zealand begins on the south island. Canterbury, was in the lead in organised motorsport as public entertainment in the late 19th century.The organisers (Pioneer Amateur Athletic Club - formed in the 19th Century) held their Annual Gaslight Gala Meeting at Lancaster Park in Christchurch on 13 November, 1901 with accompanying fireworks display and band music. And on this occasion they staged a race for motor vehicles, the first such contest in Australasia. The handicapping was a little awry: the committee being understandably unaware of speed potential of the competing vehicles. The diversified field consisted of four vehicles - a Benz motor car from 200 yards, a motor bicycle 150 yards, a motor quad from 120 yards and a motor tricycle from scratch. "The 5000 or so spectators were treated to a good race which was a triumph for R.H. Every, the man who was riding the motor bicycle, and who started from 150 yards back. He won by 1/4 mile in eleven minutes, 18.2 seconds. There was a tussle for second place, Lowry's quad running 20 yards ahead of Shaw's tricycle." The Benz finished well back.Whilst on the subject of the early history of Austin 7s - Malcolm Campbell took an Austin 7 to Daytona intending to put the speed record up to 100 mph, but succeeded only in reaching 94.3 mph
|Star of the meeting : the thundering Alfa Monza leaving the opposition coughing in its wake.|
|Allard Spl - much as Sydney's original trials car||unlisted 'sharknose'||Marcos||Rob McNair's 1931 Riley Spl|
|John Hancock's 1933 K1 MG||The 1938 Lagonda's engine||Grant Cowie and admirers||Danny Ryan's 1919 Lancia Kappa|
|Richard McWhannell #27||Anne Thompson 1906 Darracq GP||Midget dirt track racer - display||Norton - girder forks|
|Peter Sundberg (Alfa Romeo, left) and Ann Thompson (1906 Darracq)|
|Tony Bushell, MG A (left) 1958 Buckler RichardDurber||Ian Garmey 1960 Cooper FJ||? Formula Junior||Richard McWhannell - 1929 AustinAustin 7 Dieppe Sports|
|? Formula Junior||? Formula Junior||Lancia Leviathon - 1919 Kappa Sport||Ian Williams 1938 Austin 7 Spl|
|Oliver Midgeley 1929 Ford Model A||Gerald Watson 1932 Riley 9||Lagonda (left) and MG||? Formula Junior|
|1938 V12 Lagonda|
Richard Abey's Photographic Record of Fabulous Eddington
Main Photographer - Lucas Hunter
And the End
|Singer Car Club||Alfa Romeo 1750||4 Cyl engine||Red Flag incident|
|Riley (left) and MG TC||Spanish/French - Hispano Suiza||Austin Healey||Lamborghini|
|Bugatti||8 Cyl Engine - Type 35 (?)||TV star and admirers||The Bird|
The place to be in Australia this autumn - during the weekend 9th - 11th March 2012 - was Phillip Island, Victoria.Over 500 fabulous cars were entered in 47 events, and hundreds of the most desirable cars from all over the world were there for the 2012 Festival of Motor Sport.
The Island is 140km from Melbourne, and the drive is supposed to take an hour and 30 minutes. Along the Highway I spotted an AC Cobra, a Morgan 3 wheeler, all kinds and ages of Alfa Romeo, two or three Testa Rossa, Porsche, Maserati, MG Magnette, TC-TF, TR2, Aston Martin, General Motors and Fords, a pair of XK 120, and a couple of Bugatti. It was going to be a Festival all right.Here is a glimpse of some of the competitors in the Classic tradition.
more text followed by 2nd of 3 sets of frames
Click here for more photos in Part 2
|Victoria Le Gallais - BrabhamBT15 Formula 3||Wayne Sayers - 1960 Elfin (blue)P. McKnight - Aarons Lotus (green)||Tony Osborne - 1958 Simca Spl||Thomas Benson - 1952 BMH Spl'Comic Book' 2200 cc|
|Monoskate - Graeme Raper||Mac Healey - Graeme Marks||Cooper Climax T 45 - ScottyTaylor||TS Special - Charlie Mitchell|
|Dick O'Keefe - Photon (Lotus 11)||John Anderson - 1962 Cooper Butler 1496 cc||Nigel Gray - Singer Special Sports||Alfa Romeo 6C -Trevor Montgomery|
|Des Donnan's FN Boulogne||John Rundell - 1953 Maybach 2||Ferrari Tipo 500||Bruce Jones - Ford Zephyr Spl|
|Michael Stupka - Citroen 11D|
|Bob Pinkerton - 1955 Peugeot Spl||Bill Prowse - 1968 Alfa Ricciardi Spyder||Kent Patrick - Bugatti 37A GP||Geoff Burton - Brabham BT 29|
Photos by Richard Abey
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Roycroft Trophy New Zealand - 14 & 15 April 2012 By courtesy Richard McWhannell
|A selection of vintage cars (classes – pre and post war)A selection of vintage motorbikesLive Jazz entertainmentOperational steam and traction enginesVintage speedway midget displaysDrivers, Riders and Teams all in period clothingA collection of trade stands with Antiques, art work, wine and delectable cuisine|