Sunday, 29 April 2012 05:13
Bill Conoulty - 1938Written by MotorMarques Team
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!