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, Australia
This 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 fathers footsteps choosing engineering as his profession. Bill Conoulty passed away in 1961. Thanks to Bill Conoulty Junior, much of his fathers 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 1940s. 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 1930s. 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!
Photographs of the Conoulty Special Austin Comet with the Castrol Trophy - C1934
Photographs of the Conoulty Special Austin Comet racing at Bathurst and Penrith - C1938 (checkout the first photograph in this group!)
Photographs of the Conoulty Special Austin Comet racing at Bathurst - C1945-46
The Austin Seven Motoring Pages