Go back to Marques & Men PageComet

After the war, Brian Heyward's father and uncle competed in a series of cars including an Austin Ulster, Norris Special and an Austin Seven single seater. In 1950 Brian acquired the Aikens to which he fitted a Rudge engine but was only able to compete twice due to being called up for National Service and posted to Germany with the R.A.F. for two years. During Brian's absence, father bought a Cooper Mk IV and began serious competition but concluded that the Mk IV was now too old and overweight to be competitive. On Brian's return they began construction of their own car, the C.H.S., using parts of the Mk IV and lighter cast magnesium components from a Cooper  Mk VI. By 1953, Brian was employed at the De Havilland Aircraft Company at Hatfield, an ideal environment for developing engineers. He began to develop his second car, the Comet, named after the world's first jet powered airliner which De Havilland had developed immediately after the war. Brian's contemporaries at De Havilland included Maurice Phillipe, Alan Stacey and Brian Hart.

Brian Heyward and his Comet.

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Brian chose a swing axle system at the rear, using bungee cord for suspension, in the style of Kieft, Martin etc, preferring the negative camber that this arrangement affords. Front suspension used more conventional wishbones and Morris Minor uprights. Don Parker provided the rear axle centre and steering and did much of the machining to Brian's specification. Front hubs were sourced from a J.B.S. Various modifications were done during the car's career, the most notable being the use of glass fibre bodywork and a change from JAP to Norton power, initially a single cam unit and, later, a double knocker, prepared by Steve Lancefield. In 1958, Brian commenced the build of Comet II, using some parts from the original which he sold in 1964.

Charles Heyward with the Comet and C.H.S. at Brands Hatch, 9th June 1957

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The Comet passed through various hands and continued to compete regularly until the mid 1980, when it went into hibernation. In 2005, it reappeared and had its first competitive outing at the Goodwood Revival meeting, in the hands of 500 Owners Association Chairman, Duncan Rabagliati.

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The cockpit at Goodwood in 2005. Photo courtesy Nick Bond.

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Duncan in the assembly area at Goodwood Revival 2005. Photo by Nigel Challis.

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