Howard Clisby Special Collingrove Hillclimb 1952 

Above The Clisby Special

Harold Clisby in his Douglass Special Collingrove
No crowd control here Howard at work!
Insight by Kevin Drage
The Clisby 24 cylinder "Formula 1” engine

Horold Clisby modular two stroke
With the impending change of F1 to 3 litres in 1966 it was obvious that the 1.5 litre Clisby V6 would never compete in F1 so Harold Clisby decided to build an all new racing engine.

This was to be a water-cooled, 2 stroke engine of modular construction so that the engine size could be varied if the capacity limit was changed. (Harold was unaware that 2 strokes were not allowed in F1 and when he found out, he still went ahead any way!)

The theory was to build a single cylinder, 125 cc engine and develop it to produce around 18 to 20 bhp.

Harold Clisby 125cc Two Stroke
Four of these 125 cc engines, each with a bevel gear on the output shaft, were to be attached to a common housing which contained a larger bevel geared output shaft that mated to each of the engine. This produced a 500 cc module and two modules could be stacked together to produce an 8 cylinder 1 litre engine or three modules to produce a 1500 cc engine etc. In the case of the 3 litre engine there would be six 500 cc modules or 24 cylinders.

The 4 cylinder, 500 cc module

General arrangement drawing of 24 cylinder, 3 litre engine

The single cylinder engine ran successfully and was raced in a go-kart. Harold designed a small electric dyno which I built but it never worked very well and I don’t know what hp we achieved.

I built one 4 cylinder module but this was never fired up as by that time I was busy with developing cylinder heads castings for the Repco-Brabham project.

The 4 engines were later mounted in a Norton motorcycle in a two by two arrangement but I don’t think it ever raced.
Harold Clisby V6 Engine
Horold Clisby cars and projects as remembered by Kevin Drage
Wiles – Thompson car - I never saw this
Clisby Douglas Hill climb special – also never saw
Clisby Bantam Hill climb specials – BSA Bantam engined fore runners of a Go-Kart
Clisby twin cylinder 2 stroke marine engines
Clisby Honda hill climb car – raced at Collingrove
Clisby Micro Bus - never completed
Hovercraft – first in Australia - two different versions
Man Powered Helicopter – didn’t work
2 stroke, multi cylinder, modular racing engine – fitted to a motorcycle but never fitted to a car
Various Clisby Air compressors – Single, V-Twin, I-Twin, V4 and Radial 7 cylinder
Various factory production equipment at Clisby Industries too numerous to mention
Various model steam locomotives
Solar powered steam car – never ran
Miniature Clisby Hobby lathes - still being made and sold