Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Classic Lister Knobbly - Very British And Very Fast

by Mike - 

George Lister and Sons was a Cambridge, England based irons works. Brian Lister, one of the sons, was more interested in racecars than iron gates and fences.

In 1954 Lister introduced his first sports car powered by a tuned MG engine. The Lister-MG was not as successful as Lister desired, so they changed to a tuned Bristol two-liter engine. At the 1954 British Grand Prix at Silverstone, the Lister-Bristol won the two-liter class and was fifth overall, ahead of C Type Jaguars, behind only works Aston Martins. Lister sold these cars in kit form to anyone who wanted to go racing.

In 1957 Lister designed a car to be powered by an inline six cylinder Jaguar engine with an aerodynamic aluminum body and a winner was born! They were able to beat the works Aston Martins and Lister won the 1957 Empire Trophy. Among the Lister customers were the Americans, Briggs Cunningham and Jim Hall.

While another American racer, Lance Reventlow, did not use the Lister chassis he was influenced by Lister as a result of a visit to their factory in Cambridge. Reventlow built his own racecar, the Scarab.

The Lister design was improved again in 1958, with a sleeker body and improved brakes. Archie Scott Brown and Masten Gregory won a few races against stiff competition. Unfortunately Archie Scott Brown was killed in a crash at Spa in Belgium.

The next year, Lister introduced an improved model with a new body that was quite attractive and was nicknamed the "knobbly". It was very successful with Jaguar engines but also used Chevrolet Corvette engines.

The Knobbly was very fast, beautiful and the best Lister of all.

Click on the images for a larger view.

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