Lister Cars – Back In Business


One of the prettiest racing cars I ever saw as a kid growing up was the Lister Knobbly. Curvy wheel arches, slim waist, the door opening so low it looked as if the driver could reach down and touch the track. Back then, I knew little about racing cars, ELF Tyrell, big Lolas and of course E Types were all I was aware of a five years old. I discovered Lister later and until today, assumed they were pretty much consigned to history. But it seems not.

Reading the Lister Cars website, they are back. The market for ‘continuation’ historic racing cars is huge and Lister Cars have gathered together all of the strands of the company under one brand and, funded by Warrantywise, have formed a new company. It brings together three Lister companies of George Lister Engineering of Cambridge, Brian Lister Light Engineering and Lister Storm.

The new business has invested in a new, a state-of-the-art facility in Cambridge, which includes CNC machining, 3D scanning and Catia design, all of which will enable George Lister Engineering to develop and deliver brand new Lister Knobbly race cars, complete in every detail and faithful to the originals.

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Brian Lister’s original working drawings and manufacturing jigs have all been re-commissioned, and many of the team involved in the original 1950’s project with Lister Cars have been called back into service, including Martin Murray, Colin (Chippy) Crisp, Graham (Curley) Hutton, Laurence Pearce and even Brian Lister himself. Heading up the manufacturing project is Mark Hallam, technical director at George Lister Engineering and Jerry Booen of D Type Developments will also be assisting with the project. The cars will be built identical to those of 1958, out of the box and ready to race with BHL-C (C for Continuation) chassis insignia and up to FIA/HTP Appendix K specification.

Lawrence Whittaker, CEO of Warranty Wise and the investor in the project, said: “Anyone with a fondness for British sports car manufacturing and with an understanding of Lister’s remarkable heritage should rightly be excited by this news. The Lister ‘Knobbly’ was a powerful, giant-killing racing car in its heyday, and with all the expertise we have brought together for this project, I can promise that the new Lister will be a fabulously exciting and desirable car.”

Race proven, Jaguar D Type-specification engines and D Type gearboxes will be supplied by world-renowned experts, Crosthwaite & Gardener, and all race preparation and track commissioning will be undertaken by Chris Keith-Lucas of CKL Developments, another leading specialist in historic Jaguar restoration and preparation. Last but not least, that fantastic streamlined Knobbly body will be re-created, using the original Shapecraft body bucks, by the immensely skilled craftsmen, Clive Smart and Adrian Breeze.

Lister are planning a series of motorsport events for 2014, something we look forward to hearing more about very soon. More information at Lister cars website

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Author: Neill Watson

If you love the sound of the Cosworth V8 as much as the V12 Merlin, the smell of Jet A1 as much as Castrol R and admire the late Ray Hanna as much as Sir Stirling, you’ll find you’re both on the same page. Neill's love of art deco buildings means that his ideal home would be a brilliant white, 1930′s control tower in Southern France, with crisply mown grass, biplane parked on the driveway and a Ferrari 288GTO in the garage. This is something that those around him tolerate, though it does concern them from time to time.

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