My Car Quest

October 23, 2017

The Classic Lister Knobbly – Very Fast And Very British

by Mike – 

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

Lister Knobbly

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.

Lister Knobbly

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.

Lister Knobbly

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.

Lister Knobbly

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.

Lister Knobbly

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.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

 

 

Lister logo

This was originally published in November 2012.

Summary
The Classic Lister Knobbly - Very Fast And Very British
Article Name
The Classic Lister Knobbly - Very Fast And Very British
Description
Lister introduced an improved model in 1958 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.
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Comments

  1. Hi Mike great article on Listers and a nice picture of me in my old olive green Lister Chevy.
    For info the 1958 car was known as a Knobbly on account of its numerouse bulges. For 1959 Brian Lister worked with Frank Costin to build a more aerodynamic shape and this car of which aprox 14 were made became known as the “Costin Lister”. There was a final car built in 1959 that was very diffrent as it was a true space frame car as oposed to the basic ladder chassis of previouse cars. This car was eventualy fitted with a coupe body and raced at Le Mans and Nurbergring.

    • Jaime,

      Thanks for the note – how cool that you saw yourself on My Car Quest! I would love to see more photos if you want to share them with us all.

      Another reader wrote that he has photos that he took of a Costin Lister in 1961. I am waiting for him to send them to me, fingers crossed.

  2. Yes , you are right. It was very fast, beautiful and the best Lister of all. Thanks for sharing the article.

  3. Rollie Langston says:

    Thanks for a great story (and pictures), Mike. Who doesn’t like the beautiful and fast sports racing cars from this era. Builders and drivers with passion and skill taking on the “big guys” and often beating them, usually with limited resources!

  4. Wayne Watkins says:

    The first pic in your story shows a green Lister with a large yellow stripe and it is pictured in Sydney at Sydney Motor Sport Park on full legal NSW street registration registered number BB 085 . I checked those plates and it states that the car is a 1958 Lister OOCar Coupe weighing 1080 kg . Wonder if it relates to this car which is clearly an open roadster or whether the plates have been shifted to a Lister Coupe , if in fact they made a Coupe ? Any thoughts on this ? Great article on such an obscure make .

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