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Lister Jaguar 'Knobbly'

1958 Works Race Specification built to meet current FIA Appendix K Race Regulations

LISTER JAGUAR 'KNOBBLY' 60th Anniversary Edition

To celebrate our 60th anniversary you can now order a brand new original specification 1958 Works Lister Jaguar 'Knobbly', built to meet current FIA Appendix K race regulations, direct from the Lister Factory in Cambridge for road or race use.


Now, with state of the art facilities which include CNC machining and CAD design, George Lister Engineering are even better placed to deliver a historic race winning car. Brian Lister’s original working drawings and manufacturing jigs have been re-commissioned and some of the old guard have been called up 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.


The cars will be built to the specifications as in 1958, out of the box and ready to race with BHL(C) chassis insignia and FIA/HTP accreditation. There are two choices of engine: The race proven, Jaguar D Type 3.8 litre 6 cylinder engine complete with the famous wide-angle cylinder head and dry sump lubrication or the 4,640cc Chevrolet Corvette V8 race specification that was originally built for the US racing market by Costin.


All race preparation and track commissioning will be undertaken by Chris Keith-Lucas of CKL Developments. Last but not least, that fantastic streamlined 'Knobbly' body will be re-created using the original jigs.


A series of Lister historic race meetings are planned for 2015, including the Brian Lister Cup that will be run alongside the Stirling Moss Trophy by Motor Racing Legends.

Technical Specification

        Jaguar 3.8     Chevrolet V8  
Acceleration 0-60 mph       4.3 seconds     4.9 seconds  
Acceleration 0-100 mph       10.1 seconds     12.1 seconds  
Max Speed       181 mph     168 mph  
Engine Type       Jaguar D Type, race specification     Chevrolet Corvette V8, race specification  
Engine Size       3,781cc, bore and stroke 87mm x 107mm     4,640cc (283cu/in), bore and stroke 98mm x 76mm  
Cylinders       6 cylinders in line, cast iron C8610 period block     8 cylinders V8, cast iron block  
Cylinder Head       35/40 degree wide angle D Type alloy head     OHV twin cast iron heads  
Lubrication       Full flow, twin oil pumps, dry sump system with oil cooler     Full flow, single oil pumps, with oil cooler  
Compression Ratio       10:1     9.5:1  
Camshafts       Twin OHC, high lift racing 110 degree duration     Single camshaft with pushrods  
Gearbox       Jaguar D Type with Plessey Pump (blanked) 4 speed all synchromesh     Chevrolet Corvette, 4 speed, all synchromesh  
Clutch       Triple plate     Single or twin plate  
Axle       Salisbury limited slip differential, all alloy case, ratio 3.54:1     Salisbury limited slip differential, all alloy case, ratio 3.54:1  
Fuelling       3x Weber DCO3 sand cast correct period carburettors     4x Holley downdraught carburettors or Rochester fuel injection  
Chassis       3 ins x 16g seamless engineering tube     3 ins x 14g seamless engineering tube  
Steering       Derrington 15" wheel with rack and pinion, 2 turns lock to lock     Derrington 15" wheel with rack and pinion, 2 turns lock to lock  
Suspension F       Independent wishbone arms with coil over shocks and anti roll bar     Independent wishbone arms with coil over shocks and anti roll bar  
Suspension R       De-Dion with coil over shocks     De-Dion with coil over shocks  
Brakes       Girling 12" discs front and rear with mechanical handbrake     Girling 12" discs front and rear with mechanical handbrake  
Wheels       Dunlop racing peg drive alloys 5" x 16" with knock off spinners     Dunlop racing alloys 16" with knock off spinners  
Tyres       Dunlop racing covers, front 600x16, rear 650x16, spare 600x16     Dunlop racing covers, front 600x16, rear 650x16, spare 600x16  
Body       Hand-formed lightweight aluminium alloy     Hand-formed lightweight aluminium alloy  
Length       13 ft 6 ins     13 ft 6 ins  
Wheelbase       7 ft 6-3/4 ins     7 ft 6-3/4 ins  
Track       Front 4 ft 4 ins, rear 4 ft 5-1/2 ins     Front 4 ft 4 ins, rear 4 ft 5-1/2 ins  
Height       2 ft 3 ins at scuttle     2 ft 4 ins at scuttle  
Weight       1,736 lbs (dry)     1,920 lbs (dry)  
Distribution       Front 48%, rear 52%     Front 50%, rear 50%  
Fuel Tank Cap       38/42 imperial gallons     38/42 imperial gallons  
Engine Oil Cap       5 imperial gals     1.5 imperial gals  
Power       330bhp at 6750 rpm     315bhp at 6000 rpm  
Torque       295 lbs ft at 4,250 rpm     290 lbs ft at 4,000 rpm  
Price       £POA     £POA  




THE HISTORY OF Britain’s most successful sports racing car of the 1950's

  • Margaret Thatcher Visting The Lister Factory

  • The Lister-Jaguar was Britain’s most successful sports racing car of the 1950's. It won at almost every circuit in Britain and was virtually unbeatable both in the UK, overseas and in the USA and continued to keep the Jaguar name in the forefront of sports car racing long after the Jaguar D Type had become obsolete.


    The 'Cars from Cambridge' designed, and built by Brian Lister, were simply the best of their kind and dominated the field with Archie Scott Brown driving, even when driven by Stirling Moss, who also drove a stint for Lister.


    Brian Lister's big break came when he was offered the engines and gearboxes by William Lyons (boss at Jaguar) from the retiring Jaguar D Types which had previously dominated at Le Mans, but which by 1956 were fast becoming outdated. Lyons was correct in believing that Lister would be capable of developing a race winning car, thus keeping the Jaguar name in the forefront of racing and at little cost to Jaguar and so Lister-Jaguar was born.


    Brian Lister designed and built a new lightweight and aerodynamic chassis and ‘knobbly’ body to take the Jaguar drive train and the world’s best sport racing car of the 1950’s was born!


    For five seasons from 1954 Lister cars were always in the headlines and consistently beat the much larger works teams such as Aston Martin and Jaguar. It caught the public's imagination, especially popular was the mercurial and respected Archie Scott Brown, he was fiercely competitive, fun to be with, adored by everyone with film star looks even though he was severely disabled from birth.


    Unfortunately, in 1958 Archie Scott Brown died after suffering severe burns in a racing car accident at Spa. The car was criticized for having magnesium alloy bodywork which was inflammable, although an RAC examination found no faults with the car. Brian Lister persevered for a few years afterwards, but without his friend Archie things were just never quite the same.


    It was left to Laurence Pearce in 1995 to take up the charge, Pearce designed a new series of Lister Storm GT race cars and spent the next decade rebuilding the racing heritage the 'glory days' were back with winning drivers such as Tiff Needell.


    George Lister Engineering may have been absent from motorsport for some years but they have certainly not been idle. The company was founded in 1890 by George Lister who started the partnership that eventually became the George Lister Engineering Limited (GLE) we know today. The company moved to its current purpose built 30,000 sq ft facility in 2008 which is conveniently situated on the outskirts of Cambridge.


    GLE employ the very latest engineering techniques such as Catia and Solidworks Cad/Cam design together with computerised machine facilities utilising three and four axis CNC machining and Laser cutting.


    The GLE machine shop has around 35 highly skilled engineers serving the various departments including:


    Heavy and light engineering (milling and turning etc), welding (in steel, copper, brass and aluminium), fabrication (in sheet steel, stainless steel, copper, brass, aluminum and plastics), together with hand craftwork and assembly.


    Ever since 1890, GLE have offered a comprehensive service for a wide range of industrial applications which today include:


    Pharmaceutical, food packaging, scientific, military, medical, broadcast, semiconductors, electron beam microscope manufacturers, architectural curtain wall systems and forms of engineering metalwork and bespoke iron work. Oh… and of course race car design and manufacturing which includes engine building blue-printing and balancing.


    Modern Engineering and Craftsmanship

    Today, George Lister Engineering combines the two main attributes we see in so many of the companies which have lasted the test of time. Traditional skills and craftsmanship combined with expertise with new materials and the very latest and up to date techniques. As you walk around the factory you are more likely to see a worker with a laser in his hand than a hammer.


    Lister – Re-Building a Legend

    The jigs and plans may be old, but the engineering skills, techniques and machinery are bang up to date. All of the experience learned in racing the cars in the 1950’s and with Lister Storm in the 1990’s and later years is being called up with the original participants. Collin (Chippy) Crisp, Chris Keith-Lucas and Laurence Pearce are all pitching in, doing more than just lend a hand.


    The Cars from Cambridge are Back!



    Lister Bristol

    The Lister-Bristol came into operation in mid-1954 causing something of a sensation when Archie Scott Brown won the 2.0-litere class

    The first Lister-Bristol was registered MVE 303, after Brian had visited the Cambridge motor vehicle licensing office once more “to see what they had got,” as he put it. In view of the fame this registration mark has acquired in historic motor racing circles it’s worth digressing into its origins. Dick Barton: “I’ve always said that it was Brian who said to me that when he registered the cars in Cambridge, he chose 303 because of the association with the rifle bullet. But he said the idea was mine, so there’s a bit of confusion there.” Nevertheless, both men agree that likening the speed of the car to a .303 bullet fired from a Lee Enfield service rifle (which both would have encountered during their time in the RAF) was highly appropriate.

    Lister Maserati

    Brian Lister purchased a Maserati A6GCS engine and transmission from the Italian manufacturer in 1956 in hopes of adding more power to Lister Chassis number BHL1

    He believed the increased power would help continue the team's success in the 2-liter class. This is the only Lister-Maserati constructed and was the factory cars driven by legendary Archie Scott Brown, called the 'King for the 4-wheel Drift' by Fangio. The Lister-Maserati raced with varying degrees of success throughout 1956 and 1957, including four first-place finishes and twelve D.N.F.s.

    The 'Archie' Lister (MVE303)

    When one thinks of legendary racing cars of the late 1950s, words like sleek, sexy, and dramatic come to mind. Cambridge manufacturer Brian Lister’s offering was all of the above, but it found its groove in rather unique contours that nonetheless gave it the popular nickname “Knobbly”.

    Designed by Brian Lister to meet windshield height regulations set by the FIA, while also minimizing the frontal area of a car powered by a rather large three-liter Jaguar engine, its aluminum body featured a large central bump covering the engine, which fell off in wide grooves on either side and aft, and incredibly curvaceous streamlined fenders and headrest. The result was an athletic-appearing, distinctive racing car that took the sporting world by storm when it made its debut in February 1958 and made famous by Archie Scott Brown

    Lister Flat-Iron

    The flat-iron Lister-Jaguar - as 'HCH 736' became known - is perhaps the most famous of the non-works/non-Cunningham team cars.

    As 'the other Lister-Jaguar' run concurrently with the works' famous first prototype that was driven by Archie Scott-Brown through 1958, it was the Dick Walsh-run car which Bruce Halford and Brian Naylor drove at Le Mans, and then in 1959 became the Scottish Border Reivers' team's entry most notably for the youthful Jim Clark, and in which the World's greatest racing driver first developed so much of his supreme skill. Partly because it has been unused for so very many years it has re-emerged as an extremely important, truly historic sports-racing car, and its Clark connection gives it almost iconic status.

    Lister Monzanapolis

    The Monza Lista was conceived and built in little more than two months, a rush job that was completed in the paddock at the Nürburgring, where Ecurie Ecosse were running three D-types in the 1,000km race.

    Autosport 6 June 1958 described the Monza Lister as having quite substantial alterations, such as the 3.8 litre D-type engine being off-set to the nearside, strengthened de Dion tube with a large diameter centre pin to retain the sliding block, stronger front suspension wishbones, and even friction-type dampers to augment the standard telescopic units. Although the single-seater Lister was handsome, it proved slower than Ecurie Ecosse’s two D-types at the Monza ‘Race of Two Worlds’ in 1958 – and even these were nowhere near as competitive against the American Indy cars as they had been in 1957,

    Lister Costin

    In order that Listers could continue to be competitive in the big-engine classes in the 1959 season, Brian Lister was particularly receptive to the ideas of aerodynamicist Frank Costin, who had already suggested detail modifications to the ‘knobbly’ cars during 1958

    Costin persuaded Lister that many benefits could be gained from a multi-tube spaceframe, lighter and more rigid than the trusty twin-tube design which had featured in all Lister sports cars to date – especially if it carried a truly aerodynamic body. Accordingly, in October 1958 he was taken on full-time and given his own office and even an assistant (David Bennoy), with the brief of designing a car with exactly these features. But it soon became apparent that the spaceframe was complex and would take some months to design and develop, so as an interim measure the aerodynamic body intended for it would be produced first and fitted on the existing chassis which is how the ‘Costin’ Lister-Jaguar came about.

    Lister Le Mans

    The famous Lister Jaguar connection made its commercial reappearance in 1986. Based in Leatherhead, with engineering input by Laurence Pearce, approximately 90 tuned Jaguar Le Mans were produced, the emphasis being very much on super car performance.

    For those who felt the standard 5.3 litre V12 Jaguar engine a bit insipid, Lister added a comprehensive tuning package, first of all taking the engine out to 6 litres. The fuel injection was modified with 4 additional injectors and throttle bodies. The engine management system was tweaked, the heads gas flowed with larger valves fitted and to take the power, the crankshaft was nitrided, whilst Cosworth conrods carried special forged pistons increasing the compression ratio to 11.7:1. New bearings and a modified oil system were also deemed necessary in order to reliably deliver the 482bhp that it could now produce. Clearly the suspension and braking were going to need some attention, and this they duly got. The car was made to look the part too with a full body kit, superb leather Lister Recaro interior and some very sexy Lister alloy wheels. From the outset this was not going to be a cheap motor car, and it certainly wasn't, costing a cool £88,000 in 1988.

    Lister Storm

    The Lister Storm was a homologated racing car built by Lister Cars in 1993.

    The Storm used the largest V12 engine fitted to a production road car since World War II, a 6,996 cc Jaguar unit based on the one used by the Jaguar XJR Sportscars that competed at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Due to the high price of the vehicle, only four examples were produced before production of the road-going Storm ceased. Only three Storms survive today, although the Lister company continues to maintain racing models.



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    Contact Info

    Lister Head Office
    5 Petre Court, Petre Road, Clayton-le-Moors, BB5 5HY

    Lister Factory
    George Lister Engineering Limited, Wilbraham Road, Cambridge, CB21 5GT

    0800 001 4998

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