Lister Cars

Lister Cars

Lister Motor Company Ltd U.K.


30 July 1954
Brian Lister

Cambridge, United Kingdom


Lister Cars is a British sports car manufacturer. It was founded by Brian Lister in 1954. The headquarter is located in Cambridge, England. Lister Cars became known for its involvement in motorsport. The key people of the company are Andrew Whittaker (Chairman), Lawrence Whittaker (Managing Director). Sold in 1986, Laurence Pearce manufactured variants of the Jaguar XJS before producing a bespoke sports car, the Lister Storm. Lister Cars was obtained by Lawrence Whittaker's company Warrantywise in 2013. Production of the original sports car restarted in 2014 and ten continuation Lister Jaguar Knobblys were manufactured to celebrate Lister’s 60th Anniversary. In 2016 The Lister Motor Company declared the manufacture and sale of The Lister Knobbly Stirling Moss.



Beginning in 1954, company manager and racing driver Brian Lister brought out the first in a series of sports cars from a Cambridge iron works. Inspired by Cooper, he used a tubular ladder chassis, de Dion rear axle, and inboard drum brakes. Like others, he used a tuned MG engine and stock gearbox. It made its unveil at the British Empire Trophy at Oulton Park in 1954, with former MG pilot Archie Scott Brown at the wheel. In 1955, a handful of Lister-Bristols were manufactured with a new body built by an ex-Bristol employee with the aid of a wind tunnel. Despite its new fins and strakes, it was less successful than the original Lister-Bristol of 1954. In February of 1958 Brian Lister debuted his Lister prototype which later became known as the Knobbly. It used a custom frame and unique shaped body, the Lister was purpose built sports car.

For 1957, Lister redesigned the car around a 3.4 litre Jaguar D-type Jaguar D-type XK inline-six, with an aerodynamic aluminium body; it was tested by racing journalist John Bolster, performing a 0–100 mph (0–160 km/h) run in 11.2 seconds. Driver Archie Scott Brown won the 1957 British Empire Trophy in the new Lister-Jaguar. Lister also manufactured another single-seater car based on the Lister-Jaguar, for use in the unique Race of Two Worlds at Monza. Cars from this era are affectionately known as the "Lister Knobbly" cars, due to their curved bodywork.

The Lister company returned in 1986 as Lister Cars Ltd. based in Leatherhead, Surrey, with engineer Laurence Pearce tuning approximately 90 Jaguar XJSs, improving their capable top speed to over 200 mph. Success at this endeavour led the company to design a new sports racer, the Lister Storm. It was launched in 1993. It would use the largest V12 engine ever fitted to a production road car up to that time, a 7.0 L Jaguar unit. The Storm was later developed for motorsport in various guises, winning the FIA GT Championship in 2000.


Lawrence Whittaker

In 2012 Lawrence Whittaker and his father visited the Lister factory to source parts when restoring a Lister Knobbly. And the opportunity to purchase the Lister Motor Company arose. In 2013, ownership of George Lister Engineering Limited of Cambridge, original intellectual property rights, the plans and drawings for all original Listers, as well as the property rights of Pearce's Lister Cars were purchased by father and son team Andrew and Lawrence Whittaker. The new company, along with its associated components, was rebranded as the Lister Motor Company Ltd. Ten months later, the Lister Motor Company declared the manufacture and sale of the Lister Knobbly to mark 60 years since the first Lister Racing Car was manufactured.


60th Anniversary Lister Knobbly

In 2014, the new company began manufacturing of the original Lister designs. To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of The Lister Motor Company, the release of the Lister Knobbly was declared, described as the most successful racing car of the late 1950s. The Lister Knobbly was driven by some of the most notable racing car drivers of the 50s. Within a matter of weeks half of the 60th Anniversary Lister race cars were sold out. Soon after, the order book was completely full.



Sir Stirling Moss Edition

In June 2016 The Lister Motor Company declared the manufacture and sale of the Lister Knobbly Stirling Moss at the Royal Automobile Club in London. The car is manufactured to the exact specification of the 1958 model. It is the only magnesium-bodied car in the world. It is only the second car in history endorsed by legendary racing driver Sir Stirling Moss. Brian Lister invited Sir Stirling Moss to drive for Lister on three separate occasions, at Goodwood in 1954, Silverstone in 1958 and at Sebring in 1959. To celebrate these races, 10 special edition lightweight Lister Knobbly cars are being manufactured. The company declared that the cars will be available for both road and race use.


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