The Lister Knobbly has a legendary reputation in motoring circles, but for the last 60 years this reputation has largely been confined to the racing track. Fortunately, this is now is set to change, with a continuation version having been converted for driving on public roads.
Nowadays it has become fashionable to design modern remakes of original cars or continuation variants of classic sports cars. You can buy a freshly-built E-Type from the Jaguar factory, and Aston Martin has resurrected the DB4 for the benefit of the well-to-do fans of the original version. Taking into account its success during the 50s and its gorgeous appearance, the Knobbly is an obvious choice for a modern reboot.
After buying the Lister Motor Company in 2013, Lawrence and Andrew Whittaker wasted no time in building a continuation of the Knobbly that Sir Stirling Moss drove in the '50s. Even though it was very charming, that car could only be driven on the track, which means it was only suitable for passionate track-day fanatics after a short-term thrill or historical racers.
The Lister Knobbly is not the first car to don the Lister badge. The car maker has actually built a number of other cars apart from the Knobbly in its 60-year history. Its back catalog even features a massive V-12 road-driven supercar, but the classic racer remains its most well-known car. After completing a production run of ten 1950’s version Lister Knobbly cars , the team embarked on building a model that could be comfortably driven on a public road.
The result of their efforts is the magnificent Knobbly Continuation that is pictured here. The company has tried hard to emphasize that this is not a classic bodyshell transplanted onto a modern-day powertrain, and neither is it an amateur restoration project. Rather, the car uses an inline six engine whose design is based on a genuine Jaguar block. The inside of the engine has been meticulously rebuilt to the original specifications of Crosthwaite & Gardiner, the legendary racing supplier.
The little Lister produces 330 horsepower (or 246 Kw) on tap and will reach 60 miles per hour (98 kilometers per hour) in 4.3 seconds. The car attains a maximum speed of over 180 miles (290 kilometers) per hour. Bearing in mind that its basic design is over 50 years old, these are really remarkable figures.
Obviously being light in weight also plays a big part in producing this awe-inspiring turn of speed. The Lister Knobbly is constructed around a tubular chassis, and the engineering team has utilized the original jigs to guarantee accuracy in its build and design. Encased around the car’s frame is a spectacular aluminum body, whose shaping process, done manually, takes about 500 hours. The car is both historically accurate and exceedingly pretty.
According to Lawrence Whittaker, the CEO of the company, making Lister the first company to offer its passionate customers the excitement of driving a legendary race car on the road is a hugely important step. He adds that the new road-going Knobbly will also lead the way for more Lister road models
Only ten units of the new Knobbly will be produced. The price of the car will start at £225,000 (or US$291,500) for the 4200cc inline six-cylinder engine. A model with a smaller-sized, dry-sump, 3800cc inline six-cylinder engine will be sold as £295,000 (or US$382,200).
You can have a look at the car and read a bit about the background story of the Lister Company in the video attached below.