Lister is a name familiar to fans of classic sports car racing, tuned Jaguars and slightly obscure 90s supercars – now ambitious plans are in place to return it to the forefront of modern performance motoring.
Father and son team Andrew and Lawrence Whittaker resurrected the marque in 2013 to restart production of the historic Lister ‘Knobbly’. An authentic recreation of the 1958 works racing car, these limited edition ‘60th Anniversary’ machines (Lister was first founded in 1954) have proved so successful the firm is now working on a cutting edge hypercar, as depicted in these official design sketches.
When you say the ‘new’ Knobbly Lister has been successful, what do you mean exactly?
Lister has sold nine Knobbly recreations in the last 12 months – which doesn’t sound like much progress until you learn they’re priced at £350,000 each.
Reason being, they are exact replicas of the original, built using Brian Lister’s original drawings and tooling, and with assistance of some of Lister’s original employees. As a result they are sanctioned for historical motorsport by the FIA, just like Jaguar’s Lightweight E-type continuation cars.
The Lister Knobbly is offered with a choice of two engines – the legendary 3.8-litre Jaguar D-type six-cylinder racing engine, complete with correct ‘wide-angle’ cylinder head, or a 4.6-litre Chevrolet Corvette V8 race engine, as per the American Costin spec cars.
How much would the new Lister hypercar cost?
Are you sitting down? No, seriously – sit down.
According to Lawrence Whittaker, the firm would be looking to charge 'somewhere in the region of £2 million' for the new ‘highly sophisticated’ Lister hypercar.
For the record, that’s more than Ferrari wanted for the LaFerrari, double the price of a new McLaren P1 and enough to bag you three base-spec Porsche 918s (the only one of that hypercar trio that isn’t already sold out). Still, Pagani and Koenigsegg seem to make a living.
Has Lister got any track record with this sort of thing at all?
Not since the Whittakers took control. But in the 1990s, during Lister’s previous incarnation under the custodianship of Laurence Pearce, four 200mph Lister Storm supercars were sold with a ‘retail price’ of £350,000. A GT racing version of that car also enjoyed success.
Prior to the Storm, there was the Lister Jaguar XJS, a monstrous 7.0-litre V12 conversion that cost a stunning £115,000 in 1989. 90 of these found homes.
So the Lister name has certainly got some cachet; whether that’s enough to attract the additional external investment required to make the new car happen remains to be seen. As we’ve never really desired a supercar that looks like Daffy Duck mated to a vacuum cleaner, we won’t be parting with any cash, but perhaps well-heeled fans of the original it pays homage to will be more forthcoming.