Only 10 continuation models of the legendary Lister Knobbly race car will be built - and they're all road-legal for the first time.
The Jaguar-powered Lister Knobbly is regarded as one of the most legendary race cars ever built. 60 years after it made its track debut, British sports carmaker Lister has announced plans to bring back its legacy with ten continuation models of the Knobbly. While this isn’t the first time we’ve seen the revival of the iconic Knobbly, these latest continuations of the classic race car will be road-legal for the first time. British manufacturers resurrecting classics as continuation models seems to be a recurring trend right now.
Jaguar recently revealed the Reborn E-Type, while Land Rover is reviving the Series 1 and the original Range Rover. Lister insists that the new Knobbly continuation isn’t just a classic shape underpinned by modern mechanicals, however. Each car will be built on the same rigs as the original using old-school construction techniques – the aluminium body panels are beaten by hand to carve out the Knobbly’s famous sloping shape which takes around 500 hours, and the tubular chassis is built using the same jigs as the original cars. The engines are built using all-new re-manufactured parts around original Jaguar blocks, and three original engineers were brought out of retirement to oversee construction.
Despite being nearly identical to the ancient D-Type powerplants from the 1950s, the six-cylinder Jaguar 3.8-engine still produces 330 horsepower. That’s enough power to enable the 787-kg Knobbly to sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds, and hit a top speed of 181 mph. Despite staying true to the original, Lister had to make some modifications to make the Knobbly road-legal. These are only minor concessions, thankfully: it now has indicators, rear view mirrors, a sunken fuel cap and a padded leather dashboard to make it practical for the road. For safety, the Knobbly now has a collapsible steering column and rollover protection. The wheel spinners were also removed to protect pedestrians.
“This is a hugely important step for us, making Lister the first to be able to offer our enthusiastic clients the excitement and thrills of driving a historically significant race car on the road,” said Lister’s CEO Lawrence Whittaker. “Our new road legal Knobbly also paves the way for more future road-going Lister models too.” Now that’s what we like to hear. As with most continuation models, production will be very limited. Only ten road-going examples of the Lister Knobbly are being made, with prices starting at 225,000 GBP ($291,217) when equipped with a 4.2-liter wet-sump engine, while a 3.8-liter dry-sump model will set you back 295,000 GBP ($381,818).