Continuation pioneer Lister returns Knobbly to the road

5 May 2017

More than 60 years after its race debut, the Lister Motor Company has announced the first ever dedicated road-going version of the legendary Lister Knobbly sports racer.


More than 60 years after the original Lister Knobbly first raced, this celebrated competition car – one of the most successful in motor racing history – can finally be driven legally on the public highway. It will be built at George Lister Engineering in Cambridge, using the original chassis jigs while three original engineers have been brought out of retirement to oversee construction.


Uniquely, the Lister Motor Company is the only manufacturer making original specification continuation cars that are eligible for IVA type approval and therefore fully legal for registration and road use. Other continuation specials built by larger marques are strictly limited to track use only as they are unable to qualify for low-volume approval because of the total number of cars they produce.

Unlike some ‘replica’ or ‘retro’ sports cars, the Lister Knobbly is not a classic shape on top of modern mechanicals. Beneath its hand-beaten aluminium body is a 6-cylinder Jaguar 3.8-litre engine and 4-speed gearbox, which is almost identical to the D-Type powerplants fitted in the 1950s.


Engines are built using all-new remanufactured parts around original Jaguar blocks, assembled by experts from Crosthwaite & Gardiner. Despite the ‘old school’ technology, the engine is still capable of an impressive 330 bhp – enough to power the 787 kg Knobbly to 181 mph and accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 4.3 seconds.


The tubular chassis is made from seamless engineering tube using the original jigs, and all welds are pressure tested to ensure integrity. The aluminium body panels alone take around 500 hours to beat into the Knobbly’s distinctive shape.


The most notable changes to the road-ready Knobbly, carefully integrated into the original design by Lister’s engineers, are a collapsible steering column, roll over protection, indicators, side repeater flashers and rear fog lamps, number plates front and rear, padded leather dashboard, push button switches, removal of wheel spinners for pedestrian safety, removal of the windscreen, replaced with a wind deflector, a ratchet handbrake, rear view mirrors, sunken fuel filler cap and brake fluid and low fuel level warning lights.


Commenting on the introduction of the new road legal Lister Knobbly, Lawrence Whittaker, CEO Lister Motor Company, said: “I am really proud and excited that the Lister Motor Company has succeeded by being the first, and to date the only, specialist sports car maker to engineer and launch a fully road legal version of a racing continuation model.


“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. Our new road legal Knobbly also paves the way for more future road-going Lister models too.”

Just 10 of the new hand-built road-going Lister Knobbly continuation models will be made. Production is due to commence in September 2017 and the first customer deliveries planned for June 2018.


A Knobbly fitted with a 4.2-litre 6-cylinder engine will be priced at £225,000 on-the-road, while a 3.8-litre with dry Ssmp will be priced at £295,000.

Lawrence Whittaker, CEO Lister Motor Company


Latest issue

FREE Newsletter

Stay up to date and a chance to win 1 Years Subscription*

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Latest Tweets

Stay up to date with our social world

Historic Racing Tech @HistoricRace
16 Jun