The Lister Knobbly returns to Cambridge

BBC News reports that a classic racing car, the Lister Jaguar, has been resurrected in Cambridge.

knobblyThe Knobbly, as it came to be known, was built and raced from 1957 to 1959, winning 11 of its 14 races in its first year, beating in the process Ferraris, Masaratis, Aston Martins, and the other great cars of the age; driven by the diminutive Archie Scott Brown, it also beat track records at every track it raced on, and this in spite of the fact that it had been developed and built by an amateur designer, George Lister, in his father’s engineering works at Cambridge (inspired, in part, by his meeting with Scott Brown at a race meet in Bottisham, near Cambridge, in 1951).

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Scott Brown and George Lister

Archie-Scott-BrownScott Brown died in 1958 in Belgium at the wheel of a Lister Knobbly, and from 1959 the design of the sports car was overhauled completely (addressing, among other things, the Knobbly’s notoriously poor brakes), and was no longer raced competitively. Only about 50 Knobblys  were made in that short period, and they have since begun to command great value in the classic car market, fetching anything between £800,000 and £2,000,000.

It was in this way that the car has come to be in production again –  new owner Lawrence Whittaker’s father was looking for parts and blueprints in order to restore a Knobbly he had bought, but since the intellectual property had been sold outside the Lister company this was no simple matter. The Whittakers have now acquired all property rights and have built a new production facility in Fulbourn, just outside Cambridge. They plan to roll out 4 cars this year and 6 next year. Not a major operation, but the cars are likely to be priced in the hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Read and watch the BBC report here. There’s also a story on the sale of Archie Scott Brown’s garage in Cambridge here.

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