Lister is returning to its Knobbly continuation special for a new run of road-legal models. These roadsters are as close as possible to the originals from over 60 years ago, including using the original chassis jigs for the vehicle’s construction and having three original engineers oversee the work. 

The revived Lister Knobbly features a hand-beaten aluminium body with a beautifully curvaceous shape, and a tubular chassis sits underneath. While not luxurious, Lister makes an effort to provide a modicum of comfort inside the road-legal Knobbly rather than leaving everything in bare metal. The red instrument panel is an especially attractive touch. In all, the model weighs just 787 kilograms. Yes, sub-800kg. 

Lister Knobbly Road Legal
Lister Knobbly Road Legal

There’s a Jaguar 3.8-litre inline six and four-speed gearbox underneath the vehicle’s supple lines. Lister uses original Jaguar engine blocks with remanufactured components for the internals. The motor pumps out 330 horsepower. Even by modern standards, the sprint to 60 miles per hour in 4.3 seconds remains respectable.

More Lister Motor Company News:

  • Sir Stirling Moss endorses Jaguar Knobbly continuation edition

In comparison to the race-spec Knobbly, the road-going model features many modifications. For added safety, Lister installs a collapsible steering column, a handbrake, rearview mirrors, and warning lights for the brake fluid and low fuel level. Aesthetically, these models also feature polished roll hoops, the necessary turn signals, rear fog lamp, and a wind deflector instead of a higher windshield. For pedestrian safety, the sharp wheel spinners are also gone from the road-going racer.

“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,” Lawrence Whittaker, CEO of Lister Motor Company, said in the brand’s announcement. “Our new road legal Knobbly also paves the way for more future road-going Lister models too.”

Lister Knobbly Road Legal

Lister won’t start deliveries of the road-legal Knobbly until June 2018, and the company will only offer a 10-unit run. Pricing for the vehicle with a 3.8-litre inline six and dry sump lubrication will start at £295,000. A version with a 4.2-liter six-cylinder will go for £225,000. The timing of the release will at least give buyers a chance to enjoy the roadsters during some warm weather.

Lister previously offered a road-legal version of its Costin continuation special for a price of £307,500 plus VAT. Racing-spec versions of the Costin went for £295,000.

Source: Lister Motor Company

Gallery: Lister Knobbly Road Legal

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More than 60 years after its race debut, the Lister Motor Company reveals road legal version of its landmark Knobbly

Lister Knobbly is the first original specification continuation car to be fully eligible for IVA type approval

Built at George Lister Engineering in Cambridge, using the original chassis jigs

Three original engineers brought out of retirement to oversee construction

First deliveries due in June 2018.

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.

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 due to the higher volume of the vehicles 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 six-cylinder Jaguar 3.8-litre engine and four-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 330bhp – enough to power the 787kg Knobbly to 181mph and accelerate from 0-60mph 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.

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 built. Production is due to commence in September 2017 and the first customer deliveries planned for June 2018.

The most notable changes to the road-ready Knobbly, carefully integrated into the original design by Lister’s engineers, are:

Collapsible steering Column
Roll over protection
Indicators, side repeater flashers and rear fog lamp
Number plates front and rear 
Padded leather dashbard
Push button switches
Removal of wheel spinners for pedestrian safety
Removal of windscreen, replaced with wind deflector
Ratchet handbrake
Rear view mirrors
Sunken fuel filler cap
Brake fluid and low fuel level warning lights

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 Sump will be priced at £295,000.