Lister previews its resurrected Knobbly roadster

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Lister is a British specialist automaker that earned its reputation making Jaguar-based road and racing cars in the mid 1950s, with the occasional interruption in activity due to financial instabilities. (Not unusual for specialist UK automakers.)

Last week, Lister CEO Lawrence Whittaker used Twitter to reveal an image of a new, modern Knobbly roadster that gives the cars’ voluptuous 1950s curves a modern spin, accompanied by the text, “Sneak Peak of the new Lister Knobbly concept we’ve been working on.” There’s no word on specifications, but based on Lister’s long relationship with Coventry, it’s probably safe to assume the recreated Knobbly will be based on Jaguar mechanical bits.

The original Lister sports car did not have a model name of its own in the beginning, but its round contours evoked the name Knobbly, and the moniker stuck. It’s hard to judge the new car’s appearance from the single profile image provided by Whittaker, but it looks like Lister retained enough of the original’s voluptuous curves for a familial appearance while being contemporary enough to appeal to modern eyes. It looks appropriately aggressive.

In 2012 Lawrence Whittaker and his father Andrew, who own extended warranty providers Warrantywise, went to the Lister factory in Cambridge to get parts to restore their vintage Lister Knobbly. They ended up buying the entire George Lister Engineering company, including intellectual property, original drawings, and plans for Lister cars. The pair brought on much of the original Lister crew as consultants, including Brian Lister, whose designs were the basis of the company’s products. Renamed Lister Motor Company, in 2014 the reborn outfit started selling a continuation 60th Anniversary Knobbly edition, built to 1950s specs, and priced at £295,000. In 2016, it announced production of 10 examples of the Lister Knobbly Stirling Moss, a replica of the car Sir Stirling raced at Silverstone in 1958. Price? A cool £1 million each.

Skeptics of the new Knobbly pointed out that about a year ago Whittaker also used Twitter to announce the $2.78 million Storm II—an all-new version of a car Lister made in the 1990s. So far, there have been no additional news or updates surrounding the project.

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