Text: Martin Aguilar / Photos: Lister | posted December 19, 2014 17:55
A look at the life of Brian Lister
Lister Cars founder Brian Lister passed away at the age of 88 last December 16, 2014.
Lister was one of Britain's post-war designer of competition cars. Coming from a family of engineers, he was born on July 12, 1926. He and his brother Raymond were the two sons of Horace and Nell Lister.
After training himself to become an engineer, Lister attended the Perse School in Cambrige in 1942. Then, he joined the Royal Air Force for two years of National Service before building his own chassis powered by an MG engine which resulted to the birth of the Lister Knobbly. Subsequently, Lister bought his first, ex-police MG car which was swiftly replaced by a Morgan 4/4, followed by a Cooper-MG.
During the post-war era, motorsport in Britain was starting to emerge once again. With this, Lister co-founded the Cambrige 50 Car Club which organizes a wide variety of motorsport events.
In 1953, he asked his father to fund the development of a car bearing the family name. Lister collaborated with Don Moore who provided him with an MG engine. A year after, the first Lister car made its debut on April 3, 1954.
From then on, Lister Cars evolved rapidly by being powered by Bristol, then Maserati engines. Then, in 1958, Lister Cars were powered by Jaguar and Chevrolet (for the North American market) engines. Lister continued producing competition cars before withdrawing from the sport in 1959 due to racing-related deaths.
In 2014, the Lister Knobbly was reborn under the supervision of the Whittaker family. The new Knobbly was even inspected personally by Lister weeks before he died.
"Brian Lister was a wonderful man - kind with a great sense of humour, he was always incredibly modest about his amazing achievements. Whenever I met him, I was left with the lasting impression of his passion for British engineering. He will be sorely missed, but we will make sure his ethos and legacy lives on at Lister Cars," said Lawrence Whittaker, Managing Director of Lister Cars.
Watch Brian Lister's final interview below.