Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Knobbly Cat - #61 Lister Jaguar

Thanks again to Steve and Ed Arnaudin for today's photos from Lime Rock in April / May 1959.

The story of the Jaguar powered Lister is that it only came about despite the initial reticence of builder Brian Lister and that it was only after a) the failure of the difficult to maintain Maserati engines which powered Listers in 1956 to improve on the the Lister Bristol of 1955, b) a diamond merchant Norman Hillwood had dropped a 300 hp Jaguar D type engine into his own second hand chassis after Brian had refused to do it for him and c) Jaguar supremo Sir William Lyons had shown his enthusiasm for supplying Lister with the D-type power train in order to back up the private D-types of Ecurie Ecosse to double the odds against the increasingly competitive Aston Martins that Brian Lister eventually saw sense and built 17 series 1 'Knobbly' Jaguar powered Listers and between six and eight more with small block Chevrolet motors from 1957 - 1958.

The #61 Lister Jaguar seen here is one of the Cunningham team cars, Ed Arnaudin's photo throws up a mystery since neither the Cunningham Website or Terry O'Neils Northeast American Sports car races 1950 - 1959 list the car as being present at Lime Rock for the April 24th meeting that got held over to May 9th after rain stopped play and the cops shut the show down on the original date.

The best fit theory thrown up on The Nostalgia Forum is the possibility that this car had different gearing to the #62 Lister Jaguar that was raced by Briggs Cunningham that day and may have been used for comparison by Briggs Cunningham.

With thanks to all those on The Nostalgia Forum Lister Register thread who contributed including David McKinney , raceanouncer 2003 Vince H, RA Historian Tom and Terry O'Neil.

Hope you have enjoyed today's Knobby Cat edition of 'Gettin' a lil' psycho on tyres' and that you'll join me for the concluding edition of this Jaguar week featuring a vehicle that out qualified Stirling Moss driving a Maserati 250 F in a historic race. Don't forget to come back now !