Lister-Jaguar — Brian Lister and the cars from Cambridge
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- ISBN-10: 0955010233
- ISBN-13: 9780955010231
by Paul Skilleter
Brian Lister's career as a racing car constructor lasted little more than five years, but during that time his cars rocked the motor racing establishment. This was despite the fact that they were built by around a dozen people in small, old-fashioned premises situated in a Cambridge backstreet, a world away from major manufacturers like Jaguar and Aston Martin - whose best cars the Lister-Jaguar soon began to beat. In fact one of Brian's favourite anecdotes is a conversation he recalls having at the end of one season with Reg Parnell, Aston Martin's famed team manager. Asked by Reg how much he thought his season had cost, Brian replied "Oh, about 5.000 Pounds, I suppose" - whereupon the man from Feltham flinched a little before admitting that this was about the amount Aston Martin had spent on making one cylinder head...
The Lister car came about largely through Btian's admiration of Archie Scott Brown's skill behind the wheel of his Tojeiro-JAP. After a mixed season with the first Lister, an MG-powered car, the Lister-Bristol of 1954 swept Archie to prominence in British sports car racing. Even though he was running in the 2.0-litre class he often beat larger-engined cars, and the crowds were thrilled by his amazing car control.
But Archie really hit the headlines when in 1957 the beautifully-built and highly effective Lister chassis was combined with the power and reliability of the Jaguar XK engine. Archie revelled in the new-found performance and the flying green and yellow projectile now proved almost unbeatable duting the course of the season. Yet all this was despite grave physical handicaps which Archie had endured since birth - essentially, he was one-handed, yet in both the Lister-Jaguar, and in the Formula One cars he sometimes drove for other teams, he could beat the likes of Stirling Moss and Mike Hawthorn.
In 1958, mindful of a growing demand for "customer" versions of his cars, Brian produced a revised car which was built in considerable numbers for both horne and overseas drivers and teams. Ecurie Ecosse adopted the marque, as did another leading team whose former mainstay had also been the Jaguar D-type - Briggs Cunningham in the United States. Then Jim Clark cut his teeth in a Lister-Jaguar, as did other drivers who went on to even greater heights later.
Sadly, at Spa in May 1958, the brave Archie lost his life while racing the works Lister-Jaguar, and things were never quite the same again for Brian. Yet he persevered, and brought out a new car for 1959 with the aid of Frank Costin. This did well enough, but the almost total domination of big-engined sports-car racing that Archie had achieved with the earlier cars was never repeated, and after the death (in a Formula 2 accident) of Lister works driver Ivor Bueb, Brian decided to retire from motor racing altogether.
It had, however, been a glorious run of success, and today Brian remains rightly proud of their achievements. Often told in Brian's own words, this is the story of the cars from Cambridge.
- Early days: road cars and the Tojeiro-JAP
- The first Listers
- The first Lister-Jaguars
- The 1958 Lister-Jaguar
- The Costin Lister-Jaguar - and end-game
- Lister in historic racing
- Brian's scrapbook
- The Lister built Le Mans Sunbeam Tigers
- Speed with Jaguars
- The Centenary Edition Lister-Jaguars
- Lister in the modern era: the Storm
- Chassis listing
Buch, Hardcover, 23 x 30 cm, 272 Seiten, 170 farbige und 280 s/w-Abbildungen, englischer Text