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Homepage. This page: Mike Wright competing at a Prescott hillclimb in his Lister-Jaguar sportscar.

Lister Jaguar.

This is the last of the photos sent to me by David and Robert Hall. Mike Wright was David's uncle, and several photos of Mike behind the wheel of various Jaguar-engined sportscars already feature on the site (eg CUT 7 the lightweight E-Type and an XK120). Mike is seen here driving his Lister Jaguar, reg. TUN 708, at Prescott Speed Hillclimb in 1962.
a Lister Jaguar sports racing car
Brian Lister set up his firm in 1954, producing an MG TD-powered sports/racer featuring a tubular chassis. In this car, Archie Scott Brown showed great promise in the car's concept. Soon the MG engine was replaced by a tuned 2 litre Bristol unit, and went on to beat several notable private and factory entries in events throughout the '54 season. A Maserati engine was next to be installed under the aerodynamic Lister bodywork, this was used by the Works' drivers, whereas outside buyers continued with the Bristol unit.
In 1957, the car was re-designed at the factory once more, inspired by a privateer's experiment of fitting a C-Type Jaguar engine to his Lister-Bristol. The new car for '57 utilised a 3.4 litre straight six Jaguar XK engine, a unit that had already proven it's racing credentials beneath the shapely bonnets of the C-Type and D-Type Jaguars, which by now were out-dated cars. In '58 the bodywork was revised yet again, in a bid to keep the car competitive in sportscar races. Jaguar would supply either a 3.0 or 3.8 litre version of the XK engine, depending on the championship being raced in.
The Lister-Jaguars of 1958 soon became known as the 'Knobbly' Lister-Jaguars, thanks to their low-slung bodywork, which was designed to hug the ground to minimise wind resistance, rising up only to clear essentials (!) such as wheels and engine. The car shown above is a 1958 example.
In 1959 the Lister-Jaguars were re-designed once more, with new bodywork by aerodynamicist Frank Costin. However the net result was a car no more competitive than the previous car. It was also in this year that Ivor Bueb, a regular Lister driver, lost his life in an F2 event driving a BRP Cooper-Borgward. This followed Scott Brown's death the previous year at Spa, while driving a Lister. Disheartened by the whole business, Lister closed the doors of his operation in the same year. In the US, many Lister chassis were modified with Chevy power, creating the Lister-Chevrolet. A higher bonnet line visibly differentiates the Chevy from the Jaguar-powered versions on the track today, the different exhaust note also being very noticeable.
Unfortunately, this particular car met a sticky end, as David explains: "This car is well documented in Doug Nye's book "Powered by Jaguar". This was the only works Lister to survive 1958-59 with the original magnesium-panelled body. It was sold to Jim Diggory and re registered TUN 708. Diggory eventually swapped it with Mike for his old XK120, with Mike retaining the XK's D type dry sump engine to use in the Lister. Unfortunately Mike wrote this car off on the road. He sold all the bits and burnt the Mag Alloy body behind the garage!!!! The surviving parts turned up in 1980 and were built into a replica TUN 708. This car passed to Steve O'Rourke, manager of the Pink Floyd music combo who raced it extensively for many years. After Steve's untimely death in 2003 the car was sold to Nick Colonna in the USA."
Return to Old Car Photos Page No. 9.

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