Ever since former Studebaker dealers Nate Altman and Leo Newman acquired the Avanti tooling and assembly facilities in the Sixties to make a replica, continuation cars have given thousands of classic car lovers a chance to own epic racecars and legendary sportscars of their dreams albeit as replicas. This week, the Lister Motor Company has announced road-going continuation models of the iconic Knobbly racecar. Although Lister has made Knobbly replicas earlier, this is the first time it’s made a road-legal version.
The British classic carmaker stresses that this Knobbly, limited to just 10 examples, isn’t just another retro-styled car on top of modern mechanicals. It points out the fact that underneath the hand-beaten aluminium body is a six-cylinder Jaguar 3.8-litre engine and four-speed gearbox that are almost identical to the D-Type powerplants fitted in the Fifties. These engines are built using all-new remanufactured parts around original Jaguar blocks, assembled by experts from Crosthwaite & Gardiner. Although old-school, these engines make 330bhp, which is more than enough for the 787kg Knobbly to hit 100kph from standstill in just over four seconds. The tubular chassis is also built using the original jigs and the aluminium body panels have been beaten into the Knobbly’s distinctive shape.
“I am really proud and excited that the Lister Motor Company has succeeded by being the first, and to date the only, specialist sportscar maker to engineer and launch a fully road legal version of a racing continuation model,” says Lawrence Whittaker, CEO Lister Motor Company. “This is a hugely important step for us, making Lister the first to be able to offer our enthusiastic clients the excitement and thrills of driving a historically significant racecar on the road.” He also said the road legal Knobbly is the first of more future road-going Lister models.”
Being road-legal, the Knobbly has a collapsible steering column, roll over protection, indicators, side repeater flashers and rear fog lamp, padded leather dashboard, and rear view mirrors among others. A Knobbly fitted with a 4.2-litre six-cylinder engine will be priced at £225,000 (Dh1,064,914), while a 3.8-litre with dry sump will be priced at £295,000 (1,396,140).