Today, the era of what Enzo Ferrari called the garagisti, those meddling dreamers in sheds, is in its twilight. Men like Horacio Pagani, Mate Rimac and Christian von Koenigsegg still live out their own fantasies, on four wheels and outside of the boardroom scripts. They are the independents, but today the garagisti are few.
Used to be a time where some sort of chassis rolled out of every other shed in Britain. Some sheds served for greatness. Colin Chapman started Lotus in a shed. Frank Williams you may have heard of — shed. Eric Broadley’s Lola — shed. Ken Tyrrell ran his Formula 1 team out of a shed.
There was one manufacturer in Britain during the Fifties though who got a leg up right from the beginning — instead of starting to build cars in a shed, Brian Lister decided to, what do you know, start building them in a factory.
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For those too young to have even heard of Lister, you can go ahead and YouTube Lister Storm V12 to get a freshener. That Jaguar-engined monster screamed around race tracks all over the world during the Nineties battling Ferraris, McLarens and Porches, but the brand has been on the quiet side since then.
Lister’s cars were usually associated with Jaguar power, and some of the company’s most memorable days were its earliest, when aces like Archie Scott Brown, Stirling Moss, and even Jim Clark raced them to victory.
In 2016 the marque marked its 60th anniversary with a limited run of replicas, for lack of a less discriminatory word, of Moss’ 1958 ‘Knobbly’ Jaguars, and the Lister name was up in lights once again, not least due to the price, with each of the 10 hand-built, magnesium cars going for one million pounds.
Lister’s ready to do it once again, only this time upping the ante to a limited run of 99 cars and a sticker slightly more accessible to the enthusiasts: the newly announced Lister Thunder can be yours from Dh725,000.
And yes that does include the Jaguar F-Type… As you can see, the Thunder is really a Jag, that looks perhaps like it could have come out of the company’s own Special Vehicle Operations division.
Lister however is keen to establish itself as a specialist — perhaps in the vein of Brabus and Mercedes-Benz, or Alpina and BMW — and already sold 22 of the 99 available Thunder sportscars within 24 hours of the reveal.
The supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine under the bonnet has been tweaked by Lister to deliver 666 horsepower, which makes it the most powerful car to ever wear the triple-falchion badge. This means zero to 100kph in just over three seconds and a top speed of over 330kph.
Sure, in the end this is just a tarted up F-Type, but considering the obvious demand there is clearly love out there for brands with independent heritage. Now if you get one of these, all you’ll need is a garage and you too can start irritating Ferraris.
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