Wednesday, 29 June 2016
Sir Sterling Moss has allowed his name to be endoressed on a limited run of Ten Lister Jaguar Knobbly's @ £1m a piece.
In 1958, the Lister works team was locked in an intense battle with works cars from Aston Martin, Jaguar, Ferrari, Lotus and customer Listers run by Scottish racing team Ecurie Ecosse. Tragedy struck in May that year when Brian Lister’s much-loved star driver, Archie Scott Brown, crashed at Spa and died later from his injuries. Overcome with grief, Brian Lister initially wanted to leave the sport, but realising he had customer commitments, continued and kept Lister racing.
Keen for a victory at the sports car race of the British Grand Prix round at Silverstone on 19th July, Brian Lister employed the services of Stirling Moss, who was racing for Vanwall in the F1 world championship. Moss took pole in the magnesium-bodied Lister, which wore the famous number plate ‘MVE 303’ and, against a field which included Roy Salvadori and Graham Hill, took victory at an average speed of 97.92mph.
As well as a magnesium body, the car that Moss drove had a lighter chassis and many other modifications. With the works cars, Brian Lister’s aim was to reduce weight and improve performance. So it goes with the Lister Jaguar Knobbly Stirling Moss edition.
Whereas the standard continuation Knobblys run a three-inch outer diameter tubular steel chassis with a 14 gauge, the Stirling Moss editions run an even thinner wall: a 16 gauge. This tubing is not readily available so George Lister Engineering hollows out existing tubing to gain the required thickness. Every chassis is built using exactly the same jig used on the original 1950s cars.
Lighter than aluminum by around 30 per cent, magnesium is much harder to manipulate into different shapes. And whereas aluminum can be re-formed, magnesium cannot. It is also more expensive and harder to come by.
The skill of the body former is therefore crucial: he must make sure there is no waste material, yet also turn perfect panels again-and-again. As a result, the process is more painstaking and requires even more expert craftsmanship.
It takes around 4-6 weeks to form an entire aluminum-bodied Knobbly – the magnesium-bodied Lister Jaguar Knobbly Stirling Moss editions require 12-18 weeks, three times as long. The panels are formed using the same styling buck as was used on the original works cars. This bodyshell is then painted the same classic green and yellow as the original car that Moss raced back in 1958 at Silverstone.