The founders of most automakers aren’t still with us. Enzo Ferrari, Ettore Bugatti, Henry Ford, Louis Chevrolet, Kiichiro Toyoda, Soichiro Honda and so many others have long since left this world. Those who are still with us – like Christian von Koenigsegg, Horacio Pagani and Elon Musk – got into the game much later. Brian Lister hit the scene a long time ago, but until just the other day, he was still with us. But now his time on the racing circuit has come to an end.
The founder of Lister Cars, one of Britain’s most legendary racing constructors, was born on July 12, 1926, the scion of a proud family of engineers. After training as an engineer himself, he joined the Royal Air Force just after the end of the Second World War, and soon after started trading up the chain of British sports cars. He built his own chassis powered by an MG engine in 1954 and the legendary Lister Knobbly was born.
Subsequent developments saw Lister upgrade first to Bristol power, then Maserati and most famously Jaguar and (for the North American market) Chevy engines. He remained involved in the industry for many years after, building and setting up numerous racing cars for Le Mans and other sports car races. Sixty years after the debut of the original, Lister came back with the continuation Knobbly, the first example of which Brian Lister inspected himself before he passed on this past Tuesday, December 16, 2014. He was 88 years old, and will undoubtedly be fondly remembered as his work endures.