My passion for cars started while I was growing up. My father’s enthusiasm for all things automotive is unsurpassed and I maintain, without bias, that he is the best mechanic in England. I bought my first car when I was 15, an MG Midget, and immediately started a restoration process that lasted two years. I can’t say I enjoy the dirt and grime as much as my father does, but my love flourished, and I’ve owned more than 250 cars over the past 15 years.
MAY 16th 2016
Mystery Monday: Lister Motor Company CEO – Brian Lister's Engineering Passion Runs Through Everything We Do
The Lister adventure began in 2012 when my father, who now spends his time restoring vintage Bentleys, bought a Lister Knobbly chassis and bodyshell. Almost immediately we contacted George Lister Engineering to see if they could help us out with parts. George Lister was Brian Lister’s grandfather and his company, established in 1890, was where all the original Lister racing cars were built. We visited the factory in Cambridge and discovered a plethora of original parts, including the original chassis jig, body bucks, wheel hubs, blueprints and much more! Needless to say my father was in his element, and an opportunity developed that ended up with us buying the Lister Motor Company in 2013.
Now armed with all the relevant tooling, we released a limited run of 10 Lister Jaguar Knobblys in celebration of the 60th anniversary since the first Lister car was built in Cambridge. In remaining true to Lister and through our dedication to British Craftsmanship, I ensure that Lister remains true to its motto: ‘A British Racing Icon’. I strongly believe in the guardianship of the Lister values and its profound history. For example, the expert engineers at the George Lister Engineering Works handcraft all the new continuation cars as they did in the past. We even brought some guys out of retirement who held essential skills, now forgotten. Likewise, with our new Lister Jaguar Knobblys, the cars are built to the exact specifications of the 1958 model.
The Knobbly continuation was inspired by Brian Lister’s original working drawings and manufacturing jigs. Brian, as well as some of the original factory workers, were involved in the process of building the car, his ideas and input on the design and manufacturing were vital in its production. Brian and I kept in close touch and he was consulted and informed on any developments throughout the process. I always maintained a good relationship with Brian; he always left me with the lasting impression of his passion for British engineering. I will always do my utmost best to implement Brian’s passion in all future Lister cars we produce, to ensure that the Lister values remain.
It’s always a worry when you take on such a big responsibility and the risk factor involved when purchasing Lister was immense. However, I am so proud of how Lister is coming along, and the release of our first car was a huge accomplishment. The response from the world’s press and customers alike has been tremendous and as I type now, we have sold every car released with orders totalling more than £5m. It still astounds me that enquiries come in from throughout the world – recently we had a call from Hiroshima, Japan. The Lister brand is a truly global one.
With all the expertise and passion we have, I can promise that the future for the Lister Motor Company is in very safe hands. We have many more projects planned and this is only the beginning. I’m looking forward to taking the company to new heights, and excited at the prospect of building many more new cars! Watch this space, something very exciting is coming soon.
Through Lister I have brought my own dreams to life.
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