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1959 Lister Special Roadster

  • Chassis Number: BHL 132
Many privateers built their own car during the 1950s, but Brian Lister was one of the more successful attempts, fueled by engineering talent and plenty of financial resources. He was assisted by Don Moore and Archie Scott-Brown, and their early creation often collecting a 1st or 2nd place finish wherever it raced. Their success with MG and Bristol gained Lister the financial backing of Shell/BP, as well as a deal with Jaguar to supply engines for a car that would be capable of winning the World Sports Car Championship. The very successful Lister-Jaguar later evolved into the legendary 'Knobbly,' nicknamed for its curvaceous but rather bumpy bodywork. Soon, a U.S.-built engine was installed within the engine bay, resulting in the Lister-Chevrolet which helped Lister sweep the SCCA Championships in 1958 and 1959.

During its brief production career, fewer than 50 Lister cars were built, with approximately sixteen or seventeen receiving Chevrolet power.

This particular Lister was ordered by Carroll Shelby for John Edgar in 1958 and originally carried a Maserati V8 engine. Construction was delayed due to extensive re-engineering, with Shelby receiving the car later than he had hoped. Ultimately, it remained unused after shipment to Edgar in California. A test drive by Chuck Daigh (Lance Reventlow's chief mechanic and driver) revealed that more development was required.

When Edgar folded his racing operation in early 1960, all of his cars, including this Lister, were sold off. It is believed that the car soon entered the care of John Snyder, who installed a 402 CID Chevy V8 engine built by Lefty Mudersbac and took it racing. It was acquired around 1962 by Dan Whitz (through Don Blair), who partnered with Mike Koslosky and hired both Snyder and Bob Edmison to extensively drag- and road-race the car through 1964. Among the races that BHL 132 participated in include the Nassau Speed Weeks, Elkhart Lake 500, and the 1964 Daytona Continental.

Californian SCCA racer Ron Bennett later purchased the car and raced it in SCCA C-Modified and the inaugural 1965 Stardust Grand Prix. Peter Boyd became the next caretaker in late 1968 (devoid of engine and gearbox). After installing a 327 CID Chevy engine and modified Powerglide automatic transmission, the car was used for daily transmission and street racing.

British classic-car broker Christopher Renwick purchased the car in 1973 and repatriated it to the UK, selling it to John Harper, who raced it in the JCB-sponsored historic racing series. Initially, it was raced with an American V-8 engine but later retrofitted with a 3.8-liter Jaguar powerplant. Among the accolades achieved was a victory in the 1974 British Empire Trophy race at Silverstone.

Under the ownership of Paul Leuch of Warwickshire, BHL 132 received its FIA Historic Vehicle Identity papers in 1987 with Jaguar power. Subsequent owners included Roger Brierley-Jones and then Ed Hubbard. The latter raced the Lister in Europe and later in Florida during the 1990s. It was later sold to Syd Silverman and exported to the United States where it received a restoration by John Harden of Oklahoma. The work included the addition of original Costin-Lister front and rear bodywork and the refitting of a period-style Chevy small-block V-8 racing engine and four-speed manual gearbox.

The car entered the current owner's care in 2010. It is currently powered by a 331 cubic-inch overhead valve Chevrolet V-8 engine with Hilborn/Kinsler Fuel Injection and delivers an estimated 500 horsepower. There is a four-speed Borg-Warner Super T10 manual gearbox and Dunlop disc brakes.

By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2023

Provenance *
* Please note, dates are approximate

2023 Gooding & Company : Amelia Island Auction

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $400,000-USD $600,000 
Sale Price :
USD $423,000

1959 Lister Special Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Lister Special

(Data based on Model Year 1959 sales)
1959 Lister-Chevrolet
Chassis#: BHL 127
Sold for USD$381,063
  2024 RM Sothebys : Monaco
1959 Lister Special image  1959 Lister Special image  
1959 LISTER-CHEVROLET SPORTS RACER
Chassis#: BHL 132
Sold for USD$423,000
  2023 Gooding & Company : Amelia Island Auction
1959 Lister Special image  1959 Lister Special image  
1959 Lister-Chevrolet
Chassis#: BHL 127
Sold for USD$528,000
  2013 RM Auctions - Arizona
1959 Lister Special image  1959 Lister Special image  
1959 Jaguar Costin Lister Sports Racer
Chassis#: BHL 123
Sold for USD$1,100,000
  2010 Gooding and Company - Scottsdale Auction
1959 Lister Special image  1959 Lister Special image  
1959 Lister-Costin Jaguar Recreation
Sold for USD$47,300
  2003 Monterey Sports and Classic Car Auction
 

Lister Specials That Failed To Sell At Auction

1959 Lister Special's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1959 Lister-Chevrolet Costin Sports-Racing Two-SeaterBHL 1212024 Bonhams : Amelia Island Auction $800,000$1,000,000
1959 Lister-Jaguar Sports RacerBHL 1232019 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach $1,000,000$1,400,000
1959 Lister-Jaguar Sports RacerBHL 1232019 Bonhams : Scottsdale Arizona $2,000,000$2,600,000
1959 Lister-ChevroletBHL 1272015 RM Sotheby's : The Andrews Collection   
1959 Lister Jaguar Costin by Tempero 2003 The Florida Collector Car Auction$63,000  

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1959 Lister Special vehicle thumbnail image  1959 Lister Special vehicle thumbnail image  
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1959 Lister Special

Additional valuation insight and sales data
History
Specifications
Image gallery
Other Lister Special model years

1959 Lister Special Vehicle Profiles

1959 Lister Special vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: BHL 132
1959 Lister Special vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: BHL 124
1959 Lister Special vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: BHL130
1959 Lister Special vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: BHL 121
1959 Lister Special vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: BHL 127
Engine #: 3789935
1959 Lister Special vehicle information
Roadster
Chassis #: BHL 123
Engine #: LB2118-8

Vehicle information, history, and specifications from concept to production.