Encouraged by the considerable successes achieved with his earlier sports cars, in the later 1950s Brian Lister began to finalise plans for the production of the Lister-Jaguar “Knobbly” range, which was introduced for the 1957 season and further refined in 1958. At this time Lister was also becoming aware of the potential export market for large-engine sports cars in the new North American Pro-Series and, following suggestions from existing customers, he realised that a more powerful engine would be required to stay competitive in the States. Accordingly he began to modify a small number of chassis in England to accommodate the Chevrolet small block V8. The first five cars were dispatched in 1958, engine-less, to the US where they were supplied to dealers Carroll Shelby, Kjell Qvale and Seattle-based Tom Carstens, who had the cars fitted with their Chevy power plants.
This genuine Lister-Chevrolet, chassis BHL110, was built up in Cambridge England and then exported to Tom Carstens for his team’s own use. It won the first time out with Carstens but his friend, well-known driver Bill Pollock (who was sponsored by Dean Van Lines), persuaded him to part with it, less the V8, in mid-1958. The chassis was sent to famed engine builder Bruce Crower in San Diego to be powered and prepared for its Riverside Pro race debut. Pollock’s exploits in that race are wonderfully recounted in a March 1959 issue of Sports Cars Illustrated. Despite problems of engine overheating and poor brakes, Pollock worked his way up to fourth overall prior to a massive spin when the brake pedal went to the floor. After a second off-track excursion caused by rear wheel lock up, a hot and tired Pollock was classified as a fine eighth overall in the LA Times Grand Prix. The next owner, Fike Plumbing of Phoenix, Arizona, ran BHL110 for two years with his driver Don Hulette achieving some success in a support race at the 1960 LA Times Grand Prix. However, in the main event that weekend, Hulette crashed with the ensuing fire damaging further the bodywork of BHL110 but fortunately not injuring the driver. Following this mishap the Lister was then purchased by Bob Sorrell who stored it at Riverside until it was acquired by car hunter Klaus Hubert who in turn sold it to a Canadian Dentist, Dr Evans in 1969. Evans now commenced a major restoration, involving Brian Lister himself who authenticated the chassis as a genuine Lister-built unit and arranged for the original coachbuilder – Williams and Pritchard – to make a new body for the car. Lister also introduced Evans to Bryan Wingfield who supplied correct Lister mechanical components. After completion of the work Evans raced the car in the US, Canada and the Bahamas for several decades until he retired from competition in 2011 and sold the car to the UK. At this point the Lister was repainted in its 1958 Dean Van Lines livery and was prepared to FIA European specification, which was complete by 2013. Since then the car has been regularly campaigned with 8 of its 18 races being at the Goodwood Revival and Members Meetings, where it has consistently recorded the fastest top speed of any Lister, in large part due to its small block engine, which has been bored to the largest allowable size of 5.8 Litres, the capacity it raced with in period. Over this time it has benefitted from constant maintenance with a major refresh from noted Lister and Chevrolet experts taking place in the summer of 2017. This wonderful Chevy Lister is now offered in race ready condition with a long duration FIA HTP (expires 2024) and has the additional benefit of being road registered in the UK. It is eligible for many of the world’s most prestigious events and comes accompanied by an excellent history file containing correspondence, period race results and many photographs. Please contact us for further details.