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Lister Jaguar & Lister Corvette - a comparison


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#1 Derek Pitt

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 07:13

As is well known, in 1958/59, the 3.8 Lister Jaguar was an extremely successsful sports car on both sides of the Atlantic and prior to the "scientific" cars such as the Cooper Monaco and the larger-engined Lotus XV/XIX cars, was certainly the car to have in any event that did not suffer from the 3 Litre maxiumum engine capacity introduced in 1958.


However, in the United States, it was not uncommon for the cars to be fitted with Chevrolet Corvette engines and I have often wondered what advantage, if any, was derived by the conversion.

Given there appeared to be little if any performance increase, was it because of cost savings, availability etc?


I have never seen a like-with-like comparison of lap times or, for that matter, I have never seen a consolidated list of race results for the corvette-engined cars and I was wondering if an american TNFer, (or anybody else), had ever seen anything or had access to the raw data from which to compile such a list.

Can anybody help with comments, opinions, data or just good old fashioned chit chat on this topic please?

Thanks guys

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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 08:06

Comment or data?

The Chev engine was lighter and shorter than the Jag engine... possibly also lower, certainly a lower centre of gravity.

#3 mariner

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 08:38

I think that the GM engine made more sense to US racers as it was cheaper and lighter plus the range of tuning parts was vast and relatively inexpensive.

Being shorter and lighter you would expect a handling benefit if the springs etc were changed properly.

In the Uk it was different. US engines had to be sourced and imported past high duty rates and the Jag engine was widely available with good tuning know how. In his book "Can Am challenger" Pete Byrant relates his first race mechanics job running a Lister Chevrolet in England. The chevy had the wrong spec. and Hilborn injection - rebuilding it involved much parts hunting.

So , I think in the realworld it was "horses for courses".

#4 rl1856

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 13:09

In the US, the Chevy V8 was more widely available and had a much better supply of spare parts.

By '58 it was possible to extract more reliable power from the Chevy than the Jag motor.

Best,

Ross

#5 Gregor Marshall

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 13:18

Is it correct that only one Lister Jaguar was homologated/raced with both engines in period or was that just a Costin-bodied Lister?

#6 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 14:46

Both the knobbly and the Costin were raced with both engines in period. For example, Tom Carstens had both a knobbly and then a Costin with Chevs in the U.S. Northwest. I tried a comparison using Martin Krejci's site. Here is the result:

http://www.oldracing...hassis=&driver=

It looks like Walt Hansgen in the Jag-powered Lister (knobbly and later Costin, I think), always had the measure of Fred Windridge in the Chev-powered one, although, of course, there could have been other factors! And it also lists some Chev-powered ones in the U.K.?

Vince H.

#7 David Birchall

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 15:29

We went through this a few years ago. I recall we concluded that there was no weight saving worth mentioning-as Ray Bell said though, the Chev would have a lower c of g. 300 bhp was about it for both a Chev and a Jag engine in 1958 but one would think the Chev would have more torque due to larger capacity and piston area? Also, Americans felt more comfortable with the Chev engine since they could get parts more easily than the Jag. Now of course with huge hp numbers available the Chev engine would be the obvious choice!

#8 Gregor Marshall

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 15:41

Originally posted by raceannouncer2003
Both the knobbly and the Costin were raced with both engines in period. For example, Tom Carstens had both a knobbly and then a Costin with Chevs in the U.S. Northwest. I tried a comparison using Martin Krejci's site. Here is the result:

http://www.oldracing...hassis=&driver=

It looks like Walt Hansgen in the Jag-powered Lister (knobbly and later Costin, I think), always had the measure of Fred Windridge in the Chev-powered one, although, of course, there could have been other factors! And it also lists some Chev-powered ones in the U.K.?

Vince H.


Thanks Vince. My late father (to be fair one who never let the truth get in the way of a good story) told me that his Costin-bodied Lister, BHL130 (YCD422) was the only Lister to be raced in period with a Jag and a Chev engine, whereas all the others were one or the other (Dad had it with a Jag engine, as did it's next owner).

Funnily enough I can't see it on the link provided but it was the ex-Dick Tindall car. Would be interested to know if the above reference the engine is accurate or not though.

#9 fines

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 16:18

From an outsider's POV ;), I'd guess the emerging speed shop industry for the Chev would have tipped the balance, no?

#10 Jerry Entin

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 16:30

Posted Image
Jim Hall's Lister/Chevy
Engine by Raoul Balcaen, put out about 325 horsepower in the day.
Vince,
Since the website does not cover a substantial number of the late 50s /early 60s race events in the U.S., many appearances of Jim Hall and Ronnie Hissom [and their victories] are missing. Also, no mention of Jimmy Younger and A.J. Foyt in Lister/Chevy's.

In 1959 the Kelso Lister/Chevy raced by Fred Windridge was more than a match in speed against the Cunningham Lister/Jags, but it often retired. Once the Kelso Lister was properly sorted in 1960, George Constantine would blow any Lister/Jag, Cunningham or otherwise, away.
all research Willem Oosthoek
photo Raoul "Sonny" Balcaen collection.

#11 Derek Pitt

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 06:27

Thanks for the replies...all very interesting and thought provoking.

However, we are still in the anecdotal stage, which is stimulating, but needs to be backed up with some facts.

With my limited knowledge of US sports car racing, I am for instance, not personally aware of Hansgen's Cunningham Lister Jaguar ever being beaten, let alone regularly beaten, by a Lister Corvette and likewise, I thought George Constantine's main success was in the orgasmically beautiful 4.2 litre Aston DBR2, not a Lister Corvette, I am not in a positon to make informed comments.

Is for this reason I would love to see relative lap times for various circuits ..the first corvettes were 4.5 litres ...and later 5.7 litres?..so I guess some circuits would suit the greater torque of the corvette while others would suit the XK engine better..........i dont know but would love to find out.

Even basic numbers of each type would be welcomed.

Regards

Derek

#12 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 10:47

Having raced cars with small block Chev V8 engines for almost 27 years [ 1973 to 2000 ] I would prefer a Chev engine in a Lister if I owned one. To my mind the small block Chev was one of the best stock engines ever made.
However I remember watching Archie Scott-Brown win the Lady Wigram Trophy Race at Wigram Airfield, Christchurch, New Zealand in a Lister Jag in early 1958. I was very imppressed with the performance of the car and the way it was driven

#13 Jerry Entin

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 16:56

Posted Image
Kelso/Lister in 1959 at Elkhart Lake
Derek:
A comparison in the U.S. would have to wait until 1960, because the Cunningham Lister/Jags did not appear in professional USAC events until the 1960 Times GP. The Kelso Lister/Chevy was not reliable in 1959. Although winning the 1959 June Sprints at Road America, Freddie Windridge's victory did not prove much because the Cunningham team was not entered due to Le Mans.

By 1960 Cunningham had upgraded to the Birdcage Maserati for Hansgen, but he still ran one of his Listers in a number of races. In spite of the fact that Cunningham's new Birdcage was faster than his Lister/Jags, it was Constantine who won the Thompson National in September 1960, beating the Tipo 61s races by Hansgen and Andrey.

Qualifying times in the October 1960 Times GP show the following:

- George Constantine [Kelso Lister/Chevy] 11th fastest in 2:07.28
- Chuck Daigh [Cunningham LIster/Jag] 21th fastest in 2:09. 81
- Dave Ridenour [Costin Lister/Jag] 24th fastest in 2:10.57

Daigh and Ridenour were too slow to make the race. Constantine ran in the top five before dropping out.

One week later at Laguna Seca Constantine qualified on the fourth row, finished 3rd in the first heat and actually led the race for a number of laps [against Lotus 19, Cooper Monaco and Tipo 61s opposition], while Chuck Howard qualified Cunningham's Lister/Jag at the back of the grid, never a player [18th in heat 1]

In the September 11960 Road America Cunningham raced a Lister/Jag for himself, Ed Hugus and Phil Forno. Their best time was 2:58.5. No Lister/Chevy was entered, but the Kelso Lister/Chevy would have been in the range of Dick Thompson's Sting Ray, which did 2:50.0. Even Hansgen's ill-handling E2A did better with a fastest lap of 2:53.1

The above tracks were a combination of the Mickey Mouse genre and the fastest ones in North America, so track lay-out did not make a difference.
all research Willem Oosthoek.
photo Richard Macon

#14 David McKinney

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 18:48

Originally posted by Jerry Entin
A comparison in the U.S. would have to wait until 1960, because the Cunningham Lister/Jags did not appear in professional USAC events until the 1960 Times GP.

Comparisons can certainly be made before that, not in pro events, certainly, but the Cunningham Lister-Jags were racing against private Lister-Chevrolets in SCCA racing throughout 1958 and 1959
Supporting Derek Pitt's post, a quick glance suggests the Cunningham cars were generally superior to Windridge's Corvette version on 1958, though he hurried them along more in 1959

#15 Jerry Entin

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 20:29

David,

Exactly which Lister/Chevy cars might that have been, battling the Cunningham Lister/Jags in SCCA events in 1958 and 1959? There don't seem to have been any others. As I mentioned, the Kelso Lister/Chevy was the only Lister to confront the Cunningham Lister/Jags in those two years. It went through a long development process, with only one overall victory in 1959 [the June Sprints], but by 1960 it was very reliable and in the hands of Constantine, a winning combination, even against Birdcages.

Windridge dropped out at Marlboro 58, Lime Rock 58, Montgomery 58, VIR 58 [while leading the entire Cunningham team], Marlboro 59 [while leading Hansgen's Costin Lister], Montgomery 59 [while leading Hansgen] and RA 500 58. He finished 3rd at VIT 59 after leading Hansgen, then the V8 went on 4-cylinders. The Chevy-engined version had the upper hand in speed, although not in reliability yet.

The only other Lister/Chevy's in SCCA racing in 1958 and 1959 were the ones of Jim Hall, Ronnie Hissom and Jimmy Younger, and they won their share of victories in the southwest [Hondo, Galveston, Independence, Coffeyville]. While they occasionally raced in the professional USAC events [where Briggs did not venture], the Texas Lister/Chevy's never went east and certainly never campaigned against the Cunningham Listers.
all research Willem Oosthoek

#16 Derek Pitt

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 04:24

Very interesting..when I posted this thread I was tempted to head it:

"Lister Jaguar & Lister Corvette - A Comparison - and What About the Birdcage?"


However, I thought the introduction of another largely un-documented, (results-wise in USA anyway), type of car would cloud the basic issue I wanted to determine though....but now .....hmmmmm

I guess also, when talking of the Hansgen driven cars it is necessary to apply what I call a "Moss Factor" to any lap times - I would estimate that Hansgen's times should be increased by approximately 5% to make them directly comparable with cars driven by other US drivers of the time. Was he that good or do I have it wrong again?

Also, did Constantine drive a Lister Corvette after the DBR2, before the DBR2 or during the same period?

Derek

#17 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 05:38

Originally posted by Jerry Entin
The only other Lister/Chevy's in SCCA racing in 1958 and 1959 were the ones of Jim Hall, Ronnie Hissom and Jimmy Younger


Tom Carstens also raced a knobbly Lister/Chevy in 1958. He won the Seafair race with it. Martin Rudow's book "Long Straights and Hairpin Turns" says "...a 266-based Chevy-powered Lister was offered to him by no less than a team of Jim Hall and Carroll Shelby...the engine modified further by Vic Edelbrock..." In Bill Pollack's book "Red Wheels and White Sidewalls...", Bill says, "...Carstens...had it gone over by Bruce Crower of San Diego..."

Posted Image

Tom Carstens knobbly Lister/Chevy, Shelton, Washington, 1958

In 1959, Carstens got a Costin-Lister/Chevy, and according to Rudow, used "...a new 283 Chevy engine also race-prepared by Edelbrock to 338cc. The resulting six-carburetor proved to be troublesome even with Dave Fogg and the rest of Tom's usual crew on hand and not much faster the Knobbly. Tom did manage to win some races with the car..." (later in 1959 and then in 1960). I can attest to the carburetor problems. I remember seeing Carstens in the Lister once at Westwood with huge blowbacks through the carbs coming into turn 2! This Lister is the one currently raced by Rob Walton.

As for driving a Lister, Pollack describes that in his book. Al Dean bought the Carstens Knobbly Lister/Chev and entered Pollack in the 1958 Riverside and Laguna Seca races. "...The problem is that no one at the factory ever drove the car over a 100 mph, because if they had they would have noticed a peculiar tendency for the front end of the car to raise up eight to ten inches. While qualifying for the first Times Grand Prix at Riverside, I found myself travelling in excess of 160 mph on the long downhill straight. As speed increased the front end would rise up, and then the large front wheel bulges would effectively block out everything on either side of the car. I found myself drving at over 200 kilmeters per hour in a four foot wide tunnel. I could see cars ahead of me, but as they drew nearer the cars disappeared behind the Lister bodywork. No one had mentioned this peculiarity, so I went looking for answers. I found Masten Gregory in the pits at Riverside before the mid-October event. Masten had more experience with Listers than anyone I knew. When I explained the problem to him, he nodded and said that they had run into that same thing. I asked Masten what they did about the problem. "Well," he said in that Mid-Western drawl of his, 'We just jacked up the back end.' This was the science of aerodynamics in the years before the wings. We went ahead and ran the car the way it was and I clenched my teeth when passing cars on the long straight..." Bill goes on to describe his hair-raising retirement from that race, and a minor shunt at Laguna Seca, which prompted him to retire from racing. But you'll have to buy the book to read that!

Dean Watts also told me that he did not enjoy racing his Lister-Jaguar (the ex-Moss 1959 Sebring car, BHL123) in historics.

Both the Knobbly and Costin Listers were always among my favorite race cars, but sometimes looks can be deceiving, and some cars that look great are not much fun to drive...but maybe that's another thread topic!

Vince H.

#18 Jerry Entin

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 13:20

Posted Image
Autographed photo by Bob Tronolone of Bill Pollack in the Dean van Lines Lister/Chevy during the 1958 Times GP

Vince, you are right. Bill Pollack ran the Lister/Chevy, the Dean Van Lines Special. Bill ran it in USAC's Times GP in 1958, so I didn't include him as an SCCA participant. But I forgot the car was owned by Tom Carstens before and Tom did race in the SCCA.

Bruce Kessler told me at Elkhart Lake this summer that he considered Bill Pollack to be his mentor in racing.

all research Willem Oosthoek
photo Bob Tronolone - Willem Oosthoek collection

#19 Jerry Entin

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 14:30

Derek:
George Constantine raced all the classics of his time:
1959 Elisha Walker's Aston Martin DBR2
1960 Mrs Boden's Kelso Lister/Chevy
1961 John T. Bunch's Ferrari 250Test Rossa

Before the DBR2 he raced a Jaguar D-type. George quit racing after a heart attack early in 1962. I believe Sebring 1962 was his last race.
all research Willem Oosthoek.

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#20 Jerry Entin

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 14:43

Posted Image
Starting grid of the 1959 Montgomery, New York, SCCA National, with Freddie Windridge's #36 Kelso Lister/Chevy on the pole. He outqualified three Cunningham Lister/Jags, the Sadler/Chevy and Constantine's Aston DBR2.
Photo Dave Nicholas - www.barcboys.com

#21 Doug Nye

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 17:31

"There's no substitoot for coobic inches...or a works-spec XK engine under the hood"... :cool:

DCN

#22 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 18:33

Originally posted by Jerry Entin
Posted Image
Jim Hall's Lister/Chevy
Engine by Raoul Balcaen, put out about 325 horsepower in the day.


Posted Image

I believe this is the Jim Hall Lister/Chevy, Monterey Historic, 2005, listed as BHL 108, owned/driven by John McCaw.

Vince H.

#23 Gary Jarlson

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 18:49

In April '61 there was an SCCA race on an as yet unused portion of McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. Among the notables were Jim Hall (Birdcage), Hap Sharp (Cooper-Maserati) and Ronnie Hissom (Lister-supercharged Chevrolet). The Lister, painted a very pretty pale blue, lasted about 2 laps on Saturday morning and then showered the track with engine parts. Needless to say, it was not seen again. Hall won from Sharp.

#24 Jerry Entin

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 21:22

Gary,

Ronnie Hissom's Lister/Chevy lasted longer than Saturday morning. He finished 4th in Saturday's Prelim, behind Jim Hall [Tipo 61], Hap Sharp [Cooper/Maserati] and Jim Connor [Ferrari/Chevy].

In Sunday's Feature Hissom was running 3rd overall until lap 17, three laps from the finish. That's when he had his major engine woes.
all research Willem Oosthoek.

#25 RA Historian

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 02:57

I believe that the Hissom Lister-Chev is now owned by Syd Silverman, at least as of a couple years ago. What is the history of the Costin Lister-Chev driven by Rob Walton?
Tom

#26 Joe Bosworth

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 03:24

My mind is very hazy on Listers so I have to ask, hoping that somebody can bring clarity.

In the late 1950s there was a Lister Chev that I remember raced in matt black primer paint. I thought it ran out of Maryland, (Kelso?).

I also nearly bought a Lister Chev from Nickey Chevrolet on the north side of Chicago. I was standing there with the asking price in cash in my pocket. A sudden life direction decision came to mind and I didn't buy it.

Some how I believe that both the matt black one and the Nickey one were one in the same.

But how did it get to the Nickey Race Team??

Reagrds

#27 Derek Pitt

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 05:25

Thanks for that Jerry..

I was never sure which car, came when, with Constantine..at first glance, apart from the D type, it looks like he drove slower cars as time went on, but I am not sure what sort of TR he drove. I didnt think any of the beautiful 59/60 TR's made it into private hands.

Loved the Masten Gregory quote about jacking up the rear of the car to counter-act nose lift. I had an idea though, in the back of my mind, that Ecurie Ecosse addressed this issue by extending the body line from the top of the front mudguard back towards the cockpit sides thereby creating a smoother airflow and more down force...but again I am not sure if this is right. I notice none of the cars in the fabulous pictures so far show this modifcation except maybe one of the Cunnungham cars. Further, if I am right, it would be expected that Masten Gregory would have known this and commented on same when asked.

The quote about the guy clenching his teeth and hoping for the best on the fast straights, makes me wonder what Gregory and poor Scott-Brown must have also been clenching, (no crudeness permitted - sorry), as they battled on the ultra-high speed circuit at Spa with such diabolical nose lift.

Derek

#28 Peter Leversedge

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 05:51

How many Jaguar & Chev powered Listers got built ?

#29 David McKinney

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 05:54

Originally posted by Derek Pitt
I didnt think any of the beautiful 59/60 TR's made it into private hands

Yes, they all did, most with NART but also with other US owners such as Jack Nethercutt, George Reed and Dick Hahn

#30 Derek Pitt

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 05:55

Correction

The ex-Jim Hall car photgraphed current day has the extended front wing line.

Derek

#31 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 06:23

Originally posted by RA Historian
What is the history of the Costin Lister-Chev driven by Rob Walton?
Tom


As mentioned in post 17, this Lister-Chev was bought by Tom Carstens in 1959 and raced by him in 1959 and 1960. It was then sold to Lew Florence, who had a fine third in 1962 Northwest GP at Pacific Raceways, Kent, Washington, behind the Lotus 19s of Gurney and Gregory. I talked to Lew a few years ago before he passed away. He said Bonnier's Porsche people didn't give Lew much of a chance, as they thought the car was too old. Lew said, "I lapped him" (Bonnier in the flat 8 Porsche).

In 1963, Florence sold the Lister to young British Columbia university student Bill Stephens. In the 1963 Player's Pacific at Westwood, Stephens finished sixth in the first heat, and held off Pete Lovely in a Lotus 23 in the second heat for fifth overall. That was followed by a win at the Rose Cup Race at West Delta Park (Portland), where Stephens was described in CP as "...doing a satin-smooth job at the wheel of his thundering Lister-Corvette..."

Then at the 1963 Kent USRRC, he is listed as "...spun off course, wrecked..." A few years ago, Bill told me "...I had been running well at the time and was moving up through the field after a rather nervous start. I was beginning to feel that top 5, or even better was in the cards. Then disaster struck. I approached the fast ess curves (about 2/3 way through the lap) at my usual speed of approx. 135 mph. However, since my last time through a small rainstorm had hit on only this part of the track, normally it would not have been too much of a problem, but I was pressing, and lost it at the first part of the curve. I was sure I had saved it sliding up the hill, but to my surprise the car let go again and I hit the left side embankment pretty hard. Probably at about 100mph. I wasn't hurt, but the car was. I was racing on a shoestring budget, and the only way I could pay for the repair work to that aluminum body, was to sell the car...I had planned to race the Lister in California, however the crash I had at PRI ended that plan as I had to sell the car in order to pay for the repairs!!..." Bill now lives in Kelowna, B.C.

Then in 1964, to Stan Bennett. From Martin Rudows book, Bennett says "...I got the car for $5500--it still had a great engine in it..." All I have at the moment is Kent USRRC, May 10, 1964, 16th, 55 laps.

Then Bob Erickson of Portland. The only result I have for him is Laguna Seca USRRC, May 9, 1965, 13th, 62 laps. He was listed in the program for the Kent USRRC too. Don't know where after that.

Vince H.

#32 Derek Pitt

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 06:40

Thanks David

I didn't know that..this forum is magic


Derek

#33 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 06:40

Some photos of the Rob Walton Lister-Chev BHL 124, as raced by Bill Stephens in 1963:

Posted Image Posted Image

Player's Pacific...

Posted Image Posted Image

Rose Cup...

Posted Image

Another Kent race...

Posted Image

Third photo by Ted Langton-Adams, copyright Eric Faulks.

Vince H.

#34 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 06:48

Originally posted by Joe Bosworth
My mind is very hazy on Listers so I have to ask, hoping that somebody can bring clarity.

In the late 1950s there was a Lister Chev that I remember raced in matt black primer paint. I thought it ran out of Maryland, (Kelso?).

I also nearly bought a Lister Chev from Nickey Chevrolet on the north side of Chicago. I was standing there with the asking price in cash in my pocket. A sudden life direction decision came to mind and I didn't buy it.

Some how I believe that both the matt black one and the Nickey one were one in the same.

But how did it get to the Nickey Race Team??

Reagrds


The Nickey Chevrolet Lister sounds like this one?

http://www.motorspor...tail.asp?car=12

Also, I hadn't noticed the thread below...great stuff...sorry if I've recovered old ground!

http://forums.autosp...y=&pagenumber=1

Vince H.

#35 David McKinney

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 08:41

Originally posted by Peter Leversedge
How many Jaguar & Chev powered Listers got built ?

Based principally on information in Doug Nye’s Powered by Jaguar, I calculate there were 17 Jaguar-powered first-series cars (most of them with ‘knobbly’ bodies). One of them was converted more or less straight away to Chevrolet power, joining the six or eight cars raced with the US V8 engine from the outset.
Of the second-series (Costin-bodied) cars, six first raced with Jaguar engines, plus the spaceframe car which would make seven, and ten with Chevrolets, though one of these was converted almost immediately to Jaguar power.
These figures relate to the cars as first supplied - many examples received subsequent engine swaps (in both directions)

#36 Belmondo

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 12:05

Jaguar engine looks & sounds better in my opinion, but in historics they've always looked closely matched in performance. Not strictly relevant to this discussion, but does anyone know of a list showing where all the Listers are now? Be interesting to find out where some of the ones I used to watch in the 1980s have ended up.

#37 David McKinney

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 12:36

Originally posted by Belmondo
does anyone know of a list showing where all the Listers are now?

Doug Nye’s Powered by Jaguar comes pretty close

#38 Joe Bosworth

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 12:41

Raceanounce, thanks for that reference to the Nickey owned BHL 112. The timing is spot on for the timing of my almost purchase.

This leads though to a curious twist to the story as the reference talks about BHL 112 being an ex-Cunningham 3 liter car. I am positive that the form I would have taken delivery on was as a Chev. I noted that my memory on the deal is hazy, (with time), but the fact that it might have been a 3 liter Jag would have stuck with as those were rare and unusual. It would also have made the purchase less interesting from my point of view as it would have had trouble getting out of the way and would have been no real upwards step from the Lotus I was racing at the time.

I have to wonder if Nickey had already converted it to Chev at the time of my almost purchase. If so, they might well have bought the Scarab by the time of the Richard Vogel purchase ant pulled the Chev back out to use as a spare for the Scarab. If so they would have re-installed a Jag to sell to Vogel. This scenario might not be too crazy given: 1. the fact that the Chev and Jag installations noted in the reference you provided says that both engines used the same motor mounts and 2. the fact that Nickey had already had mucho Corvette experience with Jim Jefords and would have very naturally have slipped a Chev in to the Lister before the Scarab opportunity raised its head.

It might be interesting to know what size Jag engine Richard Vogel used during his ownership as obviously he bought it shortly after my almost.

All this is just conjecture on my part but possibly an interesting bit of momentary history.

Regards

#39 Jerry Entin

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 12:56

Vince: Great pictures as always:

And then there was the Costin Lister that did not receive a Jaguar or Chevy engine, but a 4.5-liter Maserati V8. John Edgar bought a new BHL132 without engine and put the unit of his Maserati 450S, chassis 4506, in it. The combination was not a success, although I understand they have recently been reunited again.
all research Willem Oosthoek.

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#40 Joe Bosworth

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 13:08

A second thought on Nickey Race Team and 3 liter Jag powered Lister.

Heavens, wouldn't they have taken out the 3 liter donk just based on the liklihood that it would have been possibly slower, or at least no real upwards step, than the Purple People Eater Vette?

Regards

#41 David McKinney

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 16:36

Jerrry/Willem
I put the John Edgar car under Chevrolet because my understanding was it didn't race with the Maserati engine

Joe
The 3-litre Jaguar engines were built for the FIA regs that came in for 1958, and were a disaster. No-one buying a car with a 3.0 engine would have kept it in :lol:

#42 Jerry Entin

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 17:37

Joe: David is right, that engine was way down on what was avaliable in the states. It wasn't Jaguar's fault. They were just trying to comply to the existing rules. However, after the dismal performance of the 3-liter Jaguar units at Sebring and Le Mans in 1958. The Cunningham team swapped all 3-liter engines in their Listers for 3.8-liter ones. If BHL #112 is indeed a former Cunningham car, it came most likely with a 3.8-liter engine. I have not had time to look up in which class Fred Rediske ran, but next owner Howard Quick ran the Lister during the 1961 and 1962 Road America 500 in CM, hence with a 3.8-liter Jag engine.
all research Willem Oosthoek.

#43 Gary Jarlson

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 19:12

Jerry

Far be it for me to argue with data Oosthoeck has compiled. And memory can be a fickle companion at best. But, here's what I recall: When I saw Hissom's car at tech in Friday night in downtown Las Vegas, I was thrilled that there would an example of American ingenuity to teach these whizzy little "furrin" racers a thing or two. The track, typical of an airport cicuit, was a couple straights connected by some rather quick corners. At 18 and just emerging from my hot rod days, I was certain that the awesome horsepower that supercharged Chevy just had to make would leave everyone gasping in Hissom's dust.

During Saturday morning practice my hopes were first buoyed when I saw Hissom go by a couple of times and then dashed when someone said, "Hissom just blew up in a big way." Walking past his paddock spot, I saw his crew thrashing on what appeared to be a serious motor problem. And later, before the Saturday prelim for the big modifieds, while crews were busy getting the Hall and Sharp cars ready, Hissom's sat there with no one around (may it had been fixed and all was well.)

While I'll admit I didn't see the Saturday prelim as I was helping get our three cars ready, I did watch the Sunday main event from right by start-finish and I don't recall ever seeing Hissom in the Lister on the track. When we walked back to our paddock area later, the car wasn't even where it had been parked the day before. Is it possible that Hissom drove another car and the results were not updated to reflect that he was not in the Lister?

One other recollection causes me to question Hissom's running the car. I worked for the local newspaper then and I ran into our photographer who was covering the race. I told I wanted a picture of that glorious Lister for my own gratification When I ask him for the picture a couple of days later at the office, he said he'd never seen the car on the track.

Regards

Gary

#44 Derek Pitt

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 21:32

Originally posted by Doug Nye
"There's no substitoot for coobic inches...or a works-space XK engine under the hood"... :cool:

DCN


Well, I think Doug Nye's quote really paraphrases the reasons for starting this thread.

My original question being was there any real advantage in substituting a Corvette engine in place of the Jaguar XK?

It is well known that, following the withdrawal of the works team, Sir William Lyons used both Brian Lister's team and the Cunningham team as de-facto works teams, particularly so in the latter case because the US was clearly Jaguar's biggest marketplace.

On this basis it is reasonable to assume that both teams got "works-space", (? -whatever that means), Jaguar engines, plus from memory, each team also had a tuning wizard - Don Moore at Lister and Alfred Momo at Cunningham.

I guess that meant a big advantage to those teams, but what of the "lesser lights" - was it easier for them to discard the "cooking" Jaguar D type engine and replace it with the larger more readily and accessibly tuned Corvette? It would be inreresting to know the relative HP and torque characteristics of both engines.

I agree that the Jaguar engine looks better and sounds immeasurably better, but looking and sounding pretty probably doesnt mean a lot to a driver who is trundling round in 4th or 5th place.

The less said about the 3 litre Jaguar engine the better I think !

Derek

#45 Jerry Entin

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 00:29

Posted Image

Gary,

You got bamboozled by your newspaper photographer way back in 1961.
Motor Racing Magazine from Willem Oosthoek collection.

#46 RA Historian

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 01:44

Vince,

Thanks much for your very complete history of the Walton Lister-Chev. I appreciate it.

Tom

#47 RA Historian

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 01:55

Originally posted by Joe Bosworth
It might be interesting to know what size Jag engine Richard Vogel used during his ownership as obviously he bought it shortly after my almost.

Vogel bought the Lister over the winter of 1959-60 from Nickey. It was raced out of his Milrace Motors car dealership, and was dark blue in color. It had the 3.0 liter engine in it, and I saw it race a number of times in 1960 in Class DM, the 3.0 class. As you might surmise, it really did not do anything of note in that class. When it was sold in 1961 to Howard Quick, he quickly (sorry) put a larger Jag six in it, although I cannot say if it was the 3.4 or 3.8 liter unit. Contrary to the ad referenced earlier, the car did race in 1967 in Dick Dagiel's hands, with a Chevy V-8 in it. I particularly remember it running in an SCCA race at Milwaukee where the hood came undone on the front straight, flew off the car, up, up, and over the fence into the grandstands. Though this was a spectator race, fortunately that portion of the grandstand was empty. Actually, most of the grandstand was empty! Dagiel also drove the car in the 1967 Road America 500.

It was sold to Nickey with the 3.0, but whether or not it had a Chevy put in and taken out prior to sale is a good question. Joe Bosworth's recollections and musings are quite thought provoking. We know that Nickey never raced it. Nickey bought the Scarab in concert with Jeffords who was a part owner very early in the 1959 season and its first race in Nickey purple was Pomona in, what, March or April of 1959. Hence, the Lister, believed to be owned by Nickey prior to the purchase of the Scarab, was not owned by Cunningham at the time of the 1959 Sebring. Which raises the question was it one of the two 58 cars raced by Briggs with 3.8 engines but sold with a 3.0 left over from Sebring 1958, or was it a completely different car, unraced by Briggs, but merely passing through his hands on its way to a new owner?

Tom

#48 RA Historian

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 02:07

Originally posted by Derek Pitt
I was never sure which car, came when, with Constantine..at first glance, apart from the D type, it looks like he drove slower cars as time went on, but I am not sure what sort of TR he drove. I didnt think any of the beautiful 59/60 TR's made it into private hands.

The Constantine Ferrari was 0746, built in 1958 with a V-6 engine. Shortly thereafter it was re-engineered with a V-12. Later it was purchased by Chinetti for the Rodriguez family, and at that time it acquired the TR-59/60 body. It then went to John Bunch, who ran it in 1961 for George Constantine, with a win at the Watkins Glen National being the year's high point.
Tom

#49 Joe Bosworth

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 04:38

RA Historian, your fill in details of Nickey's ownership of the Lister 3.0 Jag is valuable from a small part of history perspective.

I can absolutely tell you that it did not have the 3.0 donk in it when I was satnding there with money in pocket deciding whether to buy or not.

If it had had the 3.0 in it I wouldn't even have been standing there. The fact that it came to Nickey with the 3.0 and it went to Vogel with the 3.0 at least tells me something.

My decision point was whether I wanted to devote myself to moving up to the top performance class nationally and all that entails versus staying with small bore stuff that I was doing for fun in conjunction with a good business career. The 3.0 engine would have been barely faster than my Lotus and would not have put me in with the really top guys which the big Jag or Chev power would have.

Others: Sports Cars Illustrated, July 1958 provided a Technical Report on Listers. They reported the Chev 283 cu inch, 4.64 liter, Chev engine as having 290 Hp at 6200 and 290 ft pounds of torque at 4400 rpm. I suspect the good tuners were doing more than that but I might resarch around for some other such Chev data of the period.

By comparison, other contemporay analysis gave the 250 HP at 6000 rpm for the customer 3.4s in various cars in 1957. This later rose to 260 HP at 6000 and 260 ft lbs at 4000 rpm for customer cars.

The Archie Scott-Brown 3.8 Lister was quoted as having 300 HP at unspecified revs which is backed by the factory 3.8s being quoted as 306 HP in another contemporary reference.

I guess this all says that customer Chev was quite a bit better than the customer 3.4 Jags and probably pretty line ball with the factory supported 3.8s.

With time the Chevs took ascendancy as by then the Jag engine had reached its zenith while the Chev development was in its infancy.

Hope this adds useful info.

Regards

#50 David McKinney

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 06:30

Originally posted by RA Historian
Which raises the question was it one of the two 58 cars raced by Briggs with 3.8 engines but sold with a 3.0 left over from Sebring 1958, or was it a completely different car, unraced by Briggs, but merely passing through his hands on its way to a new owner?

I'm not at all sure about this, but throw it in for what it's worth:
I believe the Nickey car was not one of the two Cunningham 3.8s campaigned in 1958, but a third car. My notes don't say what size Jaguar engine it had but it would make sense for it to have been a 3.0 for Sebring, and not used again after that (or kept as a backup?)