There’s no doubt that the Jaguar XJS was a fantastic grand tourer but, as the replacement for the legendary E-type, it seemed a little bit conservative. Then a tuning company using the revived Lister name transformed it into a 200mph supercar!
The relationship between Lister and Jaguar goes back almost 50 years, and is synonymous with sports car racing. Brian Lister began building his giant-killing sports-racers in 1954, but it wasn’t until 1957, when Sir William Lyons offered him the engines and gearboxes from the ageing Jaguar D-type, that Lister achieved international success.
Lister designed and built a lightweight chassis around the Jaguar mechanicals, and clothed it in a slippery aerodynamic body. These Lister ‘Knobblies’ swept all before for them for the next few years, winning countless races in the UK, Europe and America.
Legendary names such as Stirling Moss, Archie Scott-Brown and Masten Gregory all scored victories at the wheel of Lister-Jaguars, often defeating the works Aston Martins in the process.
The Lister name eventually faded away until 1986, when it was revived by an engineer named Laurence Pearce. His new company, Lister-Cars Ltd, was based in Surrey and modified only about 90 Jaguar XJS’s, which were marketed as Lister-Jaguars.
Turning the XJS into an insanely powerful 200mph+ supercar required some very extensive modifications. For starters, the 5.3-litre engine was increased in size to six litres which, at the time, made the Lister-Jaguar capable of a 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds, bettering that of the Ferrari Testarossa. A five-speed Getrag manual gearbox was installed, and the suspension and brakes were uprated to cope with the extra power.
The bodykit featured widened wheelarches, a front air dam and a rear spoiler, turning the docile XJS into an aggressive and muscular brute with the looks to match its performance.
The Lister Jaguar XJS cost £167,000 back in 1989 – amazingly five times more than the donor XJS!
Our car offered here is, we understand a one-off conversion made as a retirement present for one of Listers Directors. Converted in 1989, it was the first and only Lister conversion to have a six speed Getrag manual gearbox installed that year. As if the six litre engine wasn’t enough the engine was bored out to seven litres so that it now kicked out 600bhp and a new sports exhaust system was added.
The exterior upgrade is very subtle on this Car – apparently the retiring Director didn’t want to appear to be too flashy, so only minimal body changes were made – the front air dam with a smaller rear spoiler – giving the car a very ‘classy’ XJS look – hiding the ‘beast that lurks beneath’, the Exhaust System, 18” Extra Wide Wheels and Brembo Brakes.
An extremely rare opportunity to own a unique piece of British Motoring History!
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