The 1959 Lister Jaguar

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The 1959 Lister-Jaguar is the first result of the teaming of Frank Costin with Brian Lister Ltd., as their Chief Designer. It is understandable that the first major change would be to body shape.

The bodywork of the 1959 Lister-Jaguar is, by modern standards, relatively conventional, embodying the results of lessons learnt over the years from previous designs and tests. The moulded screen/high tail arrangement is a logical development of the one originally designed by Mr. Costin for the class-winning Le Mans Lotuses of 1957. This arrangement has since been used by various other manufacturers. However, a tonneau cover, which is subject of a patent and is essential to the whole conception, will be added later.

The designer has aimed at overall cleanness, the sole offending blister being necessary to accommodate the Jaguar engine. This excrescence, however, is made to serve also as a “convection release” of the under bonnet air. For various reasons it was decided not to place the engine on its side at this stage.

In all earlier designs Mr Costin has made use of a fully ducted radiator; it is interesting to note, therefore, that this vehicle has merely an entry duct. It is possible that further developments may include ducting aft of the radiator. Cold air is taken from the relatively static region to the rear of the front wheel well via the oil cooler and thence to the cockpit – the considerable depression in this latter being responsible for the cooling flow.

The inboard disc brakes at the rear are cooled by the method used so successfully on the Vanwall, in which the hot boundary layer of air is scraped from the disc while a considerable volume of cold air is closely ducted around it via a raised intake in the under tray. (Ducts and attachments for this system weigh less than 2 lb.) A duct around the finned rear cover serves to cool the Salisbury final-drive unit.

The cockpit, which by any standards is both roomy and comfortable, is still the subject of detail testing and development and, in its final form, will be fully air-conditioned, driver comfort being, in a designer’s opinion a “must.” Another aspect of driver comfort on this latest car is the new seats designed by Cox and Co. (Watford) Ltd. These new seats are certainly the last word in seating design.

Frontal area is low for a vehicle of this engine capacity and, when coupled with the expected low drag coefficient. should yield maximum speeds in the region of 180 m.p.h. from 250 b.h.p.. Equipped with the 3.8-litre 300-b.h.p. Jaguar engine for British and United States circuits this car should have an interesting performance.

D. Barton, Lister’s chief racing mechanic, will accompany the cars to all meetings this year together with a team from the works. Don Moore, who has his own business in Cambridge, will be in charge of the engine tuning.

Chassis details remain, at this stage, unchanged, with one important exception; for 1959 Dunlop disc brakes will be used. Therefore tyres, wheels and brakes on the 1959 Listers are now all made by the same organisation.

Drivers for the works cars during 1959 are Ivor Bueb and Bruce Halford. Other drivers may be added to the team from time to time; for instance, in long-distance events such as the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Nürburgring 1,000 kilometres races.