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Do you sometimes wake up in the middle of the night thinking, “How can I be more like Sir Stirling Moss?” Are you looking for the perfect way to outdo your precocious hipster-cum-nouveau riche pal who drives a replica Porsche 550 Spyder with a Volkswagen engine? Have you got $1.3 million burning a hole in the pocket of your Italian unicorn silk trousers? Well sir, have we got a car for you in the Knobbly.
Its official title is the “Lister Jaguar Knobbly Stirling Moss.” If you’re not familiar with the Lister marque, the small but resourceful tuning house has been crafting quick Jags since the 1950s and has competed at the highest levels, including the 24-hours-of Le Mans with their Gran Tourismo special the Storm.
The Knobbly is an achingly beautiful hand-crafted recreation of a vintage Jaguar racer from the famed tuning house. The original car was driven by Moss, and these recreations are said to be built to his exact specification. It only comes in Moss’ green and yellow racing livery.
What exactly contributes to the retro racer’s high price tag? For one thing, it features largely magnesium construction, both in the body and in the car’s running gear. Even the engine sump and differential casing are made using the lightweight metal, which is notoriously difficult to work with.
Speaking of engines, the Knobbly uses a 3.8-liter Jaguar straight six, the engine that made the D-Type famous. In Lister guise, it delivers 337 horsepower and nearly 300 ft. lbs. of torque through a four-speed transmission, which means that despite its dated build sheet, the Knobbly is no slouch. Top speed? A cool 184 mph. Hope your goggles fit well.
Since there aren’t any original Knobblies still running, the ten that Lister has built represent the only examples of the car in the world. Each unit is approved for FIA historic racing events, but given the exorbitant price and limited production run, don’t hold your breath looking for one at the track.
It’s hard to call the Knobbly “value-oriented,” but it does bare noting that cross-shopping competition from the same year, for example a vintage Aston Martin or Bugatti racer, would yield a much higher price. There, see — you can rationalize the purchase to your significant other that way.
Rumor has it that the Knobbly’s ten lucky owners will take delivery of the car from Sir Stirling himself, so even if the car won’t make you a legendary racecar driver, it might help you meet one.