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  Article Image gallery (44) BHL 1 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1956
Numbers built:1
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:March 23, 2020
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Click here to download printer friendly versionDuring the first half of the 1950s, talented engineer Brian Lister and aspiring young racing driver Archie Scott Brown formed a successful partnership. Lister would build the cars that Scott Brown would race with great verve despite missing much of his left under-arm. The earliest Listers were powered by MG and Bristol engines but for the 1956 season, Lister managed to acquire a two-litre Maserati A6 GCS engine. Around the Italian straight-six, he built up a brand new car for Scott Brown to race.

Mated to a Maserati four-speed gearbox, the all-aluminium twin-cam engine was mounted in Lister's steel tubular frame. While it was a brand new chassis, the previously used identity BHL 1 was recycled the Lister Maserati. The existing Lister design was modified to suit the particularities of the Maserati engine. As before the suspension was through double wishbones at the front and a DeDion rear axle. The geometry was perfectly suited to Scott Brown's spectacular driving style; he was once described by the great Juan Manuel Fangio as the 'King of Drift'.

One of the reasons for the switch to Maserati for the works effort was the engine's relatively low height. This allowed the tightly wrapped body to be even lower than before, reducing the frontal area by a startling 20%. Its design was inspired by the MG EX179 record breaker. Keeping the weight down was crucial, so the body was constructed from aluminium. Further weight was saved by using Girling discs brakes. In addition to offering a performance advantage, there also was a close to 20 kg weight saving compared to the drums previously used.

Not only did Lister recycle the chassis number, the Lister Maserati also sported the 'MER 303' registration number of the earlier works car. The car was raced exclusively by Scott Brown throughout the 1956 season. The results that year were a bit of a mix bag as amidst the technical issues and disappointing results, Scott Brown did manage to score several victories. It was not enough to convince Lister to continue with Maserati power. Instead, the 1957 works Lister featured a Jaguar engine. The rest, so they say, is history.

As a result, the Lister Maserati remained a one-off. Following its spell as a works car, it was sold to a private owner and raced by Allan Moore during the 1957 and 1958 seasons. The unique machine, and its Maserati engine, have survived. In recent years been returned to the racing track for historic events on both sides of the Atlantic.

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  Article Image gallery (44) BHL 1 Specifications