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September 28, 2013

Die-cast: Autoart E-Type Jaguar

by Mark Savage

Beautiful E-Type one of Autoart’s best efforts 

One of my favorite early toys was a Jaguar XKE, a metallic red Matchbox car. I loved it for its shape, that long lean hood and its rounded tail. It was exotic.jag1

I’m not alone in my love for the early 1960’s E-Type, it was a landmark design that stirred the automotive world, and still does. The E-Type was unveiled at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show to rave reviews and the early Series 1 Jags, made from 1961-’68, are noted collector cars, even if their electronics were a bit sketchy.

Now comes Autoart’s long-awaited version in 1:18 scale, and while it will be available in a variety of colors, the review model is a glorious Carmen Red – perfect!

jag5For the record, the rear-drive E-Type featured a 3.8-liter DOHC 6-cylinder engine with aluminum head and twin cams and three SU carbs. While it might not seem like much today, the Jag punched out 265 horses and delivered a top speed of 150 mph – exotic indeed.

Jag’s E-Type delivered both a sporty exotic look and strong performance, a Jaguar hallmark at the time. Jags have won the 24 Hours of LeMans in France seven times including three years straight from 1955-57. This car carried on that performance heritage, but added a luxury edge with a well finished leather interior.

The Details!

Autoart’s Jaguar captures the E-Type’s glamor, its shape and its exotic nature in detail, which is only fair for model that lists at $245.90.jag2

Is it worth that? Yes!

Start with the parts count. There are 516 metal and plastic parts here with more than half of those being metal, plus 24 photo-etched and 61 chrome-plated parts. For instance all grills and air inlets and outlets are photo etched, including the radiator.

The stainless steel wheels have hand-installed spokes for the wire wheels, similar to CMC models that cost easily $150 more. The Jag’s door handles, windshield frame, wipers, bumpers and headlight frames all are chrome-plated and well detailed to give the model an authentic look too.

Yes, this is a right-hand drive model ... hey, it was a British car!

Yes, this model is right-hand drive … hey, the Jaguar is a British car!

Finish is exquisite, from the glossy silky red paint scheme to the beautifully executed fit for the forward-opening hood, the doors and the side-opening rear hatch. The gas filler door opens to reveal a chrome gas cap and the glass-enclosed headlights, an E Type hallmark, look realistic. Also impressive is the delicate chrome metal trim that extends straight up the hood from the headlights.Autoart produces a sharp engine bay with proper piping, wiring and detail, while underneath the car features a detailed suspension. You probably won’t look at either of those too often though as this model looks best with the hood down to reflect its sleek lines.

The engine bay is well detailed under the rear-opening hood.

The engine bay is well detailed under the rear-opening hood.

Inside, the black interior is nothing short of spectacular, with real leather seats. You read that right, these are not molded plastic. I appreciate the finely detailed dash gauges too. Think how much work that is when you’re crafting a plastic model. This diecast model also includes a chrome shifter and parking brake lever.The Jaguar’s large wood-look wheel with its three-spoke metal sport hub is impressive too, complete with holes in the hub’s spokes. Very sporty!

Love the rear hatch that opens like a door and helps the E-Type maintain its slim lines.

Love the rear hatch that opens like a door and helps the Jaguar E-Type maintain its slim lines.

In back the cargo area looks like black leather with silver ribs to facilitate loading and unloading. I only wish there were a couple leather-sided suitcases or duffels back there, or maybe a helmet bag.Collectors who appreciate ground-breaking automotive design and fine diecast model finish will want an Autoart E-Type Coupe. The hardest choice may be deciding which color to collect.

FAST Stats: Jaguar E-Type Coupe Series 1

Maker: Autoart

Scale: 1:18

Stock No.: 73614

MSRP: $245.90

Rating: 5 stars

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