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Autoart's E-Type Jaguar will create a stir

By Mark Savage
Published: September 24, 2013
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One of my favorite early toys was a Jaguar XKE, a red metallic Matchbox car. I loved it for its shape, that long, lean hood and its rounded tail. It was exotic.

I'm not alone in my love for the early-1960s 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 I Jaguars, made from 1961–1968, are noted collector cars, even if their electronics were a bit sketchy.

Now comes Autoart's long-awaited version in 1/18 scale, and although it will be available in a variety of colors, the review model is a gorgeous Carmen Red — perfect!

For 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. Although it might not seem like much today, the Jaguar punched out 265 horses and delivered a top speed of 150 mph — exotic, indeed.

Jaguar's E-Type delivered a sporty exotic look and strong performance — a Jaguar hallmark at the time. Jaguars have won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France seven times, including three consecutive years from 1955–1957. This car carried on that performance heritage, but added a luxury edge with a well-finished leather interior.
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Autoart's Jaguar captures the E-Type's glamor, its shape and its exotic nature in detail, which is only fair for a model that lists at $245.90.

Is it worth that? Yes!

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

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

The finish is exquisite, from the glossy silk 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; 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.

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!

In back, the cargo area looks like black leather with silver ribs to facilitate loading and unloading. I only wish there were a couple of leather-sided suitcases or duffels back there, or maybe a helmet bag.

Collectors who appreciate groundbreaking automotive design and fine diecast model finish will want an Autoart E-Type Coupe. The hardest choice may be deciding which color to buy.

Vital Stats
Product: Jaguar E-Type Coupe Series 1
Maker: Autoart
Scale: 1/18
Stock No.: 73614
MSRP: $245.90

Prefer 1:1 cars? Visit www.savageonwheels.com to read full-size new car and truck reviews and see videos by Mark Savage.
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