By Maz Woolley
The latest release in the Atlas Jaguar Collection is a Jaguar Mark 10. I have deliberately written Mark 10, and not Mark X, because that is how Jaguar badged the car. A brand new unitary bodied car it owned little to the Mark IX which preceded it.
The Mark X was the first Jaguar saloon to feature independent rear suspension, it used a wider-track version of the unit first seen on the E Type. The front suspension used double wishbones with coil springs and telescopic dampers. The car initially featured a 3781 cc version of Jaguar’s XK in-line six-cylinder engine but at the London Motor Show in October 1964 the enlarged 4,235 cc unit became available. Just over 19,000 were made before the 420G was introduced in 1966 so it was a much rarer car than the E Type or Mark 2. Both elements of the styling of the Mark 10 and its components lived on in the Daimler DS limousine.
Gearbox options were manual, manual with overdrive, automatic, or automatic with overdrive. Many cars for the UK, and almost all cars destined for the vital North American markets, left the factory with a Borg Warner automatic gear-box. Brakes were power assisted disks all round, essential on such a heavy and fast car. Around 120 miles per hour was achievable which was faster than many contemporary sports cars. Power assisted steering was standard.
For such a scarce vehicle it has been widely modelled. The contemporary Matchbox model is arguably one of the best models Lesney made in the regular wheels series. The Husky made by Corgi for Woolworths was also a good model. In larger sizes the Dinky and Corgi models were excellent too. In France Norev made it in their 1:43 scale range of plastic models. The Norev model has made several re-appearances since under Norev label and as a partwork model.
White metal models have been made over the years, the Gems and Cobwebs GC10 for example, which is now rather dated. The current 1:43 scale resin model from Neo is probably the best model currently available. Atlas Jaguar models had, to date, appeared to be sourced from existing moulds already used in other series by PCT/Ixo but I cannot find any such predecessor in this case. The use of triangular inset screws on baseplate of car as well as holding it to the base suggests that the origin is probably PCT/Ixo. It may be that this mould will now be used to produce models for other ranges.
The Atlas model is painted in a maroon colour which is often seen in period advertising material. The model itself is very good apart from a few compromises common on budget models. On the plus side the model captures the shape of the original beautifully and has wonderful flush glazing with really delicately printed chrome window surrounds. It has separate door handles neatly modelled and fitted correctly, as well as a very good grille, round intakes and front lights. The sidelight is even modelled in as a small separate item. The front indicator and rear light clusters are coloured paint on silver plastic components which are perfectly acceptable on a model in a budget range. Inside the car the front seats have the drop down tables moulded into their backs and there is a wood effect dash with nicely printed instruments. Even the door handles inside have been picked out in silver which gives it a level of finish often only found in more expensive ranges.
So what are the things that are not as good as I would like. Firstly the printed silver rubbing strip along the sides is too thick and heavy and could do with breaking at the door gaps. Secondly the car sits a little high on its wheels. Thirdly the rear of the seats should be partially wood finished like the dash board. Finally the number plates say MKX 62 and I would prefer real numbers.
All in all this is a respectable model and is a welcome addition to the collection.
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