Category Archives: Matrix

Jaguar Station Wagons

By John F. Quilter

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

A brief history of Jaguar Station Wagons: some in 1:43 scale.

Station wagons have always been part of the motoring scene in Europe although perhaps not as large a part of the market as they were in the USA from the early 1950s to the 1980s when mini vans and SUVs and more recently crossover vehicles began to displace them in popularity. In England in the 1930s there were custom built station wagons which the English called ‘Estate Cars‘ due to their popularity as utility vehicles on and around country estates,  or in some cases Shooting Brakes which were designed to carry shooting parties to the shoot with their guns,  ammunition, and refreshment. These were often wood framed body conversions on a production chassis. Woodies in American lingo. There were such conversions on Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and even Allard cars not to mention the more common Fords such as the Ford Pilot. Like in the USA these were often built by speciality body builders making for quite a variety of styles over the decades. The Morris Minor Traveller, a wood bodied estate was an in house project and was made by BMC and British Leyland from 1953 to the end of production in 1971 and it may well have been one of larger volume longest running estates, production wise. By the end of the 1950s, all metal wagons became the norm and BMC produced some of these such as the Morris Oxfords and Austin Cambridge. Others from their rivals  included Ford Consul (body conversion by Farnham) and Vauxhall Victor and Cresta PA, (body conversion by Friary and in some cases Grosvenor). Others built estate cars in house like Rootes Group whose Hillman Minx and Hillman Husky were factory built and Standard Triumph whose Standard Vanguard and 8/10, Triumph Herald, and Triumph 2000 ranges all offered  factory built estate cars. All these were lower line, or mid line, family cars where the estate car market was larger than the market for estate car versions of luxury cars. Jaguar being an up market product left the limited demand for wagons to speciality builders who often did only a handful for specific (and well healed) customers.

 

A little research on the Jaguar side shows that there were estate car conversions of the Mark II, Mark IX, and others such as the Lynx Eventer shooting break conversion on the mid 1980s to 1990s XJS and during the same era there was the Ladbroke-Avon conversion of the Jaguar XJ6/XJ12 Series III sedan. Compared to the XJ40 estate wagon prototype and conversions, the Series III did not lend itself as well to an estate modification. Its wide C pillar and slopping deck lid made for a bit of a strange look for the wagon. Its rear hatch with the oversize window seemed awkward as well as the large trapezoidal shaped rear side window.

The next generation of Jaguar saloon (the XJ40 body) was the base for some better looking and handsome estate conversions and it is known that two were built, designed by Chris Humberstone of Chris Humberstone Design Ltd. in 1988 for Hatfields of Sheffield and apparently a third one was built for an American customer and has been seen at some club events. The XJ40 conversion comes off as a better more integrated design than the Series III. The Series III retained the dual fuel tanks although with relocated fuel fillers. The entire conversion was in metal without any use of fibreglass panels. There was a also an official Jaguar XJ40 estate prototype built which never went into production. Quite handsome, it differed from the others in the D pillar area and rear hatch. In silver with lattice wheels it escaped a prototype destruction has been spotted at the Lincolnshire North Jaguar Enthusiasts Club events in the UK and differs in colour from the Humberstone designed one often seen in dark blue with lattice wheels, or wires wheels on the LHD version.

Going back to the XJS this conversion was done by Lynx Engineering who were formed in 1973 in Sussex and were known for C and D Type replicas and a few XJS convertibles before Jaguar got in the business for the USA 1989 model year. After their XJS convertibles, Lynx did have another variation on the XJS theme and this was the Eventer which was a shooting break conversion with a large rear hatch giving access to a long flat floor to accommodate luggage or whatever one puts in a shooting brake. All together Lynx produced about 67 of these, 52 in pre-facelift style and 15 post facelift, 18 left hand drive and 49 right hand drive. And just a few were made using the AJ6 six cylinder engine. The prototype of the Eventer was shown in 1982 and the last production was in 2002.

The Mark II station wagon, of which only one was made, known as a County, was produced from an idea by Mike Hawthorn who commissioned coach builders Jones Brothers to undertake the conversion. Unfortunately the car was only finished following his death. It became known as the MK II Country. Jaguar ended up using the car as fast assistance car for the factory racing saloons.

I also include a Mark IX conversion which although billed as a hearse it could well pass for a station wagon with some re-configuring of the interior. Fairly attractively modified from the sedan and devoid of an exaggerated raised roof it could have doubled as an estate car. It was an early example of a car with a hatchback. Details of the maker of this conversion are not readily available but it was produced before Jaguar’s launch of the Daimler DS420 cars which were loosely based on some of the mechanicals of the Mark X saloon. Being a much larger car it was more suitable for a conversion to a hearse and there were many various conversions done over this car’s long production run.

And finally, there is Jaguar’s first in-house production wagon, the X Type, the first Jaguar designed by Ian Callum and launched a few years after the saloon version. Known as the Sportwagon in the USA it was not a big seller but was notable as the first true Jaguar production wagon. A pity, as it seemed a useful and well-designed variation of the X Type but it carried the same Ford Mondeo stigma as the sedan.

In the ever comprehensive world of 1:43 scale models each of the above mentioned cars have been replicated in miniature either in the past or currently. The earliest being the Mark IX which was done by two model makers, the French company Provence Moulage as a resin kit and as a fully built model by Milestone Miniatures in white metal. Both are rare and long out of production. Provence Moulage also did the Mark II County as a resin kit. Moving to more recent items the Ladbroke Avon Series III XJ wagon is a product of Matrix scale models www.matrixscalemodels.com It was produced in pale primrose or light metallic blue and also has some chassis detail. However, these resin collectable replicas are produced in limited production numbers (albeit greater that the real car) and would now only be available on the secondary market.

The Lynx Eventer was done a number of years ago in resin as a kit by Provence Moulage in France. It came with BBS type accessory wheels, left hand drive and decals for the bonnet and hatch. The more recent Eventer was a Premium X model in a dark metallic blue, right hand drive and a biscuit interior. A fair amount of chassis detail is also provided. Wheels are the “starfish” type. Judging by the weight this item metal diecast. Interestingly, Matrix also did an Eventer, in light metallic blue but this one is a resin item.

The pictured Mark II County is a long obsolete built kit by Provence Moulage but more recently Matrix, who often seem to find rare and unique Jaguars to replicate, have produced a black County in resin with disc wheels. Certainly the Matrix version would be easier to find currently.

Going still more modern we have the circa 1988-1990 XJ6 wagon in dark metallic blue produced in miniature by NEO scale models. http://neoshop.replicars.nl/index.php. At this writing this model is currently available.

And finally, we have a replica of the first production Jaguar wagon, the X Type Sportwagon. This one was done by Premium X under their number PR095 in silver with left hand drive and even a tiny leaper on the hood, and some chassis detail showing the dual exhaust systems and suspension. The interior is two tone black and grey.

Although not truly a station wagon there is already a replica of the F Pace produced in 1:43 scale and model collectors eagerly await one of the Chinese based model makers to launch an XF Sport Break in 1:43 scale. Will it be NEO, Matrix, or Premium X all who have all done multiple Jaguars in the past?


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Massive Matrix

By Maz Woolley

All text by, and copyright of Maz Woolley. Photographs supplied and copyright of the Manufacturer.

55 years ago in 1963 the Porsche 901 was first shown to the public at the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (Frankfurt Motor Show).  By 1964 the first cars were reaching the hands of garages for sale as the 901 but when it was shown at the Paris Motor Show Peugeot pointed out that they had already registered numbers with a 0 (zero) in the middle and Porsche had to rename the car and chose to call it the  911 a name which is still with us today.

The work on what became the 911 started in the late 1950s with sketches by Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche  of a larger and faster replacement for the 356. The 911 when launched had a boxer six cylinder engine of 2 litres and could seat two small rear passengers as well as driver and front seat passenger.

We have recently seen a trend for model makers to produce to larger scales with lots of 1:18 and quite a few 1:12 scale models launched recently. But here Matrix go even bigger presenting a museum standard scale model made in China in Resin for the Netherlands to 1:6 scale. It has taken almost 2 years for Matrix to develop this large model. A small team of engineers has worked on this and has had a few false starts and the need to rework many parts as they have worked to  capture a car in this large scale for the first time. It takes more than 245 parts build this car. Even the smallest light bulbs and the seat rails are modelled as are the Porsche logo on the horn and the under bonnet grille.

Matrix have launched the car in silver metallic and bahama yellow. It is also possible to get Matrix to make a ‘bespoke’ version build to your own specifications at extra cost.

All photographs have been supplied by Matrix and show a very impressive model for Porsche 911 fans. The model will take up a lot of display space as it is well over two feet in length!

I wonder how many more very large scale models we will see from resin producers over the next year?

 


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Matrix Models Announced to May 2018

By Maz Woolley

All photographs are of prototypes supplied by Matrix

Matrix have now announced a whole group of new models shipping over the next few months. Most of these are also new mouldings being seen for the first time in their range. As ever luxury coach built vehicles are to the fore.  Some models do not yet have a prototype ready to be shown but most do and these are shown below.

A re-colour of an existing model is expected in March

MX10108-053 Aston Martin DB5 Shooting Brake by Harold Radford 1964 Silver

 

All the remaining vehicles listed are wholly new models.

No prototype picture available

MXLM03-1608 Pegaso Z-102 BS 2.5 Cupola Coupe yellow 1953 LOUWMAN MUSEUM COLLECTION Expected April

 

MX41002-091 Jensen Interceptor Series II FF 1970 silver Expected April

 

MX41302-111 Mercedes-Benz 770 Cabriolet D (W07) Hermann Göring 1937 Blue Expected April

 

MX41302-121 Mercedes-Benz 770 Cabriolet D 1938 black Expected April

 

MX50806-041 Hispano-Suiza H6B Park Ward Coupe #11608 1927 green Expected April

 

MXLM03-1705 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith LWB Special Saloon Vignale 1954 silver LOUWMAN MUSEUM COLLECTION Expected April

 

MX41302-131 Mercedes-Benz 500K Spezial Stromlinienwagen Tan Tjoan Keng 1935 white Expected May

 

No prototype picture available

MX41607-071 Porsche 356 America Roadster 1952 green Expected May

 

MX50307-021 Cord L-29 Speedster by LaGrande 1931 maroon and cream Expected May

 

No prototype picture available

MX50406-021 Duesenberg JN 559-2587 Rollston 1935 brown
Expected May

 

MX51601-011 Packard Super 8 Sport Sedan by Darrin 1940 green Expected May

 

MX51705-081 Rolls-Royce Phantom Tourer by Barker #820R 1929 yellow and aluminium Expected May

 

MX51705-251 Rolls-Royce Freestone & Webb Silver Wraith Limousine #FLW26 1957 maroon and black Expected May

 

MX52108-021 Voisin C28 Aerosport silver 1935 Expected May

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Matrix October to December 2017

By Maz Woolley

Matrix have recently announced some new models. The release dates for these extend up to the end of the year. All the models of the prototypes shown will be made in resin to 1:43 scale in China for the Netherlands.

As has become usual these days for Matrix all the vehicles modelled are small volume coach built vehicles.

MX11502-051 Opel Admiral B LWB Miesen Ambulance beige 1970

Expected October

MX50102-061 Alfa Romeo 6C Berlinetta Sport Castagna grey 1939

Expected October

MX40406-031 Duesenberg SJ 533-2582 Town Car LWB Bohman & Schwartz black 1935

Expected November

MX41001-111 Jaguar MKII Country Estate black 1963

Expected November

MX41302-111 Mercedes-Benz 770 Cabriolet D (W07) 1938

No photograph available

Expected November

MX40406-041 Duesenberg SJ 544-2570 Bohman & Schwartz Convertible Sedan white 1936

Expected December

MX50402-031 Daimler Corsica Concept metallic bleu 1995

Expected December


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Matrix 1:18 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe

By Maz Woolley

All photographs supplied by Matrix.

Matrix latest announcement is of a 1:18 scale 1953 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe styled by Vignale. This model is being released in two colour schemes. The 212 replaced the 166 and 195 models and was again a car that could be used to race or use on the road. As was typical various Italian stylist produced bodies for this car.

The photographs show that this model has been very finely made with wire wheels that look like real ones!

MXL0604-011 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe Vignale red / black 1953

MXL0604-012 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe Vignale black / metallic green 1953


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Matrix New Releases announced July 2017

By Maz Woolley

All photographs supplied by Matrix.

Matrix latest announcement covers new models which are intended for release in August and September. Not all have samples produced yet. All models listed are to be made in resin to 1:43 scale in China.

MX40103-031 Allard P2 Safari Station Wagon white 1954


 

MX41705-122 Phantom Experimental Vehicle #10EX by Barker 1926


 

MX50102-071 Alfa Romeo 1900L Ti Pininfarina Coupe white 1954


 

MX50206-061 Buick Series 40 Lancefield Drop Head black 1938


 

No pre-production sample available for display

MX51302-011 Mercedes-Benz W194 300SL Transaxle


 

MX51904-021 Talbot Lago T26 Stabilimente Farina Cabriolet black 1951


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Resin Roundup June 2017

By Maz Woolley

All photographs have been supplied by the manufacturers who hold the copyright for the images.

Here are a few of the recent announcements of resin models from Matrix and from Best of Show (BoS) and Neo. All these models are moulded in resin in China in various scales stated below.

Matrix

The models shown below are to 1:43 scale and are for release between June and August 2017.

MX50806-031 Hispano Suiza K6 Break de Chasse Franay #15121 green metallic 1937 expected June
MX50102-081 Alfa Romeo 2000 Praho Touring dark green 1960 expected June/July
MX51705-111 RR Phantom II Continental Figoni & Falaschi Berline #2MS black 1932 expected July
MX51608-011 Pegaso Z-102 Thrill Coupe red / black 1953 expected August

Neo

 

All the Neo models listed are to 1:43 scale and should now be available.

MG TD MkII, white, RHD, 1950
Chevrolet Special De Luxe Convertible, beige, 1941
Dodge Sportsman, San Diego Police Ambulance, 1973
Hudson Italia, silver, 1954

 

Best of Show (BoS)

1:18 scale

These models should all now be available.

Chevrolet Apache Pickup, light blue, 1959
Dodge Coronet Club Coupe, light blue/white, 1952
Rover P5B Coupe, Dark green and light grey, RHD, 1971

1:87 Scale

 

These models should now be available.

Mercedes 600 Pollmann, Black, 1969, hearse
Buick Century Caballero, red/white, 1958

 


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Matrix announcements for May/June 2017

By Maz Woolley

All photographs supplied by Matrix and are of prototypes not shipped models. Shipping dates shown are as forecast by Matrix

Expected in May

 

MX51705-272 Rolls-Royce Phantom Barker Torpedo Tourer

Car owned by HRH Maharaja of Kota #23RC with Canon “Tiger edition” red and silver 1925

Expected in June

 

MX41607-081 Singer Porsche 911 blue 2014 

MX41001-012 Jaguar XK140 Ghia 2-door Coupe red 1955 


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Matrix Harold Radford Bentley “Woodie”

By Harvey Goranson

This article was originally published on the old MAR Online site on zeteo.com which has now become unavailable. It has been adapted to the new site and made available again. Please note that the model described was released some time ago and may now be difficult to obtain.

Harvey’s photographs of this 1:43 scale Resin model made in China for Matrix are used to illustrate this posting.

Guy Harold Radford came to coachbuilding a little late in the game. Having been a Rolls-Royce and Bentley dealer prior to World War II, following hostilities he looked to provide something a bit different to his customers. What he came up with in 1948 was the Countryman, not quite an estate car but more of a saloon with exterior woodwork. (Perhaps we Yanks influenced this, since the same year saw the Packard Station Sedan, Chevrolet Fleetline Aero Sedan, Nash Ambassador Suburban, and the Chrysler Town and Country). Radford reportedly built only eight of these woodies on Bentley Mk VI chassis, then moved on to a new Countryman idea in 1951, which was more of a hatchback for both the Bentley Mk VI and Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn. Matrix has modelled one of these later cars (1951 Bentley Chassis B40MD, Matrix No. MX10201-011).

Matrix No. MX10201-021 is a model of Bentley Chassis No. B441DZ. A little online sleuthing revealed this silver car with registration KLO 865, was sold by RM Auctions in 2010 for $71,500. Seems a little paltry, but it was an older restoration and the recession was in full swing. Based on the RM pictures, Matrix did a superb job of replicating this car.

I found online photos of two other Countryman woodies, one in green (UYV 608) and one in gunmetal gray (KXA 314), so Matrix has some more possibilities. Note however, that the woodwork is arranged a little differently on these. But I hope Matrix gives us another or both.


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New model announcements from Matrix 4/17

By Maz Woolley

 

Matrix have announced new models to be produced over the next few months. These are resin models made to 1:43 scale in China for the Netherlands. All the models featured are luxury cars and fine examples of inter-war coach builders work and are expected to be available from June 2017.

MX50407-021 Delage D8-120 Aerosport Coupe Letourneur & Marchand black 1937

 

MX50407-031 Delage D8S De Villars Roadster white 1933

MX51705-121 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental All-Weather Tourer Nubar Gulbenkian Hooper #7RY metallic blue 1934


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