By John Quilter November 2014
Oxford Diecast has recently launched a 1:43rd scale model of a Jaguar V12 E Type coupe in what Jaguar actually called “Light Blue” and this colour matches my factory colour chip booklet. The V12 E Type was the last in the line of E Types and was a sort of test bed for the newly launched 5.3 litre single overhead camshaft V12 engine that was ultimately intended for the XJ saloon cars. This engine was not the first V12 Jaguar built, the first being the mid-60s four cam engine used in the one off XJ13. This engine was found to be too complex and expensive to produce and was too large to easily fit into production road going cars, hence a simplified version with 60 degree cylinder bank spacing and the single cam per bank. Fuel injection had not been developed sufficiently at the time to meet ever stricter US emission standards so the first years of V12 production were fed by four Zenith Stromberg carburetors, two per bank with “up and over” intake manifolds feeding the intake ports within the V of the engine. Exhaust ports were outboard thus making the engine a cross flow design.
The E Type was approaching 10 years old when the Series III, as the V12 cars were known as, was launched in 1971. Earlier the cars’ range had been expanded to include a long wheelbase four passenger coupe and it was this wheelbase length that was used for both the Series III roadster and coupe. This made the car less of a pure sports car but did address the need for additional leg room for tall drivers. As with the earlier 2+2 coupe the Series III was available with a Borg Warner three speed automatic gearbox along with the traditional Jaguar fully synchronised four speed manual. Unlike the 6 cylinder cars, no overdrive was offered but power assisted rack and pinion steering was standard. Performance of the Series III was quoted as 0-60 in 8.9 seconds with a top speed of 146MPH bringing the car back to the level of the first E, the 3.8 litre six cylinder of 1961.
The car came with standard steel disc wheels either painted silver or chrome plated and optional chrome wire wheels. All wheels were wider than previously used thus the fender flares, one of the styling differences from earlier generations of cars, A larger chrome barred grill was provided to aid cooling of the big V12 and initial cars had a chrome four pipe central exhaust pipe extension. As before, tail lamps and front indicators were mounted below the bumpers.
Oxford has launched the model with silver painted disc wheels, a dark blue interior, billed by Jaguar as French Blue, a black fascia top and a wood colored steering wheel in right hand drive. A hand brake and gear lever are evident. Future colours are shown as Pale Primrose (Q1 2015) and Regency Red (Q2 2015). Twin door mirrors are provided as well as a stub end of a rear wing mounted radio antenna. To improve interior ventilation the coupe’s rear deck includes a chrome rectangular air vent above the “Jaguar E Type V12” badging. Bumpers are chrome and the front and rear screens and side window framing is done in tampo printed silver. The English style of front license plate mounting is replicated in the front with a number plate mounted directly on the leading edge of the bonnet, odd to American observers where the license plates were usually mounted below the main grill.
A check of the undercarriage shows a black base plate with front and rear suspension details, and engine sump, a pair of massive main silencers, and the previously mentioned four branch tail pipe. A particular detail is a pair of underfloor ducts directing cooling air to the inboard rear disc brakes. The front brakes on the real car being ventilated discs. For the stickler for scale and size the V12 E Type measures 184.4 inches and the model measures out to be 4.37 inches or the 43rd equivalent of 188, the wheel base 2.42 inches or 104 inches versus the actual car at 105. So no significant difference from true 43rd. Production flaws: only one, a crooked left rear tail lamp, easily correctible with a bit of glue. And as always Oxfords come mounted on a black plinth and covered with a nice protective clear Perspex display box.
The V-12 E Type is one of Jaguar’s iconic products although Oxford’s choice of this Jaguar to model is somewhat curious since AUTOart have for a number of years produced a silver, red, and dark green roadster and a black and dark green coupe although some of these are noted on their website as sold out and there are indications these were not widely available in Europe. All of these were also modelled with the disc wheels. In addition to AUTOart, Yatming under their Road Signature label, produce a very inexpensive roadster in dark green and pale primrose again with disc wheels. And going way, way back Tenariv did both a coupe and roadster in resin kits with either wire or disc wheels.
All in all a really nice model and kudos to Oxford for keeping their pricing at reasonable levels. It would be nice to see future versions with chrome wire wheels as they fit to their XK150 models.
Moving on to the much smaller 1:76 scale, Oxford has done a Jaguar D Type in the standard British Racing Green with a white roundel and with number 1. For a 1:43 scale collector these are truly tiny but nevertheless very accurate renditions of the real thing. There were two slightly different versions of the D Type, an original short nose and a later long nose that slightly improved aerodynamics. The model appears to be the long nose version but at this scale that is hard to tell. The difference in the real car was only 7.5 inches and at this scale that is difficult to measure. The number plate is 393RW which is the plate for a real car and photos of it in racing action are on the internet. The relatively few D Types produced had a famous racing history and carried on Jaguar’s racing efforts from the mid ‘50s onwards. Only 71 were made and 5 of those were destroyed in the disastrous fire at the Jaguar plant in 1957. This little model is a great companion to the other Oxford Diecast items such as the modern series of current XJ, XK coupe, and roadster, XF, and F Type roadster. If one has limited display space and still wants a great display of really small Jaguars this range in 1:76th scale fills the bill. The photo shows the car with a US penny to give an indication of its size.
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