Corgi - 'E' type 2+2 SII
Efsi #403 - 'E' type Roadster SI
Husky (Corgi) - 'E' type 2+2 SI
Hot Wheels - 'E' type Coupe SI
Johnny Lightning - 'E' type custom (Topper)
Johnny Lightning - 'E' type hot rod (Topper)
Johnny Lightning #103 - 'E' type (re-issue)
Johnny Lightning #784 - 'E' type Roadster SI
Johnny Lightning #784 - 'E' type Roadster SI
Migetoy - 'E' type Roadster SII
|The World's Sexiest Car
Jaguar's 'E' type
by Doug Breithaupt
In 1961, at the London Auto Show, Jaguar stunned the world with the introduction of the 'E' type. Since that date, Jaguar's quintessential sports car has always been rated as one of the most beautiful automotive designs of all-time. The timeless style of the 'E' type (known as the XKE in the U.S.) has made it one of the top collector cars and the leading candidate for the "sexiest car" ever manufactured.
The history of the 'E' type is well-known and need not be repeated in great detail here. Originally offered in coupe and roadster form with a 3.8 litre DOHC 6 cylinder XK engine, power was later expanded to 4.2 litres and finally to a 5.3 litre V12. A 2+2 version of the coupe was also added to the line with a back seat of modest size. U.S. safety regulations brought changes to bumpers and lights resulting in Series I 1/2, II and III designations. SII and SIII cars have un-covered headlights and the tail-lights are below the rear bumper. The 'E' type added the V12 engine in 1971 and the last 'E' type was produced for the 1975 model year.
The focus of this article is on toy 'E' type models. While the 'E' type has been produced in every scale for 1:87 to 1:12, the models featured here are all in the 1:64 scale range, Almost every toy car maker has offered an 'E' type model at some time and quite a few are still in production. In order to organize all the different models, let's review them alphabetically by manufacturer.
Corgi produced two 'E' type models, both in 2+2 form. The first was offered under the Husky name while the second was labeled as a Corgi Junior. The Corgi Junior 'E' type is unique in that it is the only 'E' type 2+2 SII model. It was also offered with an opening bonnet and the 4.2 litre DOHC6 is nicely done. The 'Whizzwheels' do not contribute to the looks although they added to the speed.
Efsi of Holland (formerly know as Best Box) offered an 'E' type SI Roadster. While the casting is simple, it does feature opening doors and actual headlight lenses. The Husky 'E' type mentioned above is a SI 2+2 and has faux wire-wheels. The yellow interior color is unfortunate but the casting is quite good and may be the earliest 2+2 miniature.
Hot Wheels did not offer an 'E' type until recently when a four-car Jaguar set was introduced in their collectors series. This SI Coupe is well-detailed and provides an opening bonnet and painted motor. The drivers door seem a bit too narrow. Priced at $39 for the four cars, these collector Hot Wheels are overpriced unless you can find them on special.
Johnny Lightning has offered a selection of 'E' type models under both Topper and Playing Mantis ownership. Topper did the 'Custom XKE' with a small bonnet and crude XK motor. Then, they removed the bonnet and replaced it with a hot rod V8, calling it the 'Jumpin Jag'. In the original Johnny Lightning re-issue models by Playing Mantis, the Custom XKE was re-produced. Largely faithful to the original, it sports red line tires and the same small bonnet. The new 'E' type Roadster is very nice and offered in an Austin Powers and stock version. Wheels are different on each version.
Midgetoy of Rockport, IL did the SII Roadster in their line. Matchbox may have the most familiar 'E' type casting with their SI Coupe. The wire-wheels and metallic red paint are especially nice on this icon of diecast cars. Matchbox did a second 'E' type in their hot rod 'Draguar'. The blown V8 and bubble top make this one wild Jag. One of my favorite 'E' type models is Majorette's SIII V12 Coupe. Opening bonnet and V12 detail make this one of Majorette's best of all time.
Mini-Lindy models are plastic and the originals are getting scarce. Produced by Lindberg, these miniature models are a delight. Playart of Hong Kong did the 'E' type SI Coupe. Later versions came with plastic bases and Porsche style wheels.
Siku of Germany did the 'E' type 2+2 with opening doors. Their solution to the headlight cover dilemma was to leave them as bare metal. The recent Tootsietoy 'E' type is currently available in purple and silver. While the casting is basic, the shape is quite good.
At first glance, the Yat Ming 'E' type looks a lot like the Playart casting. Closer inspection shows that these are not the same. The Yat Ming is a 2+2 and is a different length. The early version is shown. This model has been done in many different colors including several racing versions. The chromed headlight covers are just like the Playart model.
Zylmex or Zee Toy offered the 'E' type Roadster in it's Pacesetter series. The bucket seats look correct and this simple casting is really quite charming. Red Box now owns the Zylmex castings and this model is still seen in stores.
I am sure that other 'E' type models have been done in small-scale and I am always looking too add others to the collection. I recently saw that Tomica did a prototype for an 'E' type but it was never actually produced. Guisval of Spain may have also done an 'E' type model. With new 'E' types still being produced, this great classic should continue to be a favorite of collectors for years to come.
Matchbox #32 - 'E' type Coupe SI
Matchbox #38 - 'E' type 'Draguar'
Majorette #207 - 'E' type 2+2 SIII V12
Mini-Lindy #4 - 'E' type Coupe SII
Playart (early) - 'E' type Coupe SI
Playart (late) - 'E' type Coupe SI
Siku #V294 - 'E' type 2+2 SI
Tootsietoy - 'E' type Coupe SI
Yat Ming #1010 - 'E' type 2+2 SI
Zee Toys #D110 - 'E' type Roadster SI