Perfection in Miniature by Michael Driver
The Jaguar XJ12
The Jaguar XJ6 Saloon was the eagerly awaited replacement for the ageing Mk X Saloon. Although during its development, Jaguar had merged with the British Motor Corporation, nevertheless the new car survived and was launched in1968 with the XJ12 version arriving in 1972. In one form or another, the XJ Saloon has been the Jaguar flag ship for over 40 years.
The Jaguar XJ12 by Matchbox – Super King Series
The first Jaguar XJ12 models by Matchbox were introduced in 1979 and these came with opening boots. One Jaguar XJ12 [K-69], as a set, came in metallic blue and was towing a caravan. The interior is in brown and the windows are amber tinted.
The other model was a police car [K-66] in a set with two police motor cyclists and plastic emergency road signs. This police car was white with a blue and red stripe down each side and ‘Police’ on the front doors. There is a roof box in plastic with ‘Police’ on the front and ‘Police Stop’ on the back. The roof box also has two blue plastic lights and a moveable metal spot lamp.
In 1980 the police car had a livery change and acquired a black and white chequered design and a yellow stripe down the body. The front doors now had a badge for ‘County Police’. The wheels were also changed to a style more suitable for Jaguar.
The other XJ12 had a colour change to red in1981, but otherwise there were no other differences to the car. A further colour change occurred in 1982 when the car was given a metallic beige finish with a brown roof. There are variations of this model completely in metallic beige. Both the models have tan interiors.
Although not a Jaguar, the caravans did vary in colour using different combinations of beige, light and dark brown and cream. The caravans with the metallic beige cars also had ‘Caravelle’ on the sides.
In 1987 a Jaguar XJ12 model was produced in Bulgaria. So far I have found them in two shades of green. One is light metallic green and the other is mid green. Both models have black interiors, clear windows and a black plastic tow-bar. They were sold in flimsy bubble packs with thin card bases.
Generally speaking the Jaguar XJ12 Caravan set complete with its box can be found for £15 to £25. The police sets, again with boxes, range from £20 to £40 and the Bulgarian models will probably be in the region of £45 to £55. But value is not everything, so having one of the models is the important part of collecting!
It is worth remembering that many older models are not to a specific scale as they were often produced as toys rather than accurate models. However, scales of 1:76, 1:43, 1:32, 1:24 and 1:18 are the most common ones used for Jaguar models today.
© Michael Driver January 2014 London
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All information correct at time of publishing.