Review: Autoart Jaguar XJ13





Highs: I don't own all of the Autoart Millenium series....heck, I don't even own a small fraction of them. But from what I've seen in reviews and photographs, and from personal experience at multiple retail shops, the XJ13 represents the pinnacle of Autoart's work. It isn't just a good model, it's a phenomenal model. To be truthful, I have no interest in the subject matter. I've never been a fan of Jaguars, much less Jaguars that never even made it to production (the XJ13 was a prototype car). I actually get more enjoyment out of handling and looking at my Porsche and Pontiac GTO models, than this XJ13. But that only speaks to my personal preference for the subject matter. Speaking in terms of the quality of the diecast, in objective terms, I believe it's the closest Autoart has ever come to Exoto or CMC. You have to actually hold one in your hands to just don't do it justice. Here's why:

Highs: Autoart simply cut no corners with the XJ13. In stark contrast to many other Autoarts, the XJ13 contains a lot of metal; both the body and underside are made entirely of heavy metal. The engine is fully wired, and will amaze you. There are removable lids for both the front and rear compartments; in the front you'll find the washer bottle, the radiator and fan, and other cool components I can't identify (I'm no mechanic!). The battery is accessible under a door on the right side (photo 11), and the fuel filler cap is under a door on the left (photo 12). The right side driver's door has an attached fire extinguisher. The steering wheel might not be real wood, but you'll have to stare closely to convince yourself it isn't wood. The tires are branded and detailed. The doors open so smoothly, and feature spring-action so they snap gently closed with just a little push. I could go on and on for another 5000 words on this car...please save me from writing that much, just go buy one for yourself. You'll thank me later.

Lows: If you complain about this diecast, you're probably someone who cannot be pleased. It's as close to perfect as a diecast can get.

Summary: Because the real car was a prototype, and many people have likely never heard of it (I hadn't heard of it either), I'm guessing this model probably isn't in most peoples' collections. If I hadn't seen it on a shelf in a retail store, I probably would have never looked into it or bought one. So maybe this can be considered a "hidden gem".

And even though I'm not interested in Jaguars, I keep this in my collection as a showpiece. It represents what diecast manufacturers are capable of, at their best. If you love minute details, and superb build quality, and lots of doors and openings to explore, and owning something that borders on diecast art, then go get an XJ13. Best part is, it won't set you back more than $65. That's right, for 1/2 the cost of your average CMC or Exoto, you can own a model which rivals the best of both. It's not to be missed.




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