Autoart does its usual superior job of creating this historic racer in 1/18 scale, from the 1955 racer's elongated nose (7 inches were added between the car's debut in 1954 to the 1955 racer) to that crisp fin behind the cockpit. In all, this model is expertly made of 391 separate parts, many of which are metal.
Two key features that make this model unique are the second cockpit seat cover that pops off to expose a gray leather seat, along with a dead pedal and emergency brake lever. A sliding latch locks the cover in place, the way the car was raced.
In back, there's a small trunk (boot, to the British) with a cover that folds down on metal hinges. There are several other finely hinged items, including a gas cap cover in the fin behind the driver. Beneath that, and under the forward-opening hood, are hinged gas-caps too.
Under the car's long snout is a replica of the car's 3.8-liter straight-6 XK engine. For 1955, a wide-angle head and larger valves were added to boost the car's power to nearly 270 horses.
Autoart nicely reproduces the engine with three Weber carbs and an intricate oil and fuel delivery system. This all looks simple compared with today's engines, but the detail is good, and black exhaust pipes feed out the engine's left side to a detailed underbody.
Like the C-Type, the D has four wheel well disc brakes, and the front and rear suspensions are well executed for those who display their cars on mirrored bases. Tires and wheels are also realistic.
For those of us more into the bodywork, there are finely reproduced headlights with rivets printed in the black-edged shells. The tiny red taillights also look great, and there also are rivets printed all the way around the tall windscreen that blends beautifully into the tail fin.
Detail includes two photoetched metal grilles on the hood, which helped circulate air under the massive hood to cool the 6-cylinder engine in the 1:1 racer. And there are cloth straps and metal buckles, along with chrome handles that turn to latch the hood into place.
Interiors in this era were simple and sparsely appointed. Beyond the gray leather seat there's a large wood steering wheel with 4-spoke metal hub with machined hones. The Jag's dash has a couple of small gauges that are viewable through the wheel, and a larger one to the far left. Three pedals are on the floor, and pads lie along the large transmission tunnel to save the driver some pain while racing. A small gearshift lever and boot sit amid the tunnel.
The Jaguar's body is perfectly shaped and slathered in a British Racing Green paint job, with simple white circles on the hood, left side, rear deck, and right fin that include a black No. 6. There are molded-in rivets at all the seams, which also adds to the car's authentic looks.
In a word, the D-Type is gorgeous!
Jaguar D-Type (1955 LeMans winner)
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