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Richard Mcstay
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Jaguar XJ220

November 14, 2017 · in Automotive · · 20 Comments

Hello again! This is my entry for the 'year of the cat' group build, my childhood favourite, the XJ220.

About the car... There was originally never any intention of making the car. It was designed as a concept by Jim Randle and unveiled at the 1988 Birmingham motor show as a four wheel drive, 6.2l V12 prototype. The name XJ220 referred to Jaguars claimed top speed. However after where presented with blank cheques at the show, they decided to put it into production. They allegedly received around 1000 orders for the car and asked for a £50,000 deposit for each.

It soon became apparent however that the specifications of the concept were not realistic for a production car, mainly due to cost, but also the factors of weight and emissions. The final result was a rear wheel drive, 3.5l V6, which led to a lot of the original orders being cancelled and a lot of reimbursement from Jaguar. The final production car was released in 1992 but rather than the original target of 1000 cars, only 271 were built and many remained unsold.

So you would think that the XJ220 was a total failure? Well it was... sort of... at the time.

In reality though the car produced 550 bhp, set the fastest ever lap of the Nurburgring for a production car of its time ( 7:36.46 ), and reached a top speed of 217 mph during testing with the catalytic converter removed ( 212 mph standard ). So the disappointing 3.5l V6 rear wheel drive was actually the fastest production road car the world had ever seen! And was till 1998 when the McLaren hammered it, but we won't talk about that, this is the Jaguars moment! It was still 3 mph off the claimed 220 mph mind, but I would have just blamed wind direction or something!

About the model... The model I bought from eBay had sat in someones loft for a very long time. The yellow instructions and the musty smell was a bit of a give away. Due to this, some of the decals fell to bits with the addition of water, and the metal badges were well past their use by date! I should have been more dedicated to the cause and sourced new sets, so apologies for that one, I've got a fair bit on at the minute! It still built up fine though I suppose for a kit of its age.

My only criticism though would be the lack of window masks. And there aren't any. Non ever released aftermarket neither apparently. There are a lot of windows on the XJ220 as well, featuring some really interesting angles! The masking took me ages!

If you want too see a bit more of the build stages feel free to check out the work in progress over in groups, it's in the 'year of the cat section'. I've tried a new method for taking the photos with this one. Let me know which photos you think look the best, the reflective base, the grey background or the black background.

As always a sincere thank you for looking, and another thank you to my good friend George Williams for sending me an email featuring an interesting article on the car. There were a few things in there that I didn't already know and was able to share here. Cheers George!

13 additional images. Click to enlarge.

20 responses

  1. Wow...what a beautiful concept. I love it! As for the photo 'options', your headline photo seems to show off the car in the best light IMO.

    • Cheers Craig, thank you very much!
      I like the base and the white as well, but it might differ depending on the vehicle colour. Time will tell, I'm building something black next so we'll see again there.

  2. Great model and interesting story. I personally like the reflective base.

  3. One beautiful build, and car.

  4. Beautiful car, and great modeling. Interesting story too! All those deposits returned!

  5. That's a great build of an awesome car! Your taste in cars as your favorites is excellent.

    Bravo, Richard!

  6. Richard I have been watching your progress in the Year of the Cat GB. The window masking came out perfect as did the rest of the model.

    These Jags have some great body lines to them and your paint finish accentuated them even more. Silver is a very hard color to spray and get "just right" but you have done exactly that...

    Two thumbs up Sir for the history behind your build and the presentation !

    My favorite photo is a toss up between #1 and #2.
    Thanks for participating in our GB.

    There is till some time to start another if you like ... 🙂

    Thanks again my friend...

    • Cheers Louis, thanks for the compliments!
      Thanks for organising the group build as well. I wish I had the time to do another, a bit preoccupied with the H2R and life in general right now!

  7. Turned out well, Richard, as I knew it would, and I enjoyed your WIP as well. I like the reflective base pictures base, they seem to show off the lines of the cat very well. Thanks again for the mention of my help, you're very welcome.

  8. Well done, Richard. A beautiful car and a model to match !

  9. Richard, yes it does look fast !. A very nice and realistic looking model. Well done !

  10. Looks great Richard! I like the white background and reflective base.

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