'J' is for Jaguar

Posted by: TalesofToyCars in Member Blogs

This article was initially published in July 2004 by Dave Weber and Christian Falkensteiner.

 

Jaguar XJ6 S1 - Corgi


Surprisingly, our search for car manufacturers represented 'J' and 'K' in 3 inch size and smaller has been very sparse! So unlike the forthcoming 'L' and 'M' sections, this summary will be quite brief.

 

JAGUAR (GB) 1945-PRESENT

 

William Lyons' Coventry-based SS company was renamed Jaguar after WW II. It continued to produce sedans as well as sports cars which were more elegant, more powerful and more affordable than most of their competitor's products, which made them a huge success internationally. Both the XK series of sports cars and their successor called E Type (XKE in the USA) became famous worldwide. Jaguar took over the Daimler company in 1960 and became itself a part of the British Leyland group in 1968. This way it was inevitably affected by the severe problems of the British motor industry in the 1970s but still maintained its position as the top brand within the group. In 1984 Jaguar once again became an independent company, only to be swallowed by Ford five years later. It is now an important part of Ford's "premium" group and still competes with Mercedes and BMW in the luxury car market.

Almost all producers of small-scale diecast models have made Jaguar models at some point, the most prolific being Matchbox and Corgi.

 

JAVELIN (US) 1968-1971

 

This marque was the first car to be produced by American Motors (AMC) that did not use the Rambler name. It was a 2 door coupe sports model and was designed to compete with the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang which were already finding market success. This car was also supplemented by a shorter wheelbased AMX coupe whose production outlasted this marque. The lack of success was probably due to the consumer demand for a smaller and sportier type car. Models have been made by Johnny Lightning, Playart and Matchbox
( "AMX Javelin" ).

 

AMC Javelin racer - Matchbox


JEEP (US) 1963- PRESENT

 

This utility designed vehicle can be traced back to 1941. It was developed by American Bantam who lost the WWII military contract to Ford and Willys-Overland. Following the War, Willys became the sole civilian producer of this vehicle. It was only when Kaiser-Frazier Corp merged with Willys that a separate marque is recognized to have originated by the Auto historians. Thus Kaiser-Jeep Corp was formed. In 1970, this firm merged with American Motors (AMC) and in 1987 it became part of Chrysler Corp. Since Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler recently merged, this marque is now a division of the worldwide DaimlerChrysler Corp.

Jeeps were also produced under license in Brazil beginning in 1954. The Station Wagon version was called the Rural-Willys. In 1967 Willys-Overland do Brazil SA merged with Ford do Brazil. Several companies in other countries produced Jeeps under license as well, including Hotchkiss in France, Mitsubishi in Japan, Ebro in Spain and Mahindra in India among others. Nowadays Jeeps are also made at the Magna factory in Graz, Austria. Many small scale replicas of the US models have been made. Major manufacturers are Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Johnny Lightning , Zylmex, Maisto, Playart and Siku. We also recognize Buby as a producer of a replica of the Brazilian Jeep.

 

Jeep CJ5 - Majorette


JENSEN (GB) 1934-1976, 1984-1992, 1999-2002

 

The Jensen brothers started producing one-off specials based on mass-production saloons, and regular production sports cars appeared only after WW II. The company reached its peak in the 1960s with the C-V8 and Interceptor models featuring US-made Chrysler engines, and the FF which was the first ever production sports car with four wheel drive. Financial problems forced Jensen to close its doors, and a new company was founded originally for handling spare part distribution. That new company went on to produce a few more Interceptors during the 1980s but had to give up as well eventually. A final resurrection attempt featuring a new model called S-V8 ultimately failed due to technical as well as financial obstacles, after a few dozen cars had been produced. The Liverpool factory including a few unfinished cars is currently looking for a buyer.

Interceptor models were made by Corgi in its Rockets and Juniors ranges, and Playart made a model of the FF.

 

Jensen Interceptor FF - Playart


KLEINSCHNITTGER (GE) 1950-1957

 

Made in Arnsberg, Westfalia, Paul Kleinschnittger's F 125 was a tiny two-seater roadster powered by a motorcycle engine, designed to appeal to Germans who wanted to move up from motorcycles but could not afford real cars. After a few successful years sales began to decline, and after failing to put any of its prototypes of larger cars into production, the company eventually could not escape bankruptcy.

The German company Saller of Kaufbeuren produces 1:87 scale models of the Kleinschnittger F 125 made of pewter.

 

KRIÉGER (FR) 1897-1909

 

The Compagnie Parisienne des Voitures Electriques (Système Kriéger) produced a series of electric and hybrid vehicles. Production of their cars was also licensed to British Electromobile in England, to NAMAG in Germany and S.T.A.E. in Italy. They also produced a small electric car called the Electrolette. The last vehicles produced by this firm were gasoline-powered taxicabs. The Kriéger marque briefly reappeared in France during World War II, but these vehicles were actually conversions of other gasoline-powered makes to electric power.

A small-scale model of a Kriéger was featured in the Classic Car range by Summer of Hong Kong.

 

Tags: Vehicles, Tales of Toy Cars

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