Model: Jaguar XJ-S Group A
Release: No.94 Tomica regular range
eBay link: Tomica Jaguar XJ-S
Why I am featuring it: The Jaguar XJ-S was one of the most recognizable touring cars of the 1980s. Built to Group A regulations by Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) and victorious in the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC), the V12-powered XJ-S also paved the way for the Le Mans-winning, Group C TWR Jaguars.
By January 1987 the XJ-S’s glory days were behind it and it was no longer homologated for competition, but an exception was made for the first of two Wellington 500 races held in New Zealand that year. Armin Hahne and local ex-F1 World Champion, Denny Hulme qualified third in the #52, but didn’t finish after a tyre blew.
It seems strange that Tomica adopted this race’s one-and-done deco (with Strathmore Group graphics), rather than one from the ETCC, or even from the Bathurst 1000, which was won by this very same XJ-S the previous year.
Tomica’s Group A model was based on an XJ-S casting that had been around in street trim since 1978 (check out that luxury interior). The racer was initially F14 in the Foreign Tomica range from 1987 before joining the regular range as No.94 at the start of the red-box era the following year. It was also sold in the UK in Tomy packaging. Variants were made with both the regular button wheels and the racing wheels, as seen here.
There are various castings of the XJ-S in 1:64 scale or close to it (the Tomica is 1:67). Hot Wheels did a nice Blackwall, there was a Corgi Junior that was a tad wide, plus versions from Yatming, Maisto and others. Of the three-inch offerings, I like the Tomica best and this authentic racing livery is the icing on the cake.
Finally, the Tomica is pictured below with my favourite XJ-S model – a Corgi in 1984 ETCC colours (1:36 scale) – and an all-metal Corgi Junior (Kellogg’s Frosties mail-in).