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XJC Models
. . . By Job Drenth Member No.323

..................... (PART 3) .....................

THE SERIES II XJ COUPE MODELS (III)

        Steed’s XJ12 coupe from The New Avengers       

In 1976 the BBC was running their new series of The Avengers, and
were looking for a new car for Steed. In the earlier series amongst others a Bentley and Lotus were used by John Steed and Emma Peel. As the Bentley was wrecked in the series, they closed a deal with British Leyland. BL supplied a Broadspeed built dark green XJ coupe that had the same visual exterior modifications as the race cars
( See Thumbnails 1, 2 and 3 ). In the ‘New Avengers’ series Purdey (Joanna Lumley) was to use a yellow Triumph TR7 and Gambit (Gareth Hunt), a Jaguar XJ-S.


1    2    3

The dark green coupe, a pre- production chassis no. 2G 1008BW built in august 1973, featured a metal sliding roof and ‘standard’ beige interior and was officially registered NWK 60P ( Thumbnails 4 and 5 ). The car is used throughout the series of the new Avengers. Most striking episode is the ‘Three Handed Game’ where Steed’s Jaguar appears to be capable of overtaking a red formula racing car ( Thumbnail 6 ). In reality the car was ‘a pain to drive’ as stated by the crew. As only visual modifications were adapted, road behaviour was questionable.

4    5    6

After the series ended, Steed’s Jaguar was put up for sale by the production company and sold off ( The advert was in Jaguar Driver - January 1982 No. 263 - Thumbnail 7 ).

7

Apparently, in 1985, Steed's Jaguar was offered to the former ‘Avengers fan club' by a dealer in West Bromwich ( West Midlands, UK ). The trader also put the car on display at the N.E.C in May 1986, and it was duly bought by a person who however did not collect it. The car still remained with the then former owner, who had sold his business and needed to clear his premises. He contacted a transport company that took the car temporarily away and, having no place to move it to, kept it for four years. Finally the car was paid for and taken away to presumably Stockport. That was in 1991. Since then the whereabouts and condition of the car are unknown.

As can be checked by the DVLA the car appears to be registered for the first time in May 1976, and has had it’s last V5 issued in 1991. That leaves a guess about the current condition and whereabouts of the car, which is, according to the DVLA records, not road legal at this time (no road tax).

The New Avengers John Steed Jaguar XJ12 coupe MODELS

Models of the New Avengers coupe have been issued by Dinky and SMTS.

Dinky

The 1977 Dinky catalogue shows Steed’s Jaguar (Dinky 113) having various
features ( Thumbnails 8 and 9 ). The car is strangely featured in blue metallic with
gold striping as opposed to the one used in the series, which was definitely a dark
green metallic. In very small printing at the bottom of the page it can be read that the model will be available later.

8    9

In the 1978 catalogue the same car is shown ( Thumbnails 10 & 11), albeit with less features than in 1977 and even a gift set (Dinky 307) of the Steed coupe and Purdeys yellow TR7 was announced ( Thumbnails 12 & 13 ).

10   11    12    13
 

Nor the Steed car nor the gift set is believe to have ever reached production as it appears that shortly before the factory was closed down, the moulds from which the XJ coupe were to be produced were destroyed in a fire. Some of the prototypes however seem to have escaped and were sold by former employees of Meccano.

The Purdey TR7 (Dinky no. 112) has been available and features a scene from the New Avengers on it’s box ( Thumbnail 14 ).

14

History was written in 1996 when one of the pre-production Dinky XJ coupes of Steed surfaced, it was sold by Christie’s, estimated at $2.800 to $3.500.

On 6th October 2004, Michael Tate ( Member 22 ) and Alan Lloyd 'Jaguar Collections' was auctioned. Lot 1240 ( Thumbnail 15 ) included in the sale was a Dinky Toys pre-production Steed's Jaguar from the television series ‘The New Avengers’, accompanied by some documentation and a copy of the factory drawing. This was the same car as was sold in 1996 through Christies’ Auction. The car realised a stunning £1,750 including commission.

15

As it is such a desirable car, other pre production cars have surfaced and next to that a lot of replicas have been made, most of them based on the Dinky 219 car. The ‘originals’ are generally well distinguishable by the wheel arches: more pronounced compared to the 219-based replica’s. Some replica’s are shown below ( Thumbnails 16 to 19 ).

16   17   18   19

In the pictures also a replica box is shown below ( Thumbnail 20 ). Though being an earlier Dinky box it is not believed to be the original box as the red/blue/yellow box shown on the auction pictures is believed to be accurate.

20

SMTS

Though officially never announced as replica of the New Avengers Steed Jaguar, perhaps due to legal restrictions, SMTS have also produced a 1:43 model in white metal (RL43LE). This car is in the right colour and is a highly detailed model car, even down to the right replica Kent Avon wheels ( Thumbnails 21 & 22 ).

21   22

This concludes the series of articles on the XJ coupe. If any other models have been available I’ll happy to add them to the articles.
 

Thanks Job