AUTOart’s Jaguar XJ-S Cabriolet
Jaguar’s XJ-S was a tough sell. Folks who hoped for a spiritual follow-up to the utterly lust-provoking XK were left cold, and the car toted a V12 at a time when oil embargoes were causing global heartburn. But Jaguar hung in there, and the car became a late blooming hit, especially after the introduction of a two-seat cabriolet. That’s the car AUTOart has wrought here, with typically surgical precision. There isn’t a flaw anywhere on the model; the paint and assembly are squeaky clean, right down to the high-relief badging and sight-challenging silver and red pinstripe that runs the car’s length. In between, the fawn, black, and woodtone-accented interior had us running for the magnifiers, just to read the dash gauges and switchgear. The hood angles up on trick twin struts (so does the trunk lid), and the 320-horse 6-liter V12 is positively festooned with cabling, wires, and pipes, done in a mix of plastic, vinyl, and steel. This company does with plastic what Paula Deen does with a sugar cookie recipe; the bezeled, multicolored taillights alone are worth a few minutes of goggle-eyed staring. Park it where you can see it. This cat kicks. – Joe Kelly Jr.