Rotary Powered: 1967 Jaguar XKE Replica

Well, it’s either a Jaguar RX-7 or a Mazda XKE, whatever the case, it is unique and well done. The seller is going with the Jaguar moniker, for obvious reasons, but the VIN says Mazda so I say, let’s take a close look at the Jaguar XKE replica. It is located in West Babylon, New York and available, here on craigslist for $20,500. Thanks to Ikey H. for this tip.

A 1967 Jaguar XK-E is about as iconic a design as you will ever find. But with it comes the price of ownership and the reliability factor. Now for grins and giggles, one can see a reason to go the kit car route, but an ’84 Mazda Rx-7, with its rotary engine, just doesn’t float to the top of the idea pool. That said, this is apparently not an unusual concept as there is a Wildcat Owners Club website that details the Wildcat and some conversion projects. Curiously, it states that the Ford Pinto is the usual suspect serving as the platform for conversions.

No doubt about it, this is a great looking kit car conversion. The seller doesn’t state when the transformation was done but it shows very well at this point. Interestingly, the profiles are very similar between a real XK-E and this faux version as the real deal carries a 96″ wheelbase and the RX-7 measures in at 95.3″. The profile shot gives one a bit of a “something’s not quite right” initial thought but the presentation comes together well. The seller states, “The paint and fit and finish is very nice for a kit car for sure!” I would agree, nothing seems out of place. The seller further adds, “The underside is rust free, of course, and it is pretty nice actually.” True that! There are several images of the underside, including one that shows the Mazda live axle, and it all appears as very professionally done. The only demerit to assign to this XK-E wannabe is the windshield, it has a crack on the passenger side. There is no discussion as to whether a real XK-E windshield would suffice as a replacement or if a custom piece will be required.

The interior craftsmanship continues with the exterior theme, very British appearing indeed. The seller states that the gauges are “very close to the real car” and yes, they look great. In reality, though, neither the gauges nor any other aspect of this “Jagda” has to look perfectly genuine, this is not a clone for confusion, it’s a kit car and everyone who would show interest in it will realize that. The rest of the interior appears to be in perfect condition and continues with the British sports car theme.

“Piston engine goes boing, boing, boing, Mazda rotary motor goes hmmm” as Mazda ads proclaimed back in 1972. This Jaguar can now claim the same as it is equipped with a 1984 vintage 1.3 liter, two-rotor, rotary engine that develops 135 net HP. The seller states that this car “runs and drives awesome (sic)as it operates through a Mazda five-speed manual transmission.

The financials on this project, as stated by the seller, are $70K for the kit and labor on top of the purchase price of the donor platform. At that level, it makes me wonder why one would even bother. He states that it would cost $125K for a ’67 XK-E today, probably true, but that wouldn’t have been the case when this kit car was assembled. Whatever the case, I suppose the argument is $20K for this replica vs. $125K for the real thing. It’s not a valid comparison in my mind as a kit car is never going to be a viable alternative for a storied automobile like a 1967 Jaguar XK-E. But, this kit car certainly has value in its own right, it’s great looking, in fantastic condition, and does have the power and reliability of an RX-7, all desirable qualities. I do wonder how this car would be titled, it would seem as a Mazda since it carries a Mazda VIN – there’s some potential cause for confusion at your local DMV office. I can’t say that I have ever fancied a kit car of any kind, but how about you, something of interest here?

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  1. ken tilly UK

    As far as kit cars go I would say that this one is a “Duesy”

    Like 8
  2. Jamie

    Steel wheels with a fake knockoff center…barf!

    Like 11
    • MattR Member

      I have to agree about the knockoffs. It would look 10x better without them. That said, as far as kits go, I’m impressed with the execution.

      Like 14
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Yeah, not sure stylistically these work along with an E-type shell. Of course they are very similar to the finned Jag racecars from a decade earlier. Is this thing scaled 1 to 1 with a real XKE? Looks stubbier to my eye.

  3. F Again

    Nicely done Maguar with Crudge wheels.

    Like 4
    • norm bissonnette

      That’s ” Mawg-Whah” for the purists…..

      Like 7
      • SubGothius

        “Mag-you-were” if you want the Brit pronunciation.

        Like 13
      • Jef (True Brit)

        Mag-you-are would be closer Brit speak

        Like 3
  4. TimM

    For a fraction of the price you can drive around in a look a like Jag!! The job looks well done the only way someone might notice is the sound of a jag and an RX 7 are not even close!!

    Like 2
  5. Newport Pagnell

    KO’s are either the Goldfinger or Ben-Hur type.

    Like 3
  6. Wayne

    I like it. What’s not to like? Spend the money for real chrome wire wheels. (Bolt on or knock-off style does not matter on this car.)
    What a great daily driver! I wonder what it weighs? You can easily double the horse power on the rotary and not effect the reliability.
    I want it!, Can’t have it, but I can still appreciate and desire it.

    Like 5
  7. Richard

    This is ABSOLUTELY the BEST kit cat of the XKE I have seen. I have a “real” 62 OTS XKE myself. From the outside, I would have to do a double take to see the difference! The interior is very similar too. A +++++ conversion/kit!

    Like 8
  8. Capriest

    Why take a beautiful car like the RX-7 and graft the ugliest body known to man onto it? I guess you could say that this is the one instance where going with a rotary would make it more reliable?

    Like 1
    • ken tilly UK

      You are obviously out of step with the rest of the automotive world. Even Enzo Ferrari called it the most beautiful car he had ever seen. As for the RX 7, i have nothing against it but it comes a far distant second to an E Type Jag, even this kit car is more desirable than an RX 7.

      Like 6
  9. robj Member

    BAT, [Barn Finds snooty cousin] has a Jag engine and transmission listed. Hmmm…

    Like 1
  10. Kenn

    Probably titled as a Mazda, at least here in Michigan. I built a kit car on a 32 Ford frame, took the vin to the DMV and got it registered and titled as a 32 Ford sedan. The police officer that inspected the car said to just use the vin and existing title!

    Like 1

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