The American Junior A-J XKE 120 Jaguar Car from 1955

American Junior XKE 120 Jaguar car with fiberglass body

The American Junior XKE 120 Jaguar Car is another Jim Walker creation and was produced in the mid 1950's at the factory in Portland, Oregon. This factory photo is a colorized black and white photo used for advertising.

Kids riding in the Jaguar XKE 120 around 1959 in Portland Oregon
Avvertising still of kids riding the American Junior Jaguag XKE 120 car

Original publicity photo from the American Junior archives

Same photo processed for advertising purposes

Jaguar XKE 120 outside the American Junior Aircraft Company in Portland, Oregon around 1955
Jaguar car is seen here outside the American Junior Airctaft Company on Third Avenue in Portland, Oregon
Fiberglass bodies in production for the A-J Jaguar XKE 120 car
Fiberglass shells have the hardware attached and ready to go on the chassis
Chasis for the American Junior Jaguar car
Electric engine for the American Junior Jaguar XKE 120 car
Chassis with steering mechanism mounted
An electric motor was one power option
B&S Gas Engine mounted on Jaguar XKE 120 chasis, American Junior
The other power option was a B&S gas engine as seen here
Assembling the Jaguar XKE 120 fiberglass body at the American Junior plant in Portland, Oregon around 1955
 
Jaguar XKE production photo at the American Junior factory around 1955
 
American Junior Jaguar with woman passenger at Air Base in Portland Oregon 1955
Jaguar XKE 120 at Portland Air Base in Oregon 1955
These photos were taken at Portland Air Base about 1955. The Buick convertable seen here is maroon in color and belongs to Jim Walker. Notice the "rabbit ear" anteannae. He was a licensed ham radio operator.


Memories and photos from Hal Chaffee and his Jaguar XKE 120

Hal and Clarck Chaffee with the American Junior Jaguar XKE 120 in 1957
I remember in 1958 my father, Bill Chaffee, who won many model airplane contests in his youth and sold thousands of SPEE-D-FLYR balsa wood gliders to S.S. Kresge, came home one day with an old model plane maker pal, Jim Walker. Jim had a delightful personality and left a vivid impression. I only knew that he made and sold model airplanes. Jim was leaving, at our house for six months (between two tradeshows in Chicago), one of his 500 electric powered (there was also a gas version) 5 foot long Jaguar XKE 120s for kids. He passed away before the next trade show so my older sister, younger brother and I had the Jaguar to play with for three years until it was collected by Jim’s estate. We called the red Jaguar “Jim”. (In this photo is Hal Chaffee driving a Walker Jaguar and Clark Chaffee on the hood in 1957)

Hal Chaffee driving the Jaguar XKE 120 car from Jim Walker
Jaguar XKE 120 with Hal Chaffee driving
   
Hal Chaffee's younger brother and mother with the Jaguar XKE 120 in 1957
   
Hal Chaffee's younger brother and mother with the Jaguar XKE 120 in 1957
Clark Chaffee in the American Junior Jaguar XKE 120 in 1957
   


Mark Kite shares his story and images of 2 beautiful fiberglass Jaguar shells

Fiberglass body for the American Junior Jaguar XKE 120 car, photo bt Mark Kite
Red Fiberglass body of the American Junior XKE 120 car produced around 1955

I acquired three of these bodies around twenty years ago (about 1995). At the time I was a collector of pre and post WW II pressed steel toy cars and trucks. I had a circle of friends who were also collectors and it was known that I was partial to Jaguar XK's for their beauty. One of my fellow collectors (now deceased) was an auction enthusiast. In the mid 90's He attended the probate auction of the contents of a warehouse in Tacoma, WA. 

In a corner of the warehouse were items said to have been connected to the 1962 Seattle Worlds Fair. My friend pulled open the top of a dusty, damaged crate and spied these Jaguar bodies. The top body was in poor shape with scratches, breaks and a few holes. Underneath the top body were the two nearly pristine bodies I have. My friend called me from the warehouse during the auction and on his description of the bodies I placed the winning bid. All three bodies were shipped to me in a new crate, the original crate having deteriorated over time. I don't know if the original crate had any signage on it.

I sold the damaged body to another collector shortly after I acquired them. He desperately wanted all of them, and for a while I was contacted by several collectors who had heard that I had them, and were willing to pay dearly for them. I was always too enamored with them to sell, and I displayed the two good bodies in my home for a few years. They always attracted immediate attention just for their shape, colors, and connection to childhood wonder. I then moved and stored them for the last decade or so. I recently dug them out of storage and took the photos of which I sent you a few. I'm sure I could take better photos if you'd like to use them on your site.

I've seen two or three other examples of these over the years on the web. But in twenty years I've never seen another example that was unmolested, never mounted, repaired, or used in some way that damaged them. (Mark Kite 2/16/2015)

Fill her up, Jaguar XKE 120 by American Junior 1955


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