Onyx Diecast - Too new for vintage, too crude for adulation?

Onyx models started in Portugal in the late 1980's. The majority of their models are for F1 and Indycar, but they did produce some sport-prototype cars. They did moulds of the Jaguar XJR-9 & XJR-11, and the Porsche 962. While the quality of these older Onyx models has been reviled by Minichamps collectors, they represent what was at the time an acceptable level of detail and quality in mass produced models. In particular, the IMSA models fill some important gaps.

The Jaguar XJR-9 from 1988 was part of the marque's victorious five-car assault on Le Mans. While the detail in the decals is good, they were applied in a somewhat sloppy manner. The 'Silk Cut' logo is missing, which is odd because many cars produced at this time had proper tobacco markings. This is a major omission, and many would turn up their noses and call it uncollectable for this sole purpose. The wheels are very crude, and although the tires are rubber they have a fake shininess and shape. The interior is a simple black mold with no detail.

The packaging is interesting. The box is color and style matched to the model with a nice purple color and sponsor logos. There is no mounting plate or dust cover, and the model is held in a styrofoam cradle. You get an odd urge to find a way to display the model in the box without the styrofoam. There is no reference number on the box or model, and it took a more than a few hours of intense web searching to come up with what I am 99% sure are the correct values. Go to Onyx Stock Number Page

On the plus side, the models do fill a late 80's gap between 956's and 962's and they can be considered 'period pieces' as they were produced when the cars were new. However, they suffer from the phenomonon where they are rather crude but too new to be considered 'vintage'. Old toys from one's youth are good nostalgia, but who gets nostalgic for 1989?

Since this is the Crisis Center, we are about sharing feelings. I did so in a recent counseling session with this model. The following is from my case files, and should be used for professional reference only.

Counseling session
September 30, 1999
Patient: Onyx Jaguar XJR-9

glenwatkins:You are how old now?

Jaguar:I was cast in 1989, so I am ten years old.

glenwatkins:You seem mature for your age. Your file says you have had identity issues. Can you tell me about them?

Jaguar:Obviously, since I was made without two little words on my sides, I have always felt incomplete.

glenwatkins:And what two words are they?

Jaguar:I have trouble even saying them. They cloud my psyche constantly, it hurts too much to even say them.

glenwatkins:But saying them enough might make the pain go away. Let's start out by spelling them. Could you do that for me?

Jaguar:S-I-L-K C-U-T

glenwatkins:There that wasn't so hard, was it. How does that make you feel?

Jaguar:Angry and sad.

glenwatkins:Sadness we direct at ourselves, anger we direct at others. Who are you angry at?

Jaguar:Paul Lang.

glenwatkins:The 'Paul' in Paul's Model Art? The founder of Minichamps? Why does he make you angry?

Jaguar:Because everyone loves their models, and Old Onyx models like me sell for peanuts on eBay. [sobs] It isn't fair. If I had tobacco markings like the expensive BBR models, my life wouldn't be worthless [crying]

glenwatkins:There there, you're just as good as them, and there are many minichamps models that don't have tobacco, so you're not alone. You have issues with self- image. Have you ever been to a plastic surgeon to see about conversion decals?

Jaguar:I could never get implants! I'd feel so cheap. [sobs] Sometimes I just want to go into the attic and be sold at a garage sale in ten years. I hate myself.

glenwatkins:We'll never make progress unless you start talking positive. Let's do a role playing exercise. You pretend to be someone else saying positive things about you.

Jaguar:You're not 1:24 scale.

glenwatkins:Good! Keep going.

Jaguar:You're not a NASCAR model.

glenwatkins:Go on!

Jaguar:You're not in a 1:64 blister pack.

glenwatkins:This is real progress. Let's continue this excercise during our nest session.

Jaguar Prototypes

Place

Car
Sponsor

Car # Class

Model

Ref. #

Image

Old-School Onyx
DNFJaguar XJR-9 LM'Silk Cut'
Martin Brundle
John Nielsen
null
1
C1
Onyx
Sports Racing
13a
1Jaguar XJR-9 LM'Silk Cut'
Jan Lammers
Johnny Dumfries
Andy Wallace
2
C1
Onyx
Sports Racing
13b
DNFJaguar XJR-9 LM'Silk Cut'
John Watson
Raul Boesel
Henri Pescarolo
3
C1
Onyx
Sports Racing
13c
16Jaguar XJR-9 LM'Silk Cut'
Danny Sullivan
Davy Jones
Price Cobb
21
C1
Onyx
Sports Racing
13d
4Jaguar XJR-9 LM'Silk Cut'
Derek Daly
Kevin Cogan
Larry Perkins
22
C1
Onyx
Sports Racing
13e
1Jaguar XJR-9 'Castrol'
Martin Brundle
John Nielsen
Raul Boesel
Jan Lammers
60
GTP
Onyx
Sports Racing
14
DNFJaguar XJR-12 'Silk Cut'
Martin Brundle
Alain Ferté
David Leslie
1
C1
Onyx
Sports Racing
39
2Jaguar XJR-12 'Silk Cut'
Jan Lammers
Andy Wallace
Franz Konrad
2
C1
Onyx
Sports Racing
40
1Jaguar XJR-12 'Silk Cut'
John Nielsen
Price Cobb
Eliseo Salazar
3
C1
Onyx
Sports Racing
41
DNFJaguar XJR-12 'Silk Cut'
Davy Jones
Luis Perez-Sala
Michel Ferté
4
C1
Onyx
Sports Racing
42
3Jaguar XJR-12 'Bud Light'
Davy Jones
Scott Pruett
Derek Warwick
Raul Boesel
2
GTP
Onyx
Sports Racing
39b
IXO Reissues
DNFJaguar XJR-9 LM 'Silk Cut'
Martin Brundle
John Nielsen
1
C1
IXO
Sports Racing
LMC002
1Jaguar XJR-9 LM 'Silk Cut'
Jan Lammers
Johnny Dumfries
Andy Wallace
2
C1
IXO
Sports Racing
LMC006
4Jaguar XJR-9 LM 'Silk Cut'
Derek Daly
Kevin Cogan
Larry Perkins
22
C1
IXO
Sports Racing
LMC007
DNFJaguar XJR-12 'Silk Cut'
Martin Brundle
Alain Ferté
David Leslie
1
C1
IXO
Sports Racing
LMC012
2Jaguar XJR-12 'Silk Cut'
Jan Lammers
Andy Wallace
Franz Konrad
2
C1
IXO
Sports Racing
LMC015
1Jaguar XJR-12 'Silk Cut'
John Nielsen
Price Cobb
Eliseo Salazar
3
C1
IXO
Sports Racing
LMC016
DNFJaguar XJR-12 'Silk Cut'
Davy Jones
Luis Perez-Sala
Michel Ferté
4
C1
IXO
Sports Racing
LMC017