The “Silver Racer” Radio Shack Jaguar XJ220

3 min readMar 9, 2022

When all it needs is TLC and a fresh coat of paint…

Meet the XJ220

One of the fun parts about browsing is looking at the titles versus the images. Many times the title is literal with what was written on the box, imprinted on the bottom of a car, or the kind of stickers on it. In this case, yes, it was labeled a Radio Shack “Silver Racer” on the box.

Box included!

The buying price was $9.99, with shipping and taxes I paid just over $29 total. Not bad considering my main goal was getting a great body to work with and potentially transplant. But when it showed up, it was mint condition almost.

A fresh set of batteries, and it worked great. The controls were all-or-nothing type, but wow could it scoot. Unfortunately, the stickers were a major pain to work through, so I decided, ahem, as the Flight of the Conchords might say, It’s Business Time!!!

The Upgrade

As mentioned earlier: Ugh, those stickers. I’ve been researching and testing different methods, mind you. My goal to avoid harsh or caustic chemicals is still doing okay. Hot water bath with dish soap? Some just lift right off. A little of the Goo Gone citrus cleanser and then heat? Hit or miss on the tough ones.

What always works, eventually, is after step one, getting out the nitrile gloves, the sandpaper, and going hard with the muscles. Every one of these projects is different, and this was a tough grind…or sanding…but inspiration called…


Apparently there is a real, beautiful purple Big Cat out in the wild. I mean, who wouldn’t stop and stare at that? Even parked, the thing looks like it’s going to levitate and fwooosh be gone into the sky. What a work of art.

I’m not saying I’ve achieved what I set out to do, but I will tell you this: The world needs more Purple XJ220s.

A Gift to Tornado Terry’s of Fort Worth, Texas

This “Silver Racer” turned shelf-queen is no longer in the stable. Recently for a birthday celebration I got to re-visit Tornado Terry’s Arcade. 31 years and still in business — that’s awesome and earned. They keep it very family-oriented:

No smoking, vaping, or drinking inside, and no drinking or doing bad things in the parking lot either.

Ya know what, it works great! So as a follow-up I came by to drop off the Purple XJ220 — my dream is that it would be a top-shelf prize, or maybe something for one of their frequent community tournaments. I am looking forward to going back, playing some awesome pinball, racing games, and even taking on anybody who wants some Tetris action…but for now to find out what’s with the Purple XJ220, you’ll have to ask them :)




Just some dude in Texas with a day job, a family and friends, and a love of cars and creativity. Trying to just keep L-I-V-I-N and be a good human.