From Piston Heads
Monday 5th December

Famous Mk.II exceeds estimates

Insepctor Morse's burgundy Jaguar Mk II, registration 248 RPA, was sold recently for well over £100,000. It's a new world record for the model.

The Jaguar 2.4-litre, six-cylinder vehicle became synonymous with the Inspector Morse TV series, exceeded its estimate as the auction winner plonked down between £120,000 and £150,000 in a sealed bid contest.

Buyer Ian Berg said he was "pleased that something so iconic would now remain in the UK. This Jaguar has become a real favourite with the great British public and deserves to be seen and appreciated by all – not locked away in a collector's garage." He plans to show it at events and shows in the UK.

A similar Jaguar would today normally sell for about £10,000. Since John Thaw's death in 2002, however, the car's value rocketed. Yet in 1959, when it was first sold, the car cost £1,534. The Jaguar appeared in all 33 episodes of Inspector Morse when it ran from 1987-2000.

The car had been stored in a West Yorkshire warehouse and was sold by chartered surveyors Walker Singleton. The company's sales manager Howard Eastwood said: "Interest in the car has been extraordinary, reflective of the high affection and recognition the car has, not just in the UK, but around the world."

In May 2002, the car underwent a "nut and bolt restoration" costing over £100,000, transforming it from the unreliable car that Morse actor John Thaw described as "a beggar to drive", into near-mint condition.

In addition, the restorers' notes prior to the job said that: "Although the Inspector Morse Jaguar was driveable when it was delivered to us and it looked reasonably presentable it was in fact in very poor condition. The bodywork had been patched and cosmetically enhanced with liberal amounts of plastic filler three quarters of an inch thick in places! Mechanically the car was tired out with the majority of components in need of replacement or overhaul."