'Morse' Jaguar may fetch up to £80,000

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Inspector Morse's beloved burgundy Jaguar is being put up for sale with hopes that it could fetch £80,000.

The 2.4-litre Mark II saloon car that featured in episodes of the late John Thaw's television detective drama is to be auctioned only months after it was won in a competition. Without the Morse link, the car, which cost £1,534 in 1959, would be worth about £10,000 today in perfect condition.

Jaguar made 25,000 of the model, which were used by the police in the 1960s and became the car of choice for Britain's underworld. Despite the corrosion built up during its television career, Coys auctioneers believe the popularity of Inspector Morse will send the price soaring at Islington's Business Design Centre on 30 April.

Chris Routledge, Coys' managing director, said: "We've had interest from all four corners of the globe, from Japan to the United Sates. It should fetch anything between £60,000 and £80,000."

The car was won by James Went, a 25-year-old lawyer, in a competition organised by Carlton Television, the makers of Morse, and Woolworths last autumn. He planned to drive the car but changed his mind after being contacted by Coys before Thaw's death.