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Thursday, 28 March, 2002, 09:46 GMT
Morse's Jaguar up for auction
Jaguar
The Jag was one of the characters of Inspector Morse
A vintage Jaguar sports car made famous by the late British TV actor John Thaw could fetch 80,000 at auction next month.

The burgundy Jaguar Mark II was driven by Thaw's character Inspector Morse in the series of the same name, which ran from 1987 to 1993 on ITV.

"There can be no other Jaguar which is so instantly recognisable all over the world," said a statement from the auction house Coys of Kensington, London.

John Thaw with co-star Kevin Whately
John Thaw with co-star Kevin Whately
John Thaw, who played the popular sleuth, died from throat cancer in February.

The 2.4 litre car, registration 248 RPA, would have retailed for just 1,534 when it first went on sale in 1959 but its association with the TV drama will have hugely increased its value.

John Thaw once described the Jaguar, which has a six-cylinder engine and a top speed of nearly 100 mph, as "a beggar to drive".

Lawyer James Went won the car in a competition last year, receiving the keys form Inspector Morse creator Colin Dexter at a ceremony at Magdalen College, Oxford - where the series was based.

Urbane

Mr Went, 25, himself an Oxford graduate, said at the time he would keep the car but has since changed his mind.

Morse's Oxford education, urbane style and love of opera made him unique amongst TV detectives and won him millions of fans.

Colin Dexter
Novelist Colin Dexter (R) created Morse
The attractive Oxford settings and the memorable theme music by composer Barrington Pheloung contributed to the series' appeal.

More than 30 episodes were recorded and when the series finished Morse returned in occasional specials.

The final episode went out on 15 November 2000, to an audience of 13 million viewers.

The role of the Inspector also brought the actor two British Academy awards, as well as a Bafta Fellowship in May 2000.

The auction, which includes other classic cars, is being held at the Business Design Centre in Islington, north London, on 30 April.

See also:

22 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Actor John Thaw dies
21 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
John Thaw: Forever Morse
22 Nov 01 | England
Morse's Jag won by lawyer
09 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Oxford honours Morse author
14 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Morse's last grumble
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