A classic Jaguar XJ Coupé that featured in the seventies TV series The New Avengers has sold for six times the price it was expected to fetch at auction.
The 1976 XJ12-C Broadspeed driven by John Steed - played by the late Patrick Macnee - sold for £62,000 at H&H Classics’ auction at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambridge - £50,000 more than the initial estimate of between £10,000 and £12,000.
The Jaguar, which began life as a pre-production prototype vehicle, was sold to a private collector.
It completed its early development and testing work with Jaguar before being sent to Broadspeed Engineering to be fitted with upgraded bodykit including wider bumpers and wheelarches plus bigger wheels and tyres in preparation for its New Avengers role.
The car features the original 5.3-litre V12 engine it was fitted with.
Following the series finale in 1977, he car ‘NWK 60P’ was sold and passed through the hands of multiple keepers and eventually put up for auction at the NEC Classic Car Show in the Midlands in the early 1990s.
After the sale, the famous Jaguar disappeared from public view and remained in hibernation for the next 20 years – during which time it suffered as a result of vandalism and general disrepair.
Nick Delaney, business development manager of H&H Classics, said: “It is fantastic to see this Jaguar XJ12-C from The New Avengers TV Series back in public view again after being locked away for so long.
“The sale price of £62,000 is truly remarkable considering it fetched more than £50,000 over initial estimates.
“It just proves the appeal of not only the programme but also of the car itself.
“Buyers are seeing the investment potential with classic Jaguars and the added provenance of this car means that it, once fully restored to working order again, will be even more valuable.”
Tim Hannig, managing director, Jaguar Heritage, part of Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Operations division, said: “There is no arguing about the desirability of this iconic Jaguar.
“The XJ12-C Broadspeed still looks fantastic today and although the condition of NWK 60P has deteriorated over the 20 years its been locked up, it still shows how the demand for Jaguar heritage models has increased in recent times along with their values.
“We hope to see the car back on the road in the near future and we will continue to support owners of cars such as this famous XJ12-C through our Jaguar Heritage business.”
The two-door XJ Coupé remains one of the rarest XJ models, with just 9,378 produced in Coventry between 1975 and 1978.
The car was actually launched at the London Motor Show in October 1973 but Jaguar did not rush to put it into production due to some technical problems and the fact the global economic downturn at the time was likely to affect demand for such a car.
It eventually went into production two years after it was first unveiled and the fact it was then competing against the more sporty XJ-S also contributed to its limited run.
A small number were modified by Lynx Cars and Avon into convertibles and featured a retractable canvas roof.
All the original models had a vinyl roof but problems with the materials used mean most restored versions have removed this feature.
Known as both the XJ Coupé and XJ-C, a limited number of Daimler versions were also made.