The Mystery of the Inspector Morse Jaguar

All you need to know about the iconic Inspector Morse Jaguar

As part of ITV’s eagerly awaited Morse prequel, Endeavour, fans get to discover how Morse’s most enduring love affair started.

It’s not a woman, of course, it’s the iconic burgundy Inspector Morse Jaguar Mark 2 that he drove throughout his career.

Viewers will get to see a young Morse being brought back to Oxford as part of a hunt for a missing schoolgirl, a case which profoundly changes his life.

The origins of Morse’s trademark passions, including classic cars, will be unravelled too.

The drama was commissioned to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first Morse episode, broadcasted in 1987. Shaun Evans has the somewhat daunting task of living up to John Thaw’s much-loved portrayal of Colin Dexter’s detective.

Bringing Morse and his Jaguar together

Set in the mid-sixties, Endeavour sees Morse securing the car that will be his faithful companion until death.

Lucky Wargrave service and MOT centre in Berkshire was chosen as the setting and was transformed into a retro garage, complete with bunting, petrol pumps and a collection of mouth-watering classic cars.

Like others, Manager Tim Englefield was delighted to get a glimpse of Morse’s beloved Jaguar Mark 2 during filming.

So far all that’s been revealed is that the youthful Endeavor Morse finds his dream car on sale for £1,227 – an asking price perhaps beyond the budget of a young police officer, especially one fighting to maintain his career.

Legendary detective's Jaguar Mark 2

Icon of British motoring history

The Inspector Morse Jaguar was a Jaguar Mark 2 which was released in 1959 in the UK and carried on until its reign of production ended in 1967. It was designed accordingly to embody the ideals of grace, pace and space. The top speed was registered at 119.9 mph and it could get to 62 mph from standing in 11.9 seconds.

Becoming a signature of the incredibly popular detective show was a matter of chance though. On taking the role of Morse, John Thaw insisted that the Lancia Morse drove in the books was changed to a Jaguar Mark 2.

Following a career of near-misses that often had the hearts of classic car lovers in their mouths, the Inspector Morse Jaguar mark 2 used in the series was sold in November 2005 for over £100,000. It was later reported in 2009 that the man who bought the Inspector Morse Jaguar, John Potts, 60, was the director of a buy-to-let company who conned his investors out of £80 million to fund his extravagant lifestyle! He went to prison, serving a 5-year jail term. Ironically enough, it should have been a case for Morse himself.

The one-off Endeavour episode will air next spring.

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If you’re interested in buying or leasing a new vehicle contact our sales team. Alternatively, visit our website where you will find new Jaguars available for sale or on finance.

Leave your comments below. What do you think of the Inspector Morse Jaguar?

Andrew Kirkley
Latest posts by Andrew Kirkley (see all)
  • 14th December 2011


  • Margaret M.| 31st January 2021 at 6:06 pm Reply

    The only car I ever fell in love with was a 1962 Jaguar Mark II sedan, owned by the father of a high school classmate in Texas. I vowed to have one someday, and in 1975 my husband (whose own affair was restoring a 1936 Packard) surprised me with a 1962 Mark II sedan – body and motor in decent shape, but the paint and interior were rough – the wood was intact but lost its finish, and the leather was shot. It had like-new wire wheels and a 3.8 liter standard with overdrive. I had it painted pale silver and it was a beauty, and a dream on the open road. Later divorced, I drove it as a hobby car for 10 years, but never had the funds to restore the interior. It required mechanical tweaking, but the mechanic also was under its spell. Needing tuition for grad school, I had to sell it, through an ad in Hemmings. It was not yet a classic, so had to price it just as an older car. As the buyer trailered it down the street (to be restored as a surprise for his wife), I stood in my driveway in tears. I have a die-cast model on a living room shelf, watch every Inspector Morse episode, pine over his Jag, and wish another was affordable. Lost dreams…

  • Tony Parone| 9th December 2020 at 3:02 pm Reply

    In the Morse series, the car is/was equipped with modern seatbelts. I’m not aware if this was OEM to the vehicle at the time of production, Can anyone elaborate?

    • Rachel Richardson| 15th December 2020 at 11:10 am Reply

      Hi Tony,
      They would have been retrofitted and likely because of insurance reasons (as well as wanting to be a good example as it was based during present times – or at least present as far as the series went).

  • Pete| 19th June 2020 at 10:19 am Reply

    My first car way back in 1965 was a grey Jaguar Mark II. My brother and I bought it and drove it until it broke down just before we went into the service. I promised myself that one day I would have another Jag. Fast forward 50 yrs and my 70th birthdays and I finally brought a beautiful 2007 Jaguar S-Type in British Racing Green!

    • hugo| 1st October 2020 at 10:37 pm Reply

      my wife her dream was once in her life time driving a red Jaguar and 3 years ago almost accidently i saw one appearing on the internet jaguar 2007 x-type in red. for a very reasonable price , here in canada. Waw what is she happy with Her dream from when she was 20 years age became suddenly true now at age of 63 years young she is proud driving her beautiful dream car.

  • Mugabe| 10th April 2020 at 5:45 am Reply

    A friend of mine had one of these, driving to the pub I saw a girl I fancied walking with her friend. 1977. Under pain of death I was able to borrow this wonderful car. I drove at speed ( tut tut not good ! ) but young love and all that. Long story short. I got the girl . It is now 2020 We have just watched an episode of Morse and we often think of that day. The Mk ii had always been a dream of mine but, alas could never afford one. Every time I saw one parked I would look longingly at that beautiful dash board with all those switches set in I think was walnut ? but whatever beauty full stop. Sadly my friend who was a bit of a lad turned on its roof and trashed it I could of cried.

  • Marshall peck III| 20th February 2020 at 6:56 pm Reply

    What problems did the mark 2 have during the show filming. Cars in shows and movies are typically not given talc aside from the exterior appearance. My opinion but probably accurate. Too many cars in entertainment are abused.

    • Rachel Richardson| 24th February 2020 at 9:32 am Reply

      Hi Marshall,

      It wasn’t actual issues that the vehicle had, it was the ‘stunt’ driving down country lanes and near misses that were experienced by the car that the article was referring to. From everything we have been able to gather, the car was kept in impeccable condition.

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