Editor's Note (15 October 2015): This story, originally published on 27 August, has been updated based on the results of H&H Classics' 14 October auction.
In The Avengers television programme from the 1960s, suave hero John Steed, played by Patrick Macnee, drove an array of sweet British cars – Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, even a naughty little AC Greyhound coupe. In The New Avengers, the original's short-lived 1970s small-screen sequel, Macnee's Steed slid behind the wheel of the car you see here – a specially modified 1976 Jaguar XJ12 C. Forty years later, and looking every minute of it, the car sold at auction to a private collector for a cool £62,000 (about $96,000) — five times its estimated selling price, and roughly what you'd pay for a new Jaguar F-Type Coupe V6 S.
Part of UK-based H&H Classics' 14 October auction at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, England, the New Avengers Jag is a looker, even under a blanket of filth. H&H said the car had been "dry-stored for many years and is now in need of restoration," which is auctioneer-speak for "bring a trailer."
The ex-Steed green XCJ12 C is a roadgoing replica of the impossibly cool Broadspeed Jaguar wide-body racecar from 1976 European Touring Car Championship season. Beneath the hood lurks Jaguar's 5.3-litre V12, matched to a Borg-Warner three-speed automatic transmission. This engine will be a creamy, 265-horsepower delight after much tender-loving care and many quid, but at present, it's a terrifying thing to behold. One assumes the new owner is undaunted by a good challenge.
Yes, the wide-body exterior looks a little barn-y at the moment, but the potential is there. And those wheels! The interior is standard '70s XJ fare, which is to say, quite pleasant: classy tan hide, a thin-rim steering wheel and a plenty of woodgrain trim on the dashboard.
So what do you think? Would you drop £62,000 (plus a pile of cash to restore it) for John Steed's Big Cat? Let us know on our Facebook page or send us a message on Twitter.