Auc­tion abuse

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Project Mercedes-benz E320 Cdi -

 As I’ve re­ported pre­vi­ously, it’s not of­ten some­thing in­ter­est­ing gets put into a runof-the-mill auc­tion these days. Un­usual old ve­hi­cles usu­ally end up in spe­cial­ist clas­sic auc­tions or be­ing sold on­line.

I’d class the re­cently ob­so­lete Jaguar XK range as some­thing a bit in­ter­est­ing. Not­ing one in a gen­eral part-ex­change sale, I went to take a closer look.

The car was fin­ished in a sil­ver/gold colour with a black leather in­te­rior. It needed a full, de­tailed valet, no ques­tion, but then the car was nine years old and with 98,500 miles on the clock.

But what re­ally crabbed the car was the way it’d been treated at the block. It was lit­er­ally parked into the back­end of a Fo­cus C-MAX. My boss got into the C-MAX to push it for­ward as the Jaguar’s nose-cone bumper was dis­tort­ing due to the pres­sure. Once sep­a­rated, we could see the bumper had been dam­aged by the stop-when-youfeel-the-bump park­ing. The lashing eye from the Ford had punched a hole in the lower part of the bumper, while the top half had lost its paint.

In­side wasn’t much bet­ter. The boot trim had been ripped out and cast aside in an ef­fort to lo­cate the bat­tery, pre­sum­ably to en­able jump-start­ing. Trim un­der the pas­sen­ger side of the dash­board had been pulled down, no doubt to find the fuse­box and re­place a blown fuse from mis­guided jump­start­ing un­der the bon­net. The key was wedged in the cen­tre con­sole, but the electrics had died, mean­ing the win­dows had all parked slightly down, let­ting in rain. Fi­nally, in an ef­fort to re­move the reg­is­tra­tion plate, some­body had just pulled at the thing in­stead of un­screw­ing it from the be­spoke sur­round.

The car was orig­i­nally bought from a fran­chised main dealer for £60,000, but what should have at­tracted bids of any­thing up to £10,000 looked like a ma­jor li­a­bil­ity. Un­sur­pris­ingly, it was never go­ing to sell at that auc­tion house.

A week later, I was col­lect­ing a car from the ‘out’ yard of the auc­tion house when the Jag reap­peared in a dra­matic fash­ion. The wil­ful abuse of the old cat con­tin­ued as the yard hands lit­er­ally power-slid the thing around the yard be­fore park­ing it up.

As it turned out, BCA col­lected it. They valeted it, pho­tographed it, pre­sented it well and sub­se­quently sold it for sen­si­ble money straight away. But it shouldn’t have taken an­other auc­tion to sell such a highly de­sir­able car.

‘What should’ve at­tracted bids of £10,000 now looked like a li­a­bil­ity’

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