There then followed a parade of moderately well-used cars; not quite shiteworthy (yet) but mostly falling into that dangerous bracket of Sensible Runners Unless/Until There's Something Wrong With Them. It's fair to assume that if they're being sold up here, in the dark, in December, chances are there's something wrong with them. Low Cost, Big Liability thread fodder?
A Merc ML soon popped up; once a common old thing but I'm led to believe that the export market has taken a lot of them out of circulation. With £800 bid at the fall of the hammer, will this one also be heading for the warmer climes of North Africa?
A slightly scabacious Ford C-Max realised £650. Possibly better than a Zafira? Less prone to spontaneous combustion, mebbe? (It was more in focus in real life, honestly.)
I quite like the CL7-era Honda Accord, especially in estate format with that big blocky rump, but haven't I heard somewhere that there's clutch/gearbox issues latent in many?
The auctioneer opened by asking the floor whether he heard £3000 for this?
Unsurprisingly, he didn't.
The hammer fell at a rather more appropriate £725.
Auctioneers: leave the comedy to the professionals, yeah?
There were a few quite big fourbyfours through this evening; this Volvo XC90 was one of them.
Because I was busy blethering, I didn't catch the final bid price here; somewhere up in four figure territory, for sure. Although I became aware that quite a few cars were not reaching reserve, but many of the lots were concluding with a muted and somewhat terse "gonna need to make a phone call on that one", before sputtering from the ring. I believe this was one of them.
A pez-flavoured Peugeot 407 arrived through, whickering and squoinking merrily from beneath the bonnet. With a few bodywork dings, I can't say it possessed bags of kerb appeal, yet bidding did manage to struggle up to £425, which I found remarkable as I would have guessed its chances of making it home under its own power were not much better than 50/50.
"Six speed gearbox on this one!" was our auctioneer's incessant rallying cry. He carefully managed to omit specifying just how many of those six gears were actively functional at any given time. CogSr owned a SW version of one of these; the flappy-paddle selector arrangement was confirmed as Not Very Good.
A moderately clean Mk2 Kangoo topped out at a mere £575; the interior needed a good scrub, but overall this looked pretty decent. Do these have issues that I don't know about?
Both MrsDC and I had a weird hankering for the Mk1 Kangoo when it first appeared, as a car that looked totally functional (I kinda saw it as a spiritual successor to the R4, what with its tallness and giant rear tailgate), so I'm gonna select it for this month's Pluriel Award, as the car I most wanted to take home even though I know it would make me weep bitter tears at some point.
This Mk2 Focus realised more than twice the price of its silver commedia dell'arte sibling from earlier; they generally seem to hold their value pretty well, these ones. I always thought they were tidy-looking wee things, more so than the Mk1 Focus, whose styling I just never gelled with. Very much the Mk9 Escort.
A bit of class came in next.
Looking actually quite clean, and a damn sight better than the crusty V6 that rattled through a few months back, this Jaaaaag X-Type caused a bit of a stir. With nearly a full year's MOT and new tyres, £925 didn't seem unreasonable. Assuming it's not about to do something terminal, of course.
Some twonk will enjoy spending the next month in his new A4 hanging 5mm away from the back bumper of every other car they're driving behind, for a mere £850.
(Other sweepingly unfair Audi-driver stereotypes are available.)
At least it's not white, yeah?
Now this also caught my beady little eye...
I'm not so hooked on TEH MODERNZ, but I do have a little bit of a Saab itch that, one day, may need to be scratched. This 9-3, in 2.8 turbocharged V6 flavour, actually looked bloody lovely. I don't think it was an AWD version, but perhaps someone with more knowledge of these things might illuminate me. [EDIT: it's only a bloody Carlsson!!!]
Unfortunately, its current owner also seemed to have an equally inflated opinion of it and the highest bid of £2250 was, we were informed, "miles off" the reserve price.
For an eight year old car with a bare three weeks' MOT left, that hasn't been on the road since the summer, I'm not sure I would entirely agree. But out it went, unsold. [see R9UKE's comment below for more info on this particular transport of desire]
Another unsold vehicle was this Southern-registered VW Transporter minibus. A bit of crispiness round the arches, but even then a £1500 top bid was deemed insufficient. Dub tax?
One that did actually manage to sell was this Citroen C3, one lady owner, low miles, waffle waffle waffle.
£420, and off it went. I'm told that people who like these really like 'em; they're not especially to my taste, but hey.
A Volvo C30 then appeared: another car which daily threatens our domestic harmony. I really liked the design of these when they first appeared; MrsDC detests and despises them for reasons which have yet to be satisfactorily elucidated.
The_Equalizer and several other casual bystanders were then treated to a special command performance of our short but edgy piece of experimental drama, entitled 'You Needn't Think You're Getting One Of Those Bloody Things (A Tragedy In One Act)'.
By the time our Brechtian tour de force concluded, the hammer had fallen at £970. The auctioneer said it was the cheapest one of these he'd ever had through.
Our audience was too stunned by the power of modern theatre to applaud (which is a terribly bourgeoisie affectation anyway, I find), and the little Scandi coop' exited the ring in appropriately post-Ibsenesque silence.
Its absence was filled by a big Skoda Superb with, erm, a non-working odometer... that I'm quite sure was never at any time affiliated with the taxi trade.
Still, a lot of car for well under a bag of sand - even if it might* have an intergalactic mileage.
MOAR Saab shenanigans, then - a first-gen 9-3 Cabrio, making a lot of very horrid noises from beneath the bonnet that suggested some hearty cog-munching was in progress.
The auctioneer appeared all but oblivious to the cacophony, expressing his utter disbelief that bidding had petered out at a mere £430.
Maybe there was indeed a £900 reserve, but if so the owner might want to have a wee word with himself, trying to punt on a 13 year old convertible with obvious mechanical issues in the depths of winter.
"That's gonna need a phone call" was the verdict as it squeeeeeled and klonked its way back out into the night.
Indeed it will, most probably to T-Met for collection by an oily man with a HIAB and precious little in the way of bedside manner.
A Transit Connect (what was wrong with calling these things a Fiesta Courier?) with a fair bit of bleb hit a brisk £550 before all the bids were done. My phone decided that it didn't want to focus anymore, so I only caught its arse leaving.
Suddenly, the spotlight shone on the star of the show.
Our glittering fairy chodmother, the Omega V6, now took a turn into the limelight. Ex-plod, and apparently one owner since being pensioned off, this one stood at almost a full year's MOT and had been 'dry-stored'.
Bidding was better than might have been expected, all things considered, but once again the auctioneer was left disbelieving in the powers of magic as, even at £1300 bid, the reserve was not met.
Seemed strong money still, for a post-facelift jobber - unless I'm out of the loop and these are starting to make a bit of coin these days?
Anyway, it seemed that £650 for a dog-dick red Corsa with obligatory Ripspeed extras was still not enough to help our auctioneer believe in the magic of Christmas.
With so many lots not making reserve, why, it would take a Christmas miracle to restore his festive spirit!
But stay! What's this?
Bugger me senseless, that is a lot of truck. Ford Transit Custom recovery wagon, looking barely used.
Wow. And that's the most expensive thing I've ever seen go through the ring here. Apparently sold. So there is money in the room.
"Now we ALL know the magic of Christmas!!"
[^^^ actual photo of auction attendees]
[to be concluded later!!]