This has made me all nostalgic for the auction in Glasgow's old meat market, which was a similarly unhealthy set-up well stocked with chod when I frequented it in the late 90s.
Sadly, this kind of absolute bottom-rung style of car auction seems to be getting rarer these days: I can remember Carryduff Auctions as something similar back in the day, punting through a never-ending cavalcade of wheezy Escort estates and crispy Mitsubishi Sigmas for around the two hundred pound mark, but now it's part of a national auction chain and seems to specialise mainly in 3yr old ex-Motability/ ex-PCP cars...
Time was, my plumber uncle would buy some old nail for work duties - usually a MkIV or V Cortina - for peanuts at the auction, run it for a few months until it broke down/ran out of MOT, then badger someone into towing it up to Bobby Shaw's yard before heading over to Carryduff to scoop up another one just as bad. Rinse and repeat.
At a guess, higher scrap prices - and electronic faults that render an iffy older car simply too banjaxed to even stagger through the ring - have probably played a part in making cheap-cheap auctions like this unviable, plus a shrinking band of Bangernomicists willing to take these old nails on.
I suppose it's also worth remembering that twenty-odd years ago, selling a car involved phoning in an ad to the local newspaper's classifieds desk, or else the tender mercies of Autotrader, or bucking it up to the auction. Gumtree/eBay/Facebook have made it easy and free to have an endless parade of gormless idiots waste your time over an old shitter; you no longer have to pay handsomely for the privilege.
Cars do last better now, though. I'm generally disappointed at first arrival at Ballyclare - "they're all too new this time!" - but they're nearly all over ten years old, with many in the 15-20 year old bracket (like the green Omega).
For perspective, my dad's old Marina estate (just like Trig's, only Sandglow Beige) required serious corrosion-related welding before it was five, and was hopelessly, terminally rusted-out and perched atop a three-car stack up at Shaw's before its tenth birthday (despite my very best efforts here with the Tetrosyl).
Compare that to the 2007 Fiat Bravo upthread, that went for a mere £450 - maybe I just hang around here too much, but it really does look like a nearly-new car to me. For £450! It's quite hard to imagine a 2009 car doing a Marina and being a total wob-packed colander at that age.
It seems that Ballyclare does have a rep as *the* place for dealers to dispose of undesireable trade-ins that are almost but not quite scrap fodder; and I hope it does continue. That £70 Corsa B did tempt me...
So yeah... support your local shite auction, folks (if indeed there's still one near you). All those who say they prefer to just crush a cheap car, however decent, simply to avoid having to deal with incomprehensible texts from the Great Unwashed might want to consider the no-reserve auction route in future? You might be surprised...