Went to British Car Auctions the other day, mostly for a classic car sale viewing, but also got drawn into a prestige auction that was running at the time.

There were any number of BMWs and Mercs going through, some of them rare groove stuff such as M5s and a mouthwatering CL600 that went for £14k, but what got me wishing I'd registered to bid/arranged to borrow funds/had somewhere to park the spoils, were a couple of cars that were a little out of the ordinary for this particular auction. Past experience (though very limited) suggests that the unusual tends to earn a lower price, because that's not what the traders came for.

First up was a pristine Nissan 350Z Convertible, a 2005 on an '05 plate, complete with the essential GT pack and 14,000 miles on it. Winter's no time to sell a drop-top, and so it proved here, bidding running slowly until the Z made £15,000, which I reckoned an absolute steal for a car that would cost just over £30k new today.

The other tempter was more affordable, but also needed closer inspection being much older. It was an absolutely unmarked 1999 Jaguar XK8 coupe - even its allows were unscuffed - in a beautiful blue. There was no bidding at all to start with, before it climbed to £7600, a figure even the man with the gavel couldn't quite believe. True, I didn't catch the mileage, but unless it was ludicrously high that Jag would be worth over £11k privately. It momentarily made me think about a new career involving a sheepskin coat, but I'm sure selling used cars for a crust is far harder than it looks.