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Metal merchant goes mad at auction

Southampton scrap metal dealer James Huntley's passion for his work got the better of him at a number plate auction when he paid a whopping £60,000 for "SCR4P".

Already the owner of "MET4L", Huntley had is heart set on owning the pair but had set a price limit of £20,000.

Bidding over the phone, he knew the auction held in Crewe would generate industry interest, but he hadn't quite anticipated the tenacity of the other scrap metal bidders.

As his £20,000 threshold came and went, Huntley couldn't stop bidding.

"I just had to have it," he told MRW moments after parting with his money.

"I've had MET4L for some time and as soon as I saw SCR4P come up for sale I knew I had to have the pair," he added.

The price had rocketed to £54,000 (add on the VAT and buyer's premium and the price exceeds £60,000).

"I could hear the crowd gasping as the price escalated and I was willing the other bidder to drop out ... and he did," said Huntley, whose Mercedes will now sport a number plate worth more than most people's car.

"I kept thinking that I should stop bidding but I knew I had to have it. When I finally won I was left with that sort of sick feeling you get when you're not sure if you've done the right thing," he said.

When asked what his wife thought of his impromptu spending spree the metal merchant admitted that she wasn't keen on his car's new number plate.

"She wasn't very impressed," he admitted, "I've tried to explain that she's reading it all wrong."

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