A submerged car abandoned because of flooding on southwest England’s Somerset Levels and put on eBay “sold” for more than STG100,000 ($A183,770), before the bid was revealed to be a joke.
The unnamed bidder paid STG101,100 on the online auction site to buy the Seat Toledo after it was put up for sale by owner Hubert Zajaczkowski, 21.
Zajaczkowski was forced to leave the car, which had done 176,990 kilometres, on a road near the village of Muchelney on Christmas Eve because of the rising water.
For weeks the five-door silver petrol car remained stranded under water, filmed and photographed by national and international media and press as an illustration of the disaster unfolding in Somerset.
It was even commented on by the Prince of Wales and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
After the eBay auction, it emerged the bid appeared to be a practical joke by a 12-year-old boy.
Zajaczkowski told the Somerset Gazette he was disappointed at the apparent hoax bidding.
“I was quite shocked how high the bidding was,” he told the paper.
He had bought the 15-year-old 1.8-litre saloon for STG600.
“But I did contact the top bidder but he was not legit. Basically it was a 17-year-old lad whose 12-year-old brother thought it would be funny.”
Last week, Zajaczkowski, an apprentice at AgustaWestland in Yeovil, spoke of his shock at the car making headlines around the world.
“I wasn’t expecting my car to be on telly and then eventually international news and in newspapers,” he said.
“It smells. It is unbelievably disgusting in there.”