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Taking an interest in classic cars carries with it a certain air of sophistication. You prefer the reassuring smell of old leather over GPS, a growling exhaust note over power steering, and the cars in your garage (like the dinner jackets in your wardrobe) probably number more than one. If you're willing to put in the effort, the hunt can be rewarding too. While trolling eBay is one way to go, winning your new ride at auction offers an adrenaline rush equal to shifting into fifth gear.

From an Austin-Healey with a rich racing past, to an iconic Lamborghini Countach, we've selected 10 special models that Bonhams - a leading international car auction house - will be putting on the block in Greenwich, Connecticut; Stuttgart; and Sussex. You might not have the cash for all the cars - it sold a W196 Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix racing car for a world record £19.6m last year - but we asked for some expert advice on buying a car at auction should you want to place a bid. Flick through the slides, above, to check out the cars that caught our eye, and read, below, for some insider tips.

Words by Mr Tom M Ford, Features Writer, MR PORTER