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Series / Wheeler Dealers

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Wheeler Dealers is a British show about buying used cars on some sort of a budget and restoring them in hope of selling them for a profit.

It has been running on Discovery Channel since 2003 and has produced 13 seasons, spanning 135 episodes. The presenters are Mike Brewer, the person accquiring the cars and parts and then selling the restored vehicle, and Edd China, the show's mechanic.

The show also had a spin-off, Trading Up, in which Mike travels the world, trying to turn his $3k budget into one allowing for a purchase of a sports car through many transactions. It ran between 2013 and 2014, getting 2 seasons and 13 episodes.


China announced that he was leaving the show prior to filming the 2017 season due to differences with Discovery over deemphasizing the segments that deal with fixing the car. Ant Antstead will take over as the mechanic.

This show provides examples of:

  • Accentuate the Negative: Edd usually lists all the problems when Mike turns up with a new project for him.
  • Alleged Car: As this is a show about fixing cars, there are many ones that are examples of that trope before they get work done on them:
    • The 1988 Toyota MR 2 from S 02 E 01/02 had some rust and required a screwdriver to start it up,
    • The 1985 Suzuki SJ 410 from S 02 E 05/06 not only was one before the restoration, as it had a worn engine, but also kept being one after it, due to having perforative corrosion to a level barring it from passing an inspection.
    • The 1971 VW Beetle 1300 from S 02 E 11/12 was so derelict, China gave up restoring it as a Beetle and instead used it as a base for a beach buggy, replacing most parts and using only a few original mechanical components.
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    • The 1989 VW Transporter from S 03 E 01/02 was dented and one of its rear doors was unopenable.
      • And the only reason that episode featured an 80s Transporter was that the older ones in the price range were in much worse condidtion than the final purchase, being practically unrestorable.
    • The 1978 Porsche 928 from S 03 E 11/12 was an unroadworthy non-running barn find with no service records and a non-original set of alloys.
    • S 04 E 07/08 featured an 80s BMW 635CSi that failed its inspection due to extensive underside rust. It was used as a donor car for the episode's main focus, a 1985 BMW 635CSi being restored.
    • The 1982 Lotus Esprit from S 05 E 03/04 was unroadworthy due to faulty suspension, a rusted exhaust and a leaking sunroof.
    • The 1971 Fiat 500L from the next 2 episodes didn't even make it from the seller in Italy tho the garage in Britain, neeeding to be carried on a flatbed.
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    • The original car meant to appear in S 05 E 11/12 was a 70s Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, but the bad condition of the car's body led Mike to backing up from the purchase in the last minute and buying a 1984 Bentley Mulsanne Turbo R instead.
    • S 06 E 03/04, the episode about converting a Porsche 944 into a track car, had a different example of the model being considered, but the crash damage of its body was deemed too severe.
    • The 1960 VW Beetle in S 06 E 11/12 had a broken engine, faded paintjob and a rotten front floorpan.
    • One of the Bond Bugs considered by Mike in S 07 E 06 was missing a large portion of its parts, and the body color had faded.
      • The seller also had a rotten 1959 Cadillac 60 Special sedan.
    • The 2001 Range Rover from S 08 E 03 had its suspension break down on the way to the garage.
    • The 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air from S 08 E 10 was actually a 210 converted into a Bel Air and caught fire shortly after purchase.
    • The 1992 Morgan Plus 4 from S 09 E 02 had a rotten chassis that needed to be completely replaced.
    • The 1977 Alpine A310 from S 09 E 04 wasn't able to make it to the garage, due to overheating.
    • The next episode featured a 1974 Porsche 914 that was barely able to move under its own power for a mile and had an interior full of dried plants and dust.
    • The 1963 BMW Isetta from S 09 E 13 had its rear brake lock up, causing the vehicle to spin out.
    • The 2000 Porsche Boxster from S 10 E 04 was originally sold as a parts car, due to transmission and exhaust problems.
    • The 1972 Lamborghini Urraco from S 10 E 07 had its engine rendered unstartable by a loose cam belt and was unable to move, due to seized brakes.
    • The 1967 Amphicar from S 11 E 07 broke down during the test drive (or rather float) after the restoration.
    • The 2001 Audi TT from S 11 E 10 did not have a working 1st or 2nd gear.
    • The 1974 BMW 2002tii from S 12 E 04 was unable to move under its own power.
    • The 1982 Alfa Romeo Alfasud from S 12 E 11 had not had any engine service done in 17 years.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Mike isn't really that little it's just that Edd is 6 foot 7.
  • Commonplace Rare: The Alfa Romeo Alfasud Ti from S 12 E 11 seems like a normal compact car, but there were only 50 left in the UK during the filming of that episode.
  • Cool Car: Most seasons had a certain vehicle from it used in filler segments, as it was deemed the coolest:
    • Seasons 2 and 3 had the 1977 MGB GT,
    • Season 4 had the 1976 Porsche 911,
    • Season 5 had the 1983 Mercedes 280SL,
    • Season 6 had the 1975 Ferrari Dino 308,
    • Season 7 had the 1968 Lotus Elan,
    • Season 8a had the 1973 Jaguar E-Type,
    • Season 8b had the 1970 Dodge Charger,
    • Season 9a had the 1970 Fiat Dino,
    • Season 9b had the 2002 Gardner-Douglas Cobra,
    • Season 10a had the 1996 Aston Martin DB 7,
    • Season 10b had the 1972 Lamborghini Urraco.
    • Later seasons stopped the practice of using cars in filler segments.
  • Don't Try This at Home: Edd will explain if anything he's doing could be potentially dangerous, eg: welding on the car's underside, as the petrol tank will need to be emptied, or things that even he needs to get the experts in to do.
  • Edutainment Show: Clearly it's no substitute for actually learning to be a car mechanic or reading a book on the second hand car market, but the show does teach some of the basics, and explains how most of the mechanical parts of cars work.
  • Framing Device: Mike is a well known British motoring personality, so clearly his wheeling and dealing is this for Edd's mechanical work. In real life the people he's buying and selling cars to obviously know they are part of a TV show.
  • Hard-Work Montage: Both Mike and Ed get these.
  • The Idealist: Mike is always optimistic about what can be done with any of their cars.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Turns a regular job (car mechanic) into something cool by including lots of classic cars, fun modifications, or vehicles with interesting problems to solve.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Due to Edd China repainting the 1967 Mustang in S 09 E 14 and outfitting it with aftermarket parts, the car had lost its desirable "A-Code" (vehicle with mostly original parts) status.
  • Rice Burner:
    • The 2002 Range Rover from S 10 E 03 had a custom paintjob and large rims, but also a broken injector and suspension compressor.
    • The 1995 Mazda RX-7 from S 11 E 03 had visual modifications done to it, but the mechanics were kept stock and in need of repairs.
  • Well Intended Replacement:
    • The 1971 VW Beetle from S 02 E 11/12 was turned into a beach buggy instead of being restored, as it was too damaged for a restoration.
    • Due to the inability of finding a good enough VW Transporter T2 in S 03 E 01/02's budget, a T3 was used instead.
    • S 05 E 11/12 had a Bentley Mulsanne Turbo R instead of a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, as it was impossible to find the latter in good enough condition below £5000.
    • As a genuine AC Cobra would have been way over budget, S 09 E 09 had to do with a Gardner-Douglas replica of it.


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