Wheeler Dealers (2003– )
Wheeler Dealers is a British television series originally produced by Attaboy TV for the Discovery Channel in the UK and for Motor Trend in the U.S. The programme is fronted by car enthusiast Mike Brewer. Edd China was the mechanic of the programme from (series 1-13). and Ant Anstead took over from (series 14-16) and Marc "Elvis" Priestley takes over from (Series 17).
The premise of the show has the presenters on a mission to save old and repairable enthusiast vehicles, by repairing or otherwise improving an example of a particular make and model to a budget then selling it to a new owner.
The programme was created by Daniel Allum and Michael Wood, the founding directors of Attaboy TV, both long-time car enthusiasts.
There have so far been 16 series of the programme and three different theme tunes have been used; the current one being Balaclava by the Wideboys.
The previous theme was from V-The Production Library by Music 4.Series 1 originally aired in 2003. The second half of Series 6 was aired in autumn of 2009 on Discovery Real Time. Series 5 was renamed to Wheeler Dealers On the Road, with Brewer and China expanding their car search by heading out into Europe hoping to find classic cars to buy and restore.
Beginning with part 2 of Series 8, Brewer further expanded their horizon by touring the United States. In Series 12, Brewer and China set up a new workshop in Huntington Beach, California. This decision was made so that they could deliver more episodes of the show and meant they were able to restore and sell the cars on the spot, instead of having them shipped back to the UK. Series 12 also introduced the brand new workshop back in the UK.
In April 2013 a spinoff series titled Wheeler Dealers Trading Up was launched. This series was produced by X2 Productions Ltd and has Brewer traveling around the world to buy and sell, but not repair or restore, used cars in different countries on a set budget. He begins with $3,000 and trades his way through the series up to a Porsche 911. It was recommissioned by Discovery Channel International for a second series where Brewer ends up buying a Ferrari.
A second spinoff series titled Wheeler Dealers: Dream Car premiered in January 2020, with Brewer and mechanic Marc "Elvis" Priestley lending their expertise to add value to clients' cars helping them trade up to their dream vehicle.
In each episode, Brewer buys a vehicle, turns it over to his mechanic for repairs, then sells it on. For the first series, the budget was £1,000, for series 2, £2,000, and for series 3, £3,000. Budgets in subsequent series have varied, depending on the target vehicle. For example, a £10,000 budget was set on buying and restoring a Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 in series 6. For series 11 (2014), the budget is listed on the show's Discovery UK website as "up to £20,000".
The presentation for each project usually follows a similar TV format. Through series 6, the project was presented in two 30-minute episodes. Starting with series 7, the format was changed to single 60 minute (including commercials) episodes.
The programme was created with a DIYer in mind. The costs, and thus any profit or loss for a given project, are assessed without consideration of the labour costs of the mechanic (the assumption is that a well-equipped and able enthusiast could complete all work him or herself) but if repairs require professional help, like body resprays, complicated electronics, or windscreen replacements, they are added to the final cost.
Also addressed on each vehicle are its service history, bodywork defects (e.g. rust, dents), worn-out interiors and accessories. Vehicles that have either been inactive for long periods of time or purchased from outside the UK are restored and modified to pass the country's mandatory MOT test.
- Brewer starts with a budget to buy and then fix up a vehicle.
- Brewer gives a brief history of the merits of the chosen model of vehicle.
- Brewer locates, test drives, negotiates for and buys the vehicle (usually sealed with a handshake and Brewer triumphantly expressing to camera that he's just bought a <name of vehicle>).
- (Starting from series 5, prospective cars Brewer wanted to buy, but needed too much work, were shown. This also took place in Series 1, Episode 7).
- Brewer turns the vehicle over to the mechanic, and together they assess its needs.
- The mechanic begins work, providing assessments of the work and its challenges.
- Brewer stops by the workshop for an overview of progress, and expenditures are reviewed.
- A quick review of the first episode (for series where each project is split into two episodes).
- Brewer goes on a field trip to procure some required parts.
- Brewer interviews an owner of a similar vehicle in top condition, then drives and comments on the car. Brewer also assesses the merit and likelihood of getting the Wheeler Dealers example to the same condition as the example he is driving. (This feature was dropped from series 5 onwards)
- The mechanic finishes the work on the project vehicle which is subsequently shown on a revolving turntable.
- Brewer returns to the workshop and discusses the finished vehicle with the mechanic.
- There is a final tally of expenditures.
- Brewer drives the completed car, assessing improvements.
- (Starting from series 5, Brewer and the mechanic test drive the finished vehicle together and discuss its resale value.)
- Brewer sells the vehicle to a new owner (after the inevitable haggling). (Starting from series 5, prospective buyers who failed to buy the car are occasionally shown)
- The deal is sealed when Brewer says, "Hold out your hand, you've just bought a <name of vehicle>!" and shakes the new buyer's hand.
- Brewer summarises what the final selling price and profit is (or in rare instances what the loss is) and usually states that they have saved another vehicle to be enjoyed by the new owner.
Mike Brewer uses his skills as a former car trader to scout and buy used cars to be restored and sold for profit. He's also responsible for procuring replacement parts and sometimes specialists to refurbish expensive parts.
Edd China was the show's mechanic from series 1 to 13 doing much of the restoration and mechanical/servicing work, and giving viewers tips on how to sort out and solve various car problems, as well as estimating how much a garage would charge for such repairs.
On 21 March 2017, Velocity announced that China had left the show to "pursue other projects" and that he would be replaced by Ant Anstead in series 14. He explained that he chose to leave because he was disagreeing with the channel, which wanted to cut down his fixes in the workshop.
On 2 November 2020, it was announced that Marc "Elvis" Priestley would replace Anstead as the main mechanic of the show from Series 17, when it returns to the UK after six years filming in the U.S. However, Anstead will appear occasionally as a special guest.
Since series 13, the programme is produced by Discovery Studios (instead of Attaboy TV for the 12 previous seasons) for Motor Trend.
Paul Brackley was the series technical advisor, made sporadic appearances to assist China in carrying heavy parts or equipment in the garage, when China needed additional assistance (such as when China was bleeding brake/clutch fluid or checking an exhaust while a vehicle was running), and helping Brewer tow non-running or non-MOT-compliant vehicles to the shop.
Guest appearances on other shows
While buying more American cars for the show, Brewer dropped in on Chip Foose during the 2 June 2013 episode of Overhaulin, where Foose showed Brewer the 1972 Lotus Europa he was customising.
As of 15 February 2021 240 episodes have been shown covering 188 different vehicles with 11 recap episodes.
For series 1 to 6, each car was covered in two half an hour episodes (including ad breaks). From series 7 onwards, each car was covered in a single 60 minute episode.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||12||7 October 2003||11 November 2003|
|2||12||10 August 2004||16 September 2004|
|3||12||23 August 2005||27 September 2005|
|4||12||29 August 2006||3 October 2006|
|5||12||28 October 2008||6 December 2008|
|6||20||5 May 2009||17 November 2009|
|7||10||4 May 2010||9 November 2010|
|8||10||5 April 2011||1 November 2011|
|9||15||20 March 2012||6 November 2012|
|10||12||19 February 2013||22 October 2013|
|11||15||17 March 2014||13 October 2014|
|12||20||23 March 2015||19 October 2015|
|13||18||9 May 2016||16 January 2017|
|14||18||5 October 2017||31 May 2018|
|15||27||3 October 2018||3 December 2019|
|16||16||31 August 2020||22 February 2021|
|Series premiere||Series finale|
|1||6||2 April 2013||7 May 2013|
|2||6||6 August 2014||10 September 2014|
On 2 April 2012, the Swedish version of the Discovery Channel aired a special episode called Wheeler Dealers Sverige Special (Wheeler Dealers Sweden Special). In this episode, the Swedish presenters bought a Ford Mustang for 55,000 SEK. After having to refurbish the brake calipers, swap the engine and giving the car a new paint job, they were able to sell it for 135,000 SEK, giving them a total profit of 28,000 SEK.
U.S. Top 5 Specials
|Series premiere||Series finale|
|1||5||5 June 2013||3 July 2013|
Discovery U.S.'s Velocity channel commissioned a series of one-hour Wheeler Dealers: Top 5 Specials hosted by Mike Brewer, featuring the top five vehicles of each genre Brewer and China have worked on during the first nine years of the show.
The specials began airing 5 June 2013, on the way to a Top 5 Viewer's Choice finale on 3 July 2013.
These episodes have been shown in the UK on the Discovery Channel at the end of season 11.1 and started on 5 May 2014.
|Episode||Top 5||Originally Aired|
|1||80s Icons||5 June 2013|
|2||American Icons||12 June 2013|
|3||Micro Cars||19 June 2013|
|4||Performance Cars||26 June 2013|
|5||Viewer's Choice||3 July 2013|
|Wheeler Dealers: Trading Up|
|Presented by||Mike Brewer|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||2|
|No. of episodes||12|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company||X2 Productions Ltd|
|Original network||Discovery Channel|
|Original release||2 April 2013 –|
24 November 2014
Series 1 (2013)
In this series made by X2 Productions Ltd, Brewer navigated his way through the culture and idiosyncrasies of the international used car trade, traveling to different countries. Starting with a budget of US$3,000, he attempted to transform his first purchase into a succession of real deals working his way up to his goal: a US$30,000 luxury sports car. Episodes 1-3 and 5-6 directly connect with each other, with the final car of the former episode being sold in the latter episode. In the United States, airings on Velocity began on 10 July 2013.
|Final Selling Price||Profit / Loss||UK Air Date||UK Viewers (million)|
|1||Kolkata, India||2004 Maruti Suzuki Alto LX||$3,000||$2,150||N/A||$2,550||$400||2 April 2013||0.15|
|2004 Tata Indigo Marina||$3,400||$2,350||$25||$2,850||$475|
|2000 Hindustan Ambassador Classic||$3,875||$3,600||$1,050||$7,600||$2,950|
and Newark, UK
|9 April 2013||0.21|
|1971 Triumph Spitfire Mk IV Convertible||$3,000||$2,400||N/A||$3,450||$1,050|
|1992 Land Rover 90 Defender||$4,050||$4,100||N/A||$5,825||$1,725|
|1967 Chevrolet El Camino||$9,600||$9,600||$808||$9,900||-$508|
Malmö and Fjällbacka,
|16 April 2013||0.26|
|EPA-Traktor (1958 Volvo Duett)||$11,392||$3,000||$9||$3,302||$293|
|1972 Saab 96||$11,685||$1,850||$23||$2,460||$587|
|1966 Volvo P1800||$12,272||$11,200||$525||$14,400||$2,675|
|4||Tokyo, Japan||2003 Daihatsu Tanto||$12,649||$11,070||$640||$12,820||$1,110||23 April 2013||0.19|
|2003 Nissan Stagea 250 RX||$13,759||$4,225||$1,516||$7,692||$1,951|
|1976 Toyota Celica Coupe||$15,710||$3,653||$1,435||$2,179||-$2,909|
|5||Mexico City, Mexico, San Francisco|
and Palm Springs, U.S.
|1956 Volkswagen Beetle||$12,801||$10,400||$200||$11,500||$900||30 April 2013||0.16|
|1980 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II||$13,701||$10,000||$500||$14,000||$3,500|
|1967 Chevrolet Camaro||$17,201||$15,000||$100||$27,142||$9,292|
|6||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||7 May 2013||0.24|
|2005 Toyota Prado GX||$0||$14,571||$450||$17,142||$2,106|
|2001 Porsche 911 Carrera Convertible||$28,599||$25,714||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Series 2 (2014)
|Final Selling Price||Profit / Loss||UK Air Date||UK Viewers (million)|
|1||Sydney, Australia||2000 Ford Falcon Futura AU II||$3,000||$900||$215||$2,790||$1,675||20 October 2014||0.23|
|1981 Mazda RX-7||$4,675||$4,050||$450||$3,600||-$900|
|2002 Holden Commodore VU II UTE||$3,775||$4,750||$450||$5,850||$650|
|1972 Ford Escort Mk 1||$4,425||$4,950||$1,368||$14,240||$7,922|
West Midlands & Aberdeen,
|27 October 2014||0.24|
|1983 Volkswagen Golf GTi Mk 1||$12,347||$5,200||$160||$7,200||$1,700|
|1999 Caterham 7||$14,047||$13,200||$160||$15,600||$3,140|
|2007 Land Rover Freelander||$17,187||$15,200||$80||$17,000||$1,478|
|3||Sao Paulo, Brazil||1972 Volkswagen Kombi||$18,646||$12,174||$435||$13,913||$1,304||3 November 2014||0.22|
|1962 Willys Jeep||$19,950||$10,000||$48||$10,435||$387|
|1976 Chevrolet Opala||$20,337||$5,217||$6||$6,522||$1,319|
|4||Austin Texas, U.S.||1972 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray||$21,655||$17,000||$440||$22,500||$5,060||10 November 2014||N/A|
|1959 Chevrolet Apache||$26,715||$11,000||$940||$14,500||$2,560|
|1969 Jaguar E-Type||$29,275||$16,000||$5,000||$37,000||$10,000|
|5||Warsaw & Gdynia, Poland||17 November 2014||N/A|
|1973 Fiat 126p||$39,275||$1,000||$500||$1,833||$333|
|6||Milan, Mantua, & Modena, Italy||1980 Vespa Primavera 125 ET3||$40,308||$4,900||$322||$7,000||$1,596||24 November 2014||N/A|
|1993 Lancia Delta Integrale Evoluzione II||$41,904||$35,000||$10||$39,000||$3,990|
|1989 Ferrari 348 tb||$45,378||$44,800||N/A||N/A||N/A|
- Balance sheet
|Audi,Amphicar, BMW, Mercedes-Benz,Messerschmitt,Opel Porsche, Volkswagen||8|
|Amc, Cadillac,Chevrolet,DeLorean, Dodge,Ford,Lincoln Harvester,Humvee,Jeep, Merkur,Plymouth,Pontiac ,Wyllis||14|
|Austin, Bond , Bentley , Bug, Catherham, Gardner,Jaguar, Jensen Healey, Land Rover, Lotus, MG, Mini, Morgan, Range Rover, Rolls Royce Sunbeam , TVR,||17|
|&||Hindustan Ambassador, Saab, Tata,Volvo,||2|
|Alfa, Roméo, Ferrari, Fiat,Lancia, Lamborghini,Vespa||6|
|Datsun, Honda, Lexus,Mazda, Mitsubishi,Nissan,Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota||9|
|& &||Holden, FSM ,GAZ-66|
Brewer has used a variety of vehicles on Wheeler Dealers to travel to see prospective vehicles and/or tow them if they are not in running order or street legal.
Brewer has used a Mitsubishi Shogun to travel around England since series 9 (2012). Vehicles used prior to series 9 include a dark turquoise Nissan Primera Estate, a blue Subaru Legacy Estate, a red Honda Accord Tourer, a black SsangYong Rexton II, a dark blue SsangYong Kyron, a black Land Rover Discovery 4, a blue Nissan X-Trail and a light blue Ford Kuga. For Series 8a, he used a black X-Trail. For Series 12b, he used a white Mercedes-Benz Sprinter to transport the Messerschmitt KR200 back to the workshop.
When Brewer travelled to France in series 5 to purchase a Citroën DS, he rented a French-registered black Opel Zafira; he rented a newer version of the Zafira when he returned to France to buy the Renault Alpine A310 in series 9a. Brewer used a French-registered silver Toyota Corolla Verso when he returned to buy the Citroën 2CV in series 11a. When he returned to France in series 12b, he rented a French-registered grey Audi Q3 to purchase the Citroën HY.
For Trading Up, Brewer drove a white Toyota Fortuner owned by a used car dealer in India. In Dubai, Brewer's contact drove him around in a white Ferrari F430. In Texas, Brewer used a grey C2 Corvette. Taxicabs featured in the series included a yellow Hindustan Ambassador Grand and a green and yellow Bajaj RE in India, a black LTC TX4 in the UK, a black Toyota Crown Comfort in Japan, a yellow and red Volkswagen Sedan Type 1 in Mexico, a white Ford Falcon in Australia, a white Chevrolet Onix Sedan in Brazil, a yellow Dodge Charger in Texas, and a yellow Fiat 600 Multipla in Italy. For Hire Cars, he rented a Black Mitsubishi Shogun in the UK, a black Chrysler Grand Voyager in Brazil, a dark red GMC Yukon in Texas, a grey Land Rover Discovery 3 in Poland, and a white Fiat 500 in Italy. In Poland, when Brewer is taking the Fiat 126p to get vinyl wrapped, he borrowed a grey Opel Movano, to carry the car to the vinyl wrapping shop.
For the Wheeler Dealers: Top 5 US specials, Brewer stood in China's shop, in front of a red C2 Corvette.
The opening sequences and filler segments from series 1 to 9 featured the cars that were worked on throughout their corresponding seasons:
- Series 1: All the vehicles done so far
- Series 2 and 3: MGB GT
- Series 4: Porsche 911 2.7S Targa
- Series 5: Mercedes-Benz R107 280SL
- Series 6: Ferrari Dino 308 GT4
- Series 7: Lotus Elan S3
- Series 8a: Jaguar E-Type Series 3
- Series 8b: Dodge Charger
- Series 9a: Fiat Dino
- Series 9b: Gardner Douglas Cobra
Series 10 did away with using cars on the opening and commercial break sequences, instead using a title card with the series logo and the colour(s) of the episode's car on the background. The filler segments, however, used the following cars:
- Series 10a: Aston Martin DB7
- Series 10b: Lamborghini Urraco P250S
Starting with series 11, Wheeler Dealers no longer uses cars on the filler segments.
The popularity of the original UK series led to a French-language spinoff titled Wheeler Dealers France, which premiered on 10 October 2016 on RMC Découverte. The series is presented by Gerry Blyenberg and Aurélien Letheux. Brewer made a special guest appearance on season 2 episode 1 of the series.