Monday, July 13, 2015

Wheeler Stealers


Been watching Wheeler Dealers, off and on,  for several years now. For the uninitiated, two blokes find old clunkers and fix them up.  The real star of the series is master mechanic Edd China.  He has a degree in engineering and product design, and at 6' 7" (2.01 m) can scarcely fit behind the wheel of some cars he brings back to life. Velocity channel has recently begun showing stuff from back when Mike and Edd had a £1000 budget.  Priceless.

Anyway, the lads buy old cars that ex-car salesman Mike Brewer seems to have an emotional attachment to, and Edd refurbishes.  The key is Edd's incredible knowledge and ability to fix damned near anything.  I am mesmerized, and fancy running out to the garage and fixing something after every show. For a few minutes.  They will for example spend 2000 quid on parts, but Edd's labor is never included in the selling price calculus.  Consequently, the cars are sold at ridiculously low prices.

All that is brings me to this.  There have been no cars that I would not have purchased on the spot. For full asking.  None.  And then resold at at a huge markup.  The purchase prices, and niggling by the buyer drive me nuts. Makes me wonder if the buyers aren't all Mike's friends, because all of them make out like bandits. Best deals ever.


Anonymous said...

Ya wanna run out and fix something. That's why you NEVER go to a Home Depot Saturday afternoon. Its full of folks stoked up after watching This Old House.

JLW III said...

Lord help me! I just bought a 1953 Studebaker coupe.


Anonymous said...

From Ron in Ohio:


Congratulations and rejoice! I own a '57 Studebaker Commander-Marshal and two '60 Studebaker Champ Pick-up trucks. If you've never restored or worked on one your in for some pleasant surprises. I always wanted a '53 Speedster but it has eluded me. I previously owned a '49 Starlight Coupe and a '57 Silver Hawk.

First off, Studebakers are usually more affordable to purchase than similar year's of other marques, no matter their condition.

Second, Parts availability is much better than on many other brands. Studebakers used "off-the-shelf" components; Delco electrics, Bendix brakes, Borg-Warner transmissions, Etc. Back in '93 when I first brought my '57 home I went to my local NAPA parts store and told them that I wanted every part needed to re-do my brake system. Within 3 days I had it all and at a good price. Heck! Even Studebaker's V-8's were an updated version of an old Cadillac engine.

Third, Ease of repairing; There is usually plenty of room to work anywhere on a Studebaker. No need to be a plumber or electronics expert and no need for a "shoe horn' to squeeze parts in.

Have fun!

DougM said...

Yeahman, sometimes the rebuild is the whole point.
My '74 Triumph TR-6, bein' a case in point. I bought it about 10-yrs ago in a don't-buy-this-one shape purely to have a re-build project.
I will never, ever recover the cost of rebuilding her, even if you ignore the value of my labor.
Doesn't matter. I drive 'er about 70-mi daily along the lovely central-NC back roads (smooth, no traffic, bucolic setting, although I had to stop and wait for four broods of wild turkeys to cross a road yesterday evening).
It's not just a toy, it's more like healing a dragon to ride.
(caution: YMMV if you have a family)

Regnad Kcin said...

I saw the show where they fix up an older W123 Diesel Benz. Our hero heads off to the local parts emporium and picks up a Chinese(!)repro r/f fender and several other items. The fender doesn't even come close to lining up to the bodywork. After several judicious applications of a large hammer and a handful of Bondo, the offending part is painted and tweaked some more. The end result is less than optimal. The rest of the fixes are also B.S. Why is this a top rated show on BBC ? Jeremy Clarkson gets the ax at Top Gear because he wouldn't give some douche canoe producer a reach-around. Yet, this steaming POS remains on the air. WTF ?

Anonymous said...

"The purchase prices, and niggling by the buyer drive me nuts."

I, speaking for my entire community, cannot and will not countenance your use of the term "niggling", which is egregiously disrespectful and racially insensitive. You really need to be re-educated, and all dictionaries need to be purged of this word.

Anne Gris-Schwarzer

Rodger the Real King of France said...

Sigh. Don't look at me ... I'm hideous

Anonymous said...

I can't afford cars so I mess with old Japanese motorcycles that can be had for a couple hundred bucks and put back on the road for a few more. They are usually not worth a full restoration since the cost would far exceed the finished value. I'm just happy to get neglected machines that were once someone's pride and joy operational again. A motorcycle left to rust away is a very sad thing.


Stu Tarlowe said...

Sigh. Don't look at me ... I'm hideous
# posted by Rodger the Real King of France : 7/14/15, 2:35 AM

Raja, is that a pure Kramer-ism, or was Cosmo alluding to a prior utterance of that phrase by someone else?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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