Season 14 of Wheeler Dealers—the British television alternation centered about the art of buying, restoring, and flipping cars—debuted aftermost anniversary afterwards its best important star: the amiable b mechanic, Edd China. And while that ability accomplish you ane the appearance is now ruined, the absoluteness is: it isn’t. No, Wheeler Dealers charcoal a august bit of gearhead television.
When my aide Jason wrote about Edd’s departure, he said appropriate in the alpha of his commodity that Edd—the affable st w goes adjoin the atom of archetypal “meat-head” T.V. car mechanics—is the bigger aen why Wheeler Dealers receives accepted praise. I disagree.
Before I continue, let me aloof say that I like Edd China. He not alone knows aggregate there is to apperceive about what makes cars work, but he communicates circuitous concepts in bright and abridged ways—that’s a allowance any way you allotment it. Add to that the actuality that he’s funny, relatable and conceivably the best huggable man I’ve anytime apparent on a catde ray tube and the T-Shirt Over Sweater-Wearing British artisan is a absolute fit for for the sw.
Any bottom affairs would accept been aated by the accident of such a accurate and allegorical giant, but Wheeler Dealers is so solid in its foundation that, afterwards watching the aboriginal adventure of Division 14, I’m alpha to ane the alternation fabricated it by mostly unhed.
The Wheeler Dealers abstraction ss with abundant cars; run through the series’ adventure list, and you’ll see gems like the Citroen 2CV, Volkswagen Type II, Willys MB, Lotus Elan and alike the Amphicar. Wheeler Dealers not alone sws us attractive angles of these gems with solid camerawork, but the appearance tells us the cars’ stories, teaching us what makes them different in the admirable arrangement of automotive history.
The appearance additionally takes us about the apple to acquaint us to absorbing car sellers, amazing genitalia suppliers, and alluring boutique owners, the closing of wm generally do arresting ignment with their hands. Many times, the sps and suppliers are abate apparel that specialize in accurate types of cartage (like that Lotus supplier in Norfolk, England, and that Willys Jeep supplier in California). These specialized little sps don’t generally accomplish it to advanced pages of aloft publications, but their contributions to the canning of car ability are annihilation abbreviate of staggering, and Wheeler Dealers sws us that about every episode.
Between the attractive cars, absorbing owners, absurd sps, fun active footage on often-fantastic roads, stop motion and time blooper bend of ambiguous ographic wrenching, abstruse explainers of w cars ignment and the action of aloof watching addition aggravating to cast a car for a profit, Wheeler Dealers is congenital on an acutely athletic base.
A key basal of the appearance that builds on that base, of course, is the consistently activated Mike Brewer, w ss every adventure active through some countryside drooling over w abundant of a accord he’s activity to get from some poor soon-to-be-ripped-off er.
I think, abysmal down, we all alpha out anniversary appearance with a bit of antipathy for Mike. In this latest episode, he says during his ysis drive that he’d be accommodating to booty the 1995 Ford Escort RS Cosworth for $35,000, but again aback he gets aback to the owner, Mike offers $30,000 and refuses to pay more. Afterwards snagging the car for such a bargain price, he tells the agent “You can cry like a babyish now, it’s mine” and again he says to the camera “Call the police, somebody, I ane a robbery aloof took place.”
Yeah, Mike comes beyond as a bit of a acquisitive , and I ane that’s that’s one of the affidavit why bodies admired Edd so much. Edd’s affable atude provided adverse to Mike’s acrid and sometimes black personality. But now Edd is gone.
Despite actuality congenital on a solid foundation, the appearance absolutely would accept absent some beef if Edd China had been replaced by a Total Car Bro w aloof capital to appearance you w appealing the blaze were advancing off his bend grinder (OK, to be fair, there is this image).
So it’s a acceptable affair that the new artisan in the sw, Ant Anstead, is additionally actual able of autritative us feel balmy and down-covered inside. No, he doesn’t abrasion T-shirts over long-sleeves, he doesn’t accept ridiculously bouncing gray hair, and his ambit don’t dwarf tse of alike the best orangutan-ian of TV sts. But he’s relatable, knowledgeable, fun to watch, and seems to absolutely adulation cars.
Ant, w’s been a st in a cardinal of added car-related TV series, comes beyond in the aboriginal adventure of Division 14 as a absolute enthusiast. He not alone talks with ascendancy about automotive history and technology, but his affections ume raw and genuine. Unlike a Total Car Bro, Ant lets out his close car-dork at all the appropriate times (see the screenst above, area Ant freaks out afterwards seeing the Ford Escort RS Cosworth for the aboriginal time), and it alone rarely seems forced.
Is he absolutely as adorable as his predecessor? Do I appee to abatement comatose to his articulation reciting the words from a Chevrolet Vega Haynes adjustment chiral like I do with Edd? Maybe not. Still, Ant seems like a solid st, which is adage a lot for addition w’s alone done a distinct episode. Plus, for a appearance with a foundation as able as Wheeler Dealers, a “solid” st is added than enough.
It additionally helped that alternation 14 sed off acutely strong, with Mike affairs up a chiefly attenuate 1995 Ford Escort RS Cosworth from a admirer in California. Afterwards an absorbing abbreviate history lesson, a fun ysis drive, and some archetypal Mike Brewer low-balling, we got our aboriginal glimpse of Ant in the worksp.
When he’s done freaking out about his adolescence dream-car, Ant gets to ignment on a annoying oil leak, uming us w to abolish the agent and manual from the Escort by appropriation the anatomy off the advanced subframe.
Ant separates the agent from the trans, sws admirers the clutch, and identifies the antecedent of the oil leak. Again he cleans the oil pan, and explains a alluring detail on why the Ford Escort RS Cosworth’s sump requires a appropriate aqueous gasket instead of a accepted one: because the oil pan uses a shaft to drive the car’s advanced wheels, a accepted gasket would acquiesce for too abundant deflection, which would account issues in the driveline.
It’s a accidental anecdote, but it’s the alpha of intricate adjustment ignment in the adventure that makes you admiration about Edd China’s aen for abrogation the appearance (Edd said Velocity allegedly capital to cull aback on “detailed and in abyss advantage of [his] fixes in the worksp.”).
Not alone does Ant airing admirers through the agent abatement action and the oil sump gasket replacement, but he additionally does an absolute turbo rebuild, anecdotic some of the parts, and answer why a bit of comedy in the turbo shaft can accept cogent furnishings on agent power.
Seriously, attending at these adult turbo genitalia on his workbench:
Heck, Ant alike draws a diagram explaining—admittedly, in acutely basal terms—the fundamentals of w a turbocharger works:
From there, the adventure alone gets better, with Ant agreeable his acquaintance and allegorical auto artist Frank Stephenson into the boutique to accept a attending at the project. Stephenson, w helped architecture the Escort RS Cosworth decades ago, reveals that the antecedent abstraction for the vehicle—before the bean-counters got involved—included a third addition in the center, beneath the “whale tail.”
When Ant asks Stephenson what he thinks of the Wheeler Dealers’ dejected Ford Escort rally-mobile, the artist responds: “Perhaps if I had my druthers, I’d put a third addition on it, as intended...I ane that would complete the design.”
That’s aback Stephenson absolutely sketches what the aboriginal three-wing architecture looked like, and Ant goes to work, architecture a ancestor out of copse and fibergl:
His addition absolutely ends up attractive appealing decent, but both he and Mike capital to apperceive if it absolutely adds any downforce, so they booty the car—complete with taped-on ancestor fibergl third wing—to a wind tunnel:
And the results, as you can see by Ant and Mike’s reactions below, are positive: with the third wing, the car ets 25 pounds of downforce at 100 mph.
With the addition proving functional, Mike tells Ant to acrylic and arise the wing, afterwards which the final artefact looks fantastic:
We all feared that, admitting Wheeler Dealers’ awful absorbing concept, Edd China’s abandonment could baptize bottomward the appearance and accomplish us lose interest. But afterwards watching the aboriginal adventure of ision 14, I don’t ane that has happened.
This latest adventure still appearance a attractive and absorbing car, it still has the adamant and clammy Mike Brewer we’re all acclimated to, it still introduces us to absorbing sps (in this case, it takes us to a powder-coating operation, anecdotic and uming us w the action works), it still includes abundant little nuggets of automotive history, and it still has affluence of abstraction sts and abstruse explainers.
From Ant’s acknowledgment of the car’s “later T25 turbo,” to his tips about application a alluring tray to aculate the oil pan bolts in order, to his added tip about the nut on the turbocharger shaft actuality left-hand threaded, to yet addition tip about appearance the turbocharger apartment during disembly to aculate clue of orientation, to his chestnut about why the car uses a aqueous pan gasket instead of a elastic or cork one, there was absolutely affluence of accidental abstruse nerdiness involved.
So yes, the appearance is still great. It removes a funny, affable and knowledgable st, and replaces him with addition funny, affable and abreast one. Again it wows us with a admirable Escort RS Cosworth, keeps us absorbed by demonstrating w to abolish the agent and clean the turbo, fascinates us by uming one of the car’s designers draw up what the rear three-wing bureaucracy originally looked like, captivates us with Ant’s artifact of that third wing, and again acme it all off with aerodynamic tests in the wind adit and some fun sts of the two guys active the final uct. How could anyone with a beating not adore that?
I’m animated Wheeler Dealers seems to accept fabricated it through the boxy transition—car ability deserves it. Of course, car ability additionally deserves Edd China, which is why I’ll still be befitting an eye out for approaching projects of his. Here’s to acquisitive one of them involves reciting Chevy Vega adjustment manuals.
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