So it seems there’s this TV show in England called Wheeler Dealers. The premise of the show is to find a classic car in need of some TLC, buy it, do it up, and then sell it on. It’s presented by a duo: there’s Mike Brewer who does the buying/selling and Edd China who does the repairs. I’d never heard of the show before, but I was doing some surfing regarding Volvo 1800S parts and came across a particular episode that featured a white P1800 (a 1968 1800S, F reg, as it happens). I decided to add the links here for later.
The overall flavor of this particular episode is kind of interesting and kind of annoying. First up, Brewer is majorly annoying, a kind of cheeky Cockney chappie car dealer. It seems he has an 1800S of his own (I’m guessing the green one shown at the beginning of the episode is his, a 1967 1800S, E reg), but the way he treats the bonnet of the car is just stupid. It doesn’t have a spring fastener so there’s no point in dropping the bonnet down from a height of a foot or two to close it. Prat. And FFS, it was an 1800S, so call it that and not P1800 all the time. (At one point, he called it a P1800E, which is just wrong.)
By far the most interesting part for me was China’s: although this car was pretty original and had beautiful bodywork, the car had problems with a rough engine, a broken front suspension spring, and a non-operational fuel gauge. Turns out it needed a cylinder head rebuild, the carbs rebuilt, and a new fuel tank, sender, and gauge. Also of interest was the fact the cylinder head was refurbished with hardened valve seats so that it could run on unleaded fuel (the original car used 4-star of course). All that was pretty interesting to watch, at least for this scaredy cat armchair mechanic who will gladly send his off to Concours Cars to get fixed.
Intriguingly, although this was videoed in 2010 (I got mine in July 2010), the car cost £5,000 ($8,000) to purchase and they sold it for £8,350 ($13,360), which seems a little high. Maybe prices are more in the UK. Certainly prices have crept up over the past two or three years here for good examples (I’ve increased the insurance replacement value twice now for mine), but then that is true of the whole classic car market – it’s definitely an appreciating market at the moment. Total parts cost for this set of repairs was about £800, but that didn’t count the enormous amount of time China spent on it.