Autobooks-Aerobooks: Wheeler Dealers Feeler

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Burbank CA, Feb 20 2016 - About 13 seasons ago in a faraway place nobly named the United Kingdom, a nice couple of blokes launched a television show on a simple but timeless premise: flipping cheap but interesting cars. Mike Brewer’s a hustler and rustler – finding cars and parts and people to fuel the project of the day. Edd China is the young and thoughtful jack of all trades (master of all, to boot) that has to sort out and often bail out Mike’s predelictions. Each episode they set themselves up with ever bigger challenges, sweat the details and the labour (yes, there’s u in hard work), and always pull through for a win or tie before the credits roll. Being every man with a BBQ apron’s dream hobby, their show Wheeler Dealers struck a nerve with funny gas (not ethanol).

Mike Brewer and Edd China booking signing at Autobooks-Aerobooks

While a hit at home in the UK and around the globe, Wheeler Dealers became a runaway favorite across the great water from the Kingdom - in the United States. This is a rather significant achievement, as the normal culture transfer process to America is to copy great content exactly but change everything (for the worse) and add a laugh track so the flat-earth masses will understand it. Wheeler Dealers doesn’t need translation or explanation – mostly because you can’t help but like the humble and humorous hosts.

The early years featured low budget car repair projects. Everyday craft that had seen better days, always transformed with a few simple  (or not). No matter what straggly cat Mike dragged in, Edd hauled a roaring lion back off the garage lift. Mike was then always so happy to make a few quid on the deal, rain or cloud. We worried that Edd wasn’t getting paid though as he never seemed to charge for his labour (note the u again) when the costs were tallied. He had to do a show in his spare time as well. The projects kept getting better bigger and crazier, including field trips to America to fetch some V8s.

Mike Brewer and Edd China booking signing at Autobooks-Aerobooks

 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SL - Season 13, Episode 1

Well, Mike and Edd must have noticed the sunshine and the even bigger and better on their California shoots. Of all the good news a car guy could hear, Wheeler Dealers is picking up the UK crew and basing the show out of southern California. Speaking recently to car news veteran Dave Kunz on ABC7, Mike and Edd commented on the giant car culture here and the large volume availability of cars, parts and people to make a show out of. Here they won’t have to make a half an island long trip to check out a car they found in the paper. Now they just have to go half a county or just down the street – with the top down if they so choose.

Wheeler Dealer hosts Mike Brewer and Edd China booking signing

 "Wheeler Dealers 2003 onwards" - buy it now at Autobook-Aerobooks

Already busy shooting the series, it was natural for the WD crew to find its way to Burbank and another famous wheeler dealer – Autobooks-Aerobooks. While ostensibly there for a book signing, they took advantage of the big crowd of fans and streets full of vintage Burbank cars to shoot a scene for an upcoming show. Driving a beaut topless car (whose identity shall remain anonymous until air date) Edd drove up to angle parking spot #1 several times for the one-camera pickup shots. Mike or Edd or the crew apologized for every take, as if any of the crowd minded standing front row to a reality show in this town. If people aren’t building cars here in Burbank, they work for the studios or in the film business. Where’s the food truck? they might otherwise think.

If WD came for sun, they found it cloudless at the valley book store. The venerable hosts arrived like rock stars, sharply dressed in suit jackets  - after a few energetic scenes they had to fling them off for a minute of relief. We figure the jackets might give way for loose floral prints and shorts within a few episodes! Mike and Edd are every bit as humble and personable as they seem on the TV show – this can’t be an act. We hope Hollywood doesn’t “fix” them like everything else around here. We like the Originals, thank you very much.

Welcome to our home, as is.

Mike Brewer and Edd China booking signing at Autobooks-Aerobooks


Wheeler Dealers: Mercedes 560SL - Off With the Old by Discovery TV

by Randy Berg

Picture below: 1960 Dodge Dart; 1969 Triumph GT6+; and Citroen DS 23 Pallas

1960 Dodge Dart at Mike Brewer and Edd China booking signing at Autobooks-Aerobooks
1969 Triumph GT6+ at Mike Brewer and Edd China booking signing at Autobooks-Aerobooks
Citroen DS 23 Pallas at Mike Brewer and Edd China booking signing at Autobooks-Aerobooks

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