First…another weird/disturbing dream. For some reason I was walking outside in the dark, not my favorite activity. I had a specific destination in mind although the identity of that destination is now lost to dreamland.
As I was walking, lights seemed to be approaching, but the light source didn’t seem well-defined. I thought I discerned headlights, but headlights shrouded in fog, perhaps. Then, as the lights got closer I realized I didn’t have my phone with me, which meant I could not call my wonderful wife and she could not call me. I decided to turn around to get my phone and then I would restart the journey. That is when I woke up. Once again, WTF?!
Last night, the last US-based episode of Wheeler Dealers aired on Motor Trend. After five (six?) seasons of being based in southern California, the show is returning to its roots and will be produced in the UK.
The episode was a retrospective with the “premise” being that Mike Brewer and Ant Anstead were dismantling the California workshop. It was nice to see Edd China in some of the clips. The fact that Anstead will no longer be the principal mechanic was not mentioned, although the last scene where Brewer drives away without Anstead and leaves him with a bike as transportation may have been intended as a send-off. In the Internet world, secrets about TV production are almost impossible to keep. (Apparently, Anstead is staying in the US and has three shows in the pipeline.)
I told my wonderful wife that even though the show will continue–filming has already started in the UK, in fact–the episode felt like a series finale to me. Although the show has aired since 2003, and since 2011 in the US, I did not start watching until 2016. It was my favorite TV show for about a year until the word that Edd China was leaving the series. His departure is still unexplained, as far as I am concerned. His disapproval of a change in how the garage scenes were to be filmed rings hollow to me; something is missing.
Anyway…I guess I’ll give the new version of the show a look, but something will be missing.
The top photo is Mike Brewer (L) and Edd China (R); the bottom is Ant Anstead and Brewer.
I was originally going to call today’s post To The Letter. If I can trust a couple of sources, then it was on this day in 1955 that Chrysler began its Letter Series cars with the introduction of the C-300. From American Cars For Sale, a picture of a 1955 C-300:
In 1956, the model name was the 300B; for 1957, it was called the 300C, etc. The letter “I” was skipped and the cars were produced through 1965.
These were limited-production automobiles. For example, 1,725 were produced in 1955. (That number is shown as 1,698 by some sources.) In the entire model run of 11 years only about 17,000 were built.
The Letter Series cars were high-performance luxury automobiles. The “300” in C-300 represented the fact that the car’s engine produced 300 HP, high output for 1955. The optional engine for the 1956 300B was the first American motor to produce at least 1 HP per cubic inch being rated at 355 HP from 354 cubic inches.
Since Chrysler wasn’t awash in cash, the Letter Series cars–at least at first–borrowed parts from other corporation products. The 1955 model had a front clip, including the grille, that was taken from the Imperial of the same year, but the rest of the car did not look like an Imperial. The midsection was from a New Yorker hardtop with a Windsor rear quarter.
Not counting the very limited production cars like the Chrysler Ghia ST Special, these are easily my favorite Mopar cars from this period. I am especially fond of the 300B. In fact, the 300B is a darkhorse candidate for Ultimate Garage 3.0.
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9 thoughts on “Bon Voyage, Wheeler Dealers”
You might like “Hoovie’s Garage” and “The Car Wizard” on YouTube. Edd made the show for me. I think I watched two or three episodes of the new iteration.
Thanks, Doc. I didn’t know you were an Edd China fan. I thought Ant Anstead did a fine job, but something I can’t explicitly identify went missing after Edd left.
I have watched two or three episodes of Hoovie’s Garage–per a recommendation from you many months ago–but am very reluctant to use a Minion of The Evil Empire.
Wheeler Dealers is an interesting show in which I find the mechanics more interesting than Mike Brewer the “dealer.” I am not a regular viewer of the show as many of the cars are not of interest to me. I do not have a preference for either Edd or Ant as they both are very skilled in how they work and think. I have watched a few of Ant’s videos on that video search engine and he has some interesting projects.
I am not well versed in the Chrysler cars of the 1950s, so I did a search on your favorite 300B. A very nice looking car with enough room inside for my lovely bride and I to be comfortable and even sit next to each other like we used to do when our car did not have a center console. One that did pop up in the search was a 1956 on Barn Finds in North Carolina in August 2019 for only $10,000 and in desperate need of restoration.
Thanks, Philip. In my opinion, one downside to basing the show in the US was that too many “non-cars” were featured. That, of course, is a reflection of the primary trend in the US vehicle market.
I would love to have a 300B. How does the hashtag read? #somanycarsjustonelife
I would happily take ANY “letter car” into my garage and will as soon as I hit the lottery.
I DID score the long ram dual quad intake off a 61 G that had been wrecked and parked in a back yard. With some machined adapters they were mated to a 383 that was in a 1936 Plymouth coupe I had bought partially finished. When it was completed, I couldn’t put the sides on the hood because those long ram intakes were out nearly in line with the front fenders. Whenever I took the car out it never failed to draw a crowd. You did however have to pay attention to the weather, rain was bad. Very bad.
I sold it about 25 years ago and have since lost track of it.
As always, thanks for sharing your views and experience, DDM.
DDMcG, Ah the problems arising from adapting non-stock parts to cars we wish to drive and enjoy! My problem that arose today was discovering that the 1996-97 Ford Explorer oil cooler would not fit on my 427 Ford Windsor fitted with the Vintage Air Front Runner Serpentine Belt System as the water pump to oil cooler coolant hose interfered with the power steering pump. I could not adjust the position of the oil cooler enough to make it fit. Now I am on the search to determine if any of the other Ford Windsor small block oil coolers will potentially fit within the confines of the serpentine belt spaces. It may be possible, if I have the ingenuity to make it work. I have been able to make a radiator fan shroud from Champion Radiators fit my U. S. Radiators 48 Ford F1 radiator with some simple sheet aluminum adapter brackets.
I know you are well aware of the details needed to make a project car fit together. Now we just have to NOT bore our host with the myriad of details.
My understanding is that Edd left the show because he felt it had lost its focus on fixing up regular cars which only required skills that any shade tree mechanic would have. I liked him too. I didn’t know the show was going back to England but believe Ant is staying in California because of the young son he shares with his ex-wife.
Thanks for the comment, sir. In Edd China’s book he strongly implies the network and/or Mike Brewer were trying to replace him before he had made any “complaints” about a change in the show. Sorry, I am 99% sure the whole story has never been made public.
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