Bon Voyage, Wheeler Dealers

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?!

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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.

 

See the source image

See the source image

 

The top photo is Mike Brewer (L) and Edd China (R); the bottom is Ant Anstead and Brewer.

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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:

 

See the source image

 

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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