Since 2003, car enthusiast Mike Brewer, designer Ant Anstead, and master mechanic Edd China have all worked to buy, restore, and resell vintage cars in the reality series Wheeler Dealers. But the show is more than cosmetic touchups and hardcore tuneups. A lot goes on behind the scenes.
From the award ceremony Brewer founded to some of the restorations not paying off, here are some fun-fueled facts about the British car series.
Edd China Created The Fastest Road-Legal Couch In The World
Mechanic Edd China has always had a passion for cars, specifically mechanics. He is such an enthusiast that he actually made the fastest road-legal couch in the world!
China created “Casual Sofa,” a couch that wound up winning a Guinness World Record for the fastest road-legal vehicle, going a solid 87 miles per hour. The sofa is even equipped with a pizza box steering wheel! Talk about a custom job.
Mike Brewer’s Always Been Into Cars
Mike Brewer, the car enthusiast on Wheeler Dealers, is one of those lucky people who found his passion very early in life. Ever since he was a teenager, Brewer has had a passion for cars.
He knew that one day he’d make a career out of his love for automobiles. Eventually, he entered the car trade, making a name for himself as one of the most honest people in the business.
Ant Anstead Had A Career In Law Enforcement
Before making his way into the entertainment industry and hosting Wheeler Dealers, Ant Anstead had a very successful career in law enforcement. Starting in 1999, he joined the police force at Hertfordshire Constabulary, becoming a Police Constable.
Then, he moved to the Chestnut police station, where he joined the Tactical Firearms Team. During his time as a police officer, Anstead was honored with two commendations for acts of bravery. He retired from the force in 2005.
Mike Brewer Ended Up In The Middle Of A Firefight
In 2010, Wheeler Dealer host Mike Brewer was in Afghanistan, filming a segment for the series Frontline Battle Machines. His main focus for the episode was a Chinook helicopter flown by a British army pilot, Lt. Ian Fortune.
Little did he know that the helicopter was going to land in the middle of a firefight. According to Brewer, “the Chinook landed in a firefight. There was a battle going on. On the way in, we could never have imagined it would become this kind of mission.”
China Turned A Milk Float Into A Drag Racing Machine
Apparently, Wheeler Dealers mechanic Edd China has a knack for making it into the Guinness Book of World Records. In 2012, he broke the record for the world’s fastest milk float.
That year, he and his friend Tom Onslow-Cole took on the eBay-sponsored challenge: turning a milk float into a drag racer. Considering the World Record status, it’s safe to say that they won the challenge and then some.
Mike Brewer’s Show Biz Career Started With A Lucky Phone Call
Mike Brewer was a car dealer from South London. But the universe had other things in mind — the entertainment industry. While Brewer had never thought about television or hosting a series, something lucky happened.
He wound up picking up a friend’s cellphone while they were hanging out. On the other end of the line, there just so happened to be a television producer. After they talked for a few hours, Brewer was hired to host his first-ever series Deals On Wheels.
Ant Anstead Is A Man Of Many Talents
Aside from being a former host of Wheeler Dealers, Ant Anstead has embarked on many different career paths. From 1999-2005, he was a police officer, and for over 15 years, he played semi-professional football (soccer) at Ryman level.
He’s even a successful author! Anstead published two books in 2018, Cops and Robbers: The Story of the British Police Car and Petrol Head Parenting: The Essential Guide to Diagnosing and Nurturing a Petrol Head.
Mike Brewer Founded And Hosts The Used Car Awards
Mike Brewer started as a car dealer in London, moving on to be a television host for multiple car restoration shows. As such, he’s a huge proponent of the used car community. He even founded the annual Used Car Awards.
Each year, Brewer hosts the ceremony, naming the winners of the various Used Car of the Year categories. Of course, before naming the cars, he gets behind the wheel to make sure they’re worthy of the title!
2014 Was A Big Year For Ant Anstead
In 2014, more than one big thing happened to former Wheeler Dealers host Ant Anstead. That year, he founded a TV production company and began his own show. The series, The World’s Most Expensive Cars, has Anstead going behind the scenes with car hunters at the iconic RM Sotheby auction house.
That year, he also teamed up with British actor Philip Glenister to host the series For The Love Of Cars.
They Lost $4,288.59 On The 1975 AMC Pacer
During season 12, episode five of Wheeler Dealers, the guys bring in what is perhaps one of the biggest jokes in the automotive world, the 1975 AMC Pacer. This compact hatchback cost Mike Brewer a solid $4,223.48 and, after the complete restoration, the “Dealers” put in a solid $11,177.94 into the car.
Unfortunately, all of their hard work didn’t pay off in the slightest. Since the car isn’t exactly something most people want in their garage, they wound up losing $4,288.59.
Over 13 Seasons, Over 100 Cars Have Been Restored
Since 2003, Mike Brewer and his co-hosts, Ant Anstead and then Edd China, have restored over 100 cars on Wheeler Dealers. The series is pretty much a vintage car enthusiasts’ dream.
According to Discovery Channel, “Mike Brewer struck the heart and the toolbox of petrolheads all over the world. Mike and the team have made 13 series and restored 100 cars. At the end of series 13, Edd decided to leave the show and was replaced with fellow British mechanic and car designer Ant Anstead.”
China Sells His Funky Creations At Cummfy Banana Limited
Edd China is known for designing and making funky creations, such as a motorized couch and milk float drag car. In 1999, he founded Cummfy Banana Limited, a company where he actually promotes and sells his designs!
Cummfy Banana Limited has also been featured on the two ITV series Pulling Power and This Morning. The people who come through that shop and purchase China’s work are probably quite interesting individuals.
The Chinas Keep Business In The Family
Edd China is married to Imogen. And, as it turns out, the Chinas have decided to keep pretty much all of their business ventures within the family. Imogen is not only Edd’s manager, but she is also the director of his company, Cummfy Banana Limited, and has held a number of other jobs over the years.
The family is also part of various charity organizations, including the anti-trafficking foundation Stella’s Voice.
Ant Anstead’s Marriage Was A Secret
Ant Anstead began dating HGTV’s Flip or Flop host Christina El Moussa in 2017. The two dated for about a year before Anstead proposed. Somehow, they were able to keep that information to themselves.
On December 22, 2018, they invited their friends and family to their Newport Beach home. The invite stated that it was nothing more than a holiday party. To the guests’ surprise, it was actually the couple’s wedding.
A Volkswagen Transporter Went To The Cameraman
One of the funkiest cars to come through Wheeler Dealers was a Volkswagen Transporter. While they bought the van for $1,518.44, the Dealers wound up losing $3,209.43 at the end of the day.
They lost so much money because the cameraman wanted to purchase the van at the end of the season three episode. They gave it to him at a very low price, and it became one of the biggest losses of the show.
Mike Brewer Owns The Biggest 4×4 Center
As previously mentioned, Wheeler Dealers host Mike Brewer has had a lifelong passion for autos. This love of vehicles turned into a career, with him becoming one of the most sought-after and respected people in the business.
Eventually, Brewer became the owner of the largest 4×4 center in South England, a center that catered to pretty much everything and even imported cars from around the globe.
The Move To The USA Wasn’t Liked By Die-Hard Fans
When Wheeler Dealers first aired, it was on the Discovery Channel in the UK. For the first eight seasons, fans of the series enjoyed the UK-based vintage car restoration show.
Then, the show moved across the pond to be filmed in America. Eventually, they began to film there full-time. The original fans of the show weren’t overly thrilled with the move, as the series began to focus solely on American-made cars.
A Spin-Off Series Was Created
In 2013, ten years after the first-ever Wheeler Dealers episode aired, a spin-off series made its television debut. Wheeler Dealers: Trading Up followed host Mike Brewer as he traveled around the world, buying and selling used cars — his specialty.
Unlike the original series, Trading Up doesn’t have a restoration factor. It all has to do with selling used cars for the best possible price. As of 2013, there have been two seasons.
It’s All About A Car’s Emotional Value
The entire premise around Wheeler Dealers is the hosts going around, finding used vintage cars, restoring them, and selling them. However, it’s actually not that simple. Mike Brewer and Edd China didn’t just pick any car for the series.
They made sure to pick cars that held some emotional value — cars they really liked. Brewer once said that they chose “iconic cars that have a character” and can appeal to the audience (i.e., fellow car lovers).
They Have A Soft Spot For Porsche
While Mike Brewer and his co-hosts have bought, restored, and sold a lot of cars during their time on Wheeler Dealers, they have a soft spot for a specific manufacturer — Porsche.
They tend to give special attention to this specific car because of their air-cooled engines, something Edd China happens to be an expert in. Not only that, but Porsches are very fun to drive, so it’s hard to pass one up when it comes along!