Restoring life to America’s classic cars
From Fast N’ Load to Truck Night in America, there are no shortage of car and truck shows on cable TV. Vehicle restoration and flipping series are in no short supply either, and often come and go after just one or two seasons. But one particular program has endured longer than most: nearly 15 years.
Wheeler Dealers, a weekly TV show on Velocity is a series that follows the purchase, restoration and flipping of interesting classic cars. Hosted by Mike Brewer and Ant Anstead, the show is now on its fifteenth series since debuting in 2003. But just how accurate are the claimed profits and costs? A recent post by an owner of a Wheeler Dealers vehicle may provide some insight.
The recent episode (series 15 episode 5) finds the duo working to bring new life to a 1970 International Harvester Scout. Here at TFL, we’ve had our fair share of experience with broken Scouts after we yanked one from a barn last year. Naturally we were excited to see the transformation of another early Scout.
Warning, spoiler alert!
The challenge: 1970 International Scout Harvester
Mike purchased this 1970 example from the owner in Tucson Arizona. Painted bright yellow, this late first generation Scout was originally an ex-military model. Mike allegedly bought the truck for $8,000. Mechanic Ant Anstead then went through the vehicle extensively. After rebuilding the transfer case ($175), re-working a bodged steering setup ($2,000), Ant installed electric wipers to replace the factory vacuum system ($450). The truck received a new coat of paint ($3,100), brand new interior ($1,070), and a set of new wheels and tires ($1,000).
After all was set and done, the truck apparently cost the duo a total of $15,800 and 64 man hours (not accounted for in the price totals). The new owner allegedly then purchased the vehicle for $22,500. From the perspective of the viewer, that appears to be a substantial profit for the team of nearly $7,000. However, there may be more to the deal than meets the eye.
The nitty and gritty
The new owner, Matt Richey posted about the experience on the International Harvester Scout 80 & 800 Appreciation Society Facebook page. In the post he describes how “[Wheeler Dealers] did so much more to this rig than the show actually had time to air”. Diving deeper into the comment section Matt elaborates by describing how the rig received “all new suspension and lift, tranny rebuilt, master cylinder, pads and drums, carb, driveshaft, rear end rebuilt and lots more.”
After taking all this additional work into consideration the actual total investment into the vehicle may be much higher than what was shown on TV. In the program, Mike and Ant are seen cruising around off-road, an action that apparently resulted in yet more fixing.
“They actually had to put in an entirely new transfer case.” Matt says. “After they took it off-roading, supposedly the gears in the one they rebuilt started coming apart. That also led to a rebuilt transmission / clutch, hubs, rear end, and suspension and lift.”
The show didn’t include any of these additions in the cost breakdown of the episode, nor did the hosts mention them in the aired program. Check out our first experience with TFL’s 1961 International Harvester Scout 80 below, in our Getting Lucky series!