Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Edd China: The Hero We Don't Deserve

It is with some degree of sadness that we report that Edd China is leaving Wheeler Dealers -- and if you listen to (or read) his video, you will find it is related to Velocity's decision to replace Attaboy TV with an American studio in California -- Edd's words:

Unfortunately, on Velocity’s first attempt at producing the show they found Wheeler Dealers ‘too difficult to make’, ‘at least in its current format’. In particular, the detailed and in depth coverage of my fixes in the workshop; what I consider to be the backbone and USP of the programme, are something Velocity feel should be reduced. The workshop jobs are certainly the hardest part of the show to make and reducing their substance and role in the show will save the production considerable time, effort and therefore money. However, this new direction is not something I am comfortable with as I feel the corners I was being asked to cut compromised the quality of my work and would erode my integrity as well as that of the show, so I have come to the conclusion that my only option is to let Velocity get on with it, without me.




Edd's decision to value his reputation over pure cold hard American cash is a testimony to his integrity, but we will miss his t-shirt over sweater and crazy skunk hair.  Mike Brewer may have been the face of the show, but Edd was the guts and without him I'm afraid it will be like BBC Top Gear with Joey from friends and the guy with swim goggles.  Without Edd's calm and consistent efforts to do a bang-up job (even if it includes some rattle can paint patches) I fear the show will devolve into another Chop-Cut-Rebuild or Fast 'n' Loud show that is more about drama/flash and not about the cars anymore.  Where else will I learn how to custom fabricate a new crank seal for an MG?

18 comments:

  1. The world seems to be going to hell in the last week. Chuck Berry dies. Hemmings kills Sports & Exotic Car magazine. Edd leaves Wheeler Dealers, and I just read Chuck Barris died today.

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  2. Most amazing about that crank seal was Edd figuring it out from a tiny drip and shimmy.

    Why "dd"? Anyone know?

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  3. S&EC gone? I don't know what knowing earlier would have done for me but I am disappointed. Edd is the only reason I can get my wife and daughters to watch the show. His calm demeanor and words gave me the confidence to try fixes on my own. I hope he'll show up somewhere else to monetize the adoration his fans have for him.

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    1. Regarding S&EC, the May issue showed up in my mailbox on Monday with a letter to subscribers attached along with a so long editorial in the mag. Hemmings is shutting it down to concentrate on their other publications apparently

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  4. I totally agree with Edd and disagree with Velocity. I have been weening off shows that are just chase, buy, gloss over the build, sell high. I love seeing real wrenches flying. Renting\loaning tools Edd didn't have is real. I love the real mistakes, and the glory of the final reveal. They did stuff on a budget and didn't always produce show cars. It brings back memories of my prior projects and hopefully some cool new ones. I will miss Edd on Wheeler Dealers.

    The buying and selling process on these shows is much different than us slackers. They have leads coming in because they have famous TV shows. We have to actually talk to people, go to shows and swaps, beat the bushes... They get a call and rush out with cash and a tow rig. At least Mike Brewer made this part of the show pretty real.

    We all know TV is not reality. Edd China's work was as close to reality as it gets in my opinion.

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  5. Going to miss the Big Fellow enjoyed his work in the Garage well versed for sure !

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  6. Son Steve and I had the pleasure of 'negotiating' and ultimately buying one of Mike and Edds' projects; a 1962 Volvo PV544 Sport (spotted first on DT). Both Mike & Edd are personable & sincere 'car guys'. We have fond memories of our time at their Newport studio and though we are sad to see the show format change we wish both continued success, and meanwhile Steve happily continues to enjoy his car in Canada. Cheers, Steve & Dad (Retrogreg)

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    1. hey, was it the gray one where they added an air conditioner and the unexpectedly high-performance drum brake pads? - i saw that episode on a plane just recently

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    2. Yep that is the one - fun car, Greg
      PS now put away for the winter hibernation but due out real soon.

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    3. kaibeezy (name entered in Name field; no URL)March 23, 2017 at 3:19 PM

      cool! - you guys were great

      i'm trying to think what vintage car my dad and my son would guess i would want - my dad would probably pick a Mustang or T-bird or some other fairly straightforward "older car", which could be OK - my son has a more current idea of my interests, but is at the Monster-Energy-drink-color-Lamborghini stage at the moment and would pretend not to remember my boring 80s car proclivities

      might be a fun Father's Day thing to try around here

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  7. Sorry to be hearing about this. But I do understand. It's for Edd's portions of the show that I watch.

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  8. This was practically the only program on Velocity I could say that I enjoyed (though I kind of dig the ridiculous attention to detail / encyclopedic knowledge displayed on Graveyard Cars, I can do without the faux drama). Ah well, can't wait to see what Edd does going forward.

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  9. I know quite a bit about cars and enjoy working on them. With said I always learned something new and enjoyed Edd's attention to detail. I also liked the he actually repaired something not just replacing it. He was the reason I never missed the show. Too bad.

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  10. While I certainly join the chorus of those who will miss Edd. I'm chagrined that the show is falling prey to those who think they can buy something, mess with its core, cut costs and expect it to grow bigger, rather than utterly fail.
    At the same time, I feel kind of sorry for the new guy coming in. Who doesn't blame Dick Sergeant for ruining the successful character chemistry created by Dick York on Bewitched. Well, here's to the new Dick, but I doubt the show will bewatched.
    As for a fond Edd memory: I particularly enjoyed watching Edd trying to fit inside some of their builds. His head above the windscreen in the Cobra Kit was classic.
    (On Youtube, it's Wheeler Dealers S09E08 Gardner Douglas AC Cobra, @ 39:53, you'll see his head sticking up about 10" over the roll bar and windscreen.)

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  11. Bummer I like his way of not talking down and amazing skill with a "spanner".

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  12. Edd's replacement is Ant Anstead . Never heard of him...

    Apparently the real reason Edd is leaving WD is that for the last 13 years, he had no idea what Mike was saying.

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    1. Whilst visiting the sitdoonery today and leafing through a back issue of Modern Classics>, I happened to run into none other than Ant himself, a columnist there.

      He's listed as being founder of "Evanta", which looks to be Evanta Motor Company,

      [image src="https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/11695764_875423572495543_1150147324614202522_n.jpg?oh=fbc581f322d2ea6b06b6109dce7674bf&oe=5958B116" width="300px"/]

      and host of BBC TV series For the Love of Cars, in which each episode showcases a car "important to British motoring", discussing its history, locating a barn find and restoring it.

      Cars featured on FtLoC so far are:

      DeLorean DMC-12
      Ford Escort Mark 1 Mexico
      Triumph Stag
      Austin Mini Cooper Mk 1
      MG TC
      Land Rover Series 1
      Fiat 500L
      Ford Transit MK1
      Volkswagen Golf GTI
      Saab 96
      Rover SD1 Police Car
      Volkswagen Beetle
      Aston Martin DBS

      Mostly not too fancy, so perhaps he will have something worthwhile to say. But my guess is it goes in the direction of more "valuable" cars, which probably makes the new producers a lot more comfortable than the WD Fiat Punto 4X4 episode where Edd made his own "4X4" stencil and painted it in with a brush.

      There's a short interview with Ant here - Ant Anstead tells us what got him to where he is today. One really has to wonder how he turned the corner from cop to TV guy and building "unique" cars "on request, making each one completely bespoke to a customer". They skip that part of the telling us thing, which is, of course, the part we all want to know.

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