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Celebrating Wheeler Dealers’ Biggest Profits

Which cars made the biggest money?

As Mike Brewer will tell you Wheeler Dealers hasn’t been about making money but about saving cars. It’s certainly done plenty of that over the last two decades, but with such great classics and great work it’s inevitable that some of the cars have fetched big money. Here, then, are ten that have made some of the biggest profits.

1965 Austin Healey 3000 – Series 14, Episode 8

Wheeler Dealers Biggest Profits

This British classic has always turned heads, but in Ant Anstead’s first season on Wheeler Dealers this cracking Healey also turned the biggest profit when it went under the hammer at the Barrett-Jackson sale in Las Vegas. After mechanical work that included a custom exhaust system, an upgrade to triple Weber carburettors and repairs to the overdrive, it also received a superb interior re-trim. Complemented by the British Racing Green paintwork, the finished car was simply stunning.

Purchase price – £28,000
Resto cost – £7628
Sold for – £56,800
Profit – £21,172

1964 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray – Series 10, Episode 9

Wheeler Dealers Biggest Profits

Another car to break the £20k barrier – the highest profit up to that point when it appeared back in Series 10 – this gorgeous American classic needed plenty of work. As a part-finished restoration the list included a brand new hood, getting the V8 engine running right with an overhaul of the ignition system and hours spent perfecting the paintwork. It’s no wonder this ‘Little Red Corvette’ attracted so much attention when the boys had finished.

Purchase price – £18,100
Resto cost – £7180
Sold for – £45,500
Profit – £20,220

1972 Lancia Fulvia Series 2 – Series 14, Episode 14

Wheeler Dealers Biggest Profits

There’s been a few stylish Italian classics in the workshop over the years, but we reckon the transformation of this one was nothing short of superb. Ant worked his magic on the oily bits, but he spent most time making it looking very special by creating a cool rally replica. Period spot lights at the front, removing the bumpers and painting the tops of the front wings in matte black to match the bonnet were great touches that made it worth every penny.

Purchase price – £7000
Resto cost – £2800
Sold for – £25,500
Profit – £15,700

1963 Land Rover Series 1 – Series 17, Episode 5

Wheeler Dealers Land Rover

Series 17 saw Marc ‘Elvis’ Priestley make his debut and he was soon getting stuck in to the legendary British off-roader. And what they thought was a Series 2 turned out to be a Series 1, and a Landie with an intriguing military history to boot. Returning it to original condition involved a huge amount of work, with plenty of time spent sourcing period-correct parts from axles to bodywork, and the result was superb.

Purchase price – £16,000
Resto cost – £9310
Sold for – £35,000
Profit – £9690

1985 Ford Escort RS Cosworth – Series 14, Episode 1

Wheeler Dealers Biggest Profits

Ant Anstead did something very special with the cracking fast Ford, and it certainly surprised a few Wheeler Dealers fans. The eye-catching rear spoiler got a third element that never appeared on production cars – it was part of Frank Stephenson’s original design – and Frank himself appeared on the show. The whole process of design and manufacture was fascinating to watch, and a session in a wind tunnel confirmed it worked perfectly. No wonder the original seller bought it back again!

Purchase price – £23,000
Resto cost – £5500
Sold for – £38,000
Profit – £9500

1974 BMW 2002Tii – Series 12, Episode 4

Wheeler Dealers Biggest Profits

Not only was this the first series filmed at the new US workshop, but it involved some great classics including this BMW. Not being used for 17 years made it a risky purchase but Mike and Edd got on with overhauling the mechanicals and making it look perfect thanks to a re-spray, European-spec bumpers and stylish Recaro seats. And enthusiasts would certainly have enjoyed watching an expert rebuild the complex Kugelfischer fuel injection pump. Did the risk pay off? Of course it did.

Purchase price – £4990
Resto cost – £8823Sold for – £23,415
Profit – £9602

1968 Chevrolet Camaro – Series 11, Episode 6

Wheeler Dealers Biggest Profits

Mike has a habit of finding part-finished restorations and when he found this cool V8-powered Chevy in San Diego he knew plenty of work was needed. Back in the UK it was treated to a power braking system and power-assisted steering, but that was just the start as sorting the interior, getting a new wiring loom made and fitting all the various bits back together was a major project. We think all the hours spent on it were worth it.

Purchase price – £7500
Resto cost – £6530
Sold for – £23,000
Profit – £8970

1984 Vauxhall Astra GTE – Series 17, Episode 13

Wheeler Dealers restores a rare hot hatchback

Amazingly this was the first Vauxhall to appear on the show, but this rare hot hatchback was an absolute cracker. Well, it was when ‘Elvis’ was finished because it was yet another part-finished restoration that was going to need plenty of hours spending on it, from rebuilding the engine to fitting the correct rear axle. The sporty interior needed a bit of effort, too, but it paid off in the end with the new buyer parting with more than £20,000!

Purchase price – £7000
Resto cost – £4580
Sold for – £20,500
Profit – £8920

1957 Ford Thunderbird – Series 11, Episode 8

Wheeler Dealers Biggest Profits

We’re heading all the way back to Series 11 for this achingly-gorgeous US classic, one that Mike found in California. After visiting a specialist to get electric windows fitted it was back to the UK and the magic hands of Edd China who had leaking power steering to deal with, as well as a new hood and seat covers to fit. Oh yes, and installing Dial-o-Matic power seats! Hours spent on the paintwork ensured it looked stunning, too, making this one cool convertible.

Purchase price – £16,000
Resto cost – £9120
Sold for – £33,000
Profit – £7880

1972 Lamborghini Urraco – Series 10, Episode 7

Wheeler Dealers Biggest Profits

Another of Mike’s riskier purchases, this Italian supercar didn’t run and was hard to move because of seized brakes. And he had to go all the way to Poland to buy it! After many hours in the workshop the V8 engine was soon singing, it had a new clutch and the brakes had been overhauled. It performed and sounded as well as you’d expect, and the test drive as part of Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary celebrations was the icing on the cake.

Purchase price – £21,380
Resto cost – £5856
Sold for – £35,000
Profit – £7764

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