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Wheeler Dealers Car Restoration Manual – Chris Randall (Contributions from Mike Brewer and Edd China

Firstly, I’d like to thank AG for obtaining this book for me, it’s very much appreciated.

The subtitle is “top 10 wheeler dealer restoration projects” or words to that effect: I believe these 10 projects were chosen because they give the widest overall idea of some of the more general skills that are needed, should you undertake such a project for yourself.

If you are expecting a blow by blow account of each project you’re going to be sadly disappointed. The book, like the series, is restricted in what it can tell you in the space available. That said, the book has some real gems of advice and offers a few good ideas of just what you might expect to find by way of unexpected problems. It also offers a few words of advice on the 10 models chosen for the manual.

I really enjoyed the book, drooling over the Lamborghini Urraco and the DKW Amphicar, which I’ll never be able to afford: but hey, I can dream. And I guess this is really what the book (and the TV series) is all about. Dreaming of the cars you saw as a youngster that are now only available as expensive restored motors or as affordable cars requiring a bit of know how to bring them up to a useable standard and possibly even selling them on at a small profit. I must say, I’m very sceptical of the Wheeler Dealer accounting methods as they don’t include labour costs: but if you’re doing it as a hobby that might make money rather than consume it, perhaps that’s fair enough.

The book was a good read, and quite entertaining, but I really feel that it was badly let down by some very poor images. Most were too small, and many were very dark so the detail couldn’t really be seen. The text was a ‘chatty’ style very much like the series itself, with both Mike and Edd offering a few words on each project. If you have seen the series, this book would add little to your technical knowledge.

I’d say this book would make a great present for a car enthusiast, or for someone considering purchasing their first restoration: it certainly isn’t as dry as many of the model specific restoration manuals out there, and if it inspires you to take on a project, even better.

3 anchors from me; take it all at face value and don’t expect too much technical advice or information.