Wheeler Dealers: Dream Cars is back for a brand new second series and Mike Brewer and his mechanic Marc “Elvis” Priestly are making motoring dreams come through for some very deserving petrolheads. Mike once again has his work cut out to trade his way up to a top quality dream motor, while Elvis has to work his mechanical magic to maxmise their profits, helping to make that dream car purchase come through. Take to the Road sat down with Mike and Elvis to have a good old chat about the new show.
Guys you are back for a brand new series of Wheeler Dealers: Dream Car and Elvis, it was two years ago that you practically had your audition for Wheeler Dealers with the very first series of Dream Cars.
Elvis – Yeah it was! Little did I know it would lead to such amazing life changing things since then. The first series of Wheeler Dealers: Dream Cars was the very first time I’d met Mike. We got thrown together and shunted into a car with loads of camera and we were told to drive off to the top of the road… and that was our first meeting. Obviously we got on like a house on fire and the first season was great, so I’m really pleased we’ve been able to come back and do it all again and make series 2.
So Mike… Elvis has passed the test then with flying colours hasn’t he… he’s completed his probation.
Mike – Yup! He is my new wing man in the garage and he isn’t available for rent or hire! Ha ha! I always knew from the very first day that I met Elvis on that screen tester, we just shared that same passion for cars. Elvis obviously from his F1 background and with everything I’ve done in the past. In between the filming on the very first day, the only thing we were talking about was cars. You very quickly know who your brethren is going to be. We are great mates and when we are not making TV together, we are socialising so its worked fantastically together.
Even when he turns up with a VW Golf Colour Concept? And Elvis you’ll have to get a Golf Harlequin next.
Mike – Yeah there are a couple of days when we have differences of opinion! The Golf Colour Concept was one of them! And there’s a few times I’ve challenged Elvis as well, especially in the second series of Dream Cars. There’s been a few curve balls so to speak that I’ve thrown his way.
Elvis – Ha ha I don’t think I’ll get away with it twice! That Golf Colour Concept was a really interesting one actually, it was a low budget entry level car so to speak and I think we made a great show out of it. It followed a really nice story and now that we’ve moved on to the second series of Dream Cars, its all about the story. We get through a lot of cars on the show but each one has an incredible storyline running through it and some magical moments at the end, when we finally get to hand over the Dream Car. Honestly we’ve been in tears over and over again.
Trading up from a Skoda Fabia to an Audi A7 in the 1st episode, now that was quite the challenge. I remember when the Q7 first came out and it was nicknamed the Q8 thanks to its size. Aaron was keeping it in the VAG Group though and the Q7 ticked all the boxes for him and his family. The emotion at the end was heartwarming. It shows how much it meant to him. It even got you going Mike!
Mike – It meant a lot to me and Elvis as it was literally the culmination of burning the candle at both ends, working late nights, early starts, traveling up and down the country to find these cars. The end result of handing over the car, you can see that you have actually changed someones life! I always just say we are just making a TV show, but you can see how we are improving peoples lives and with Aaron, you can see we’ve improved his wellbeing. He’s messaged us several times to say how different his life is now, thanks to what we did for him.
The Fiat 500 flip that led to the Porsche Boxster, which was a gamble. The Fiat relatively low risk and the Boxster, with that engine rattle, it was a risk. But the profit made it worth while.
Mike – It was a massive risk and it can only pay off if it turns out not to be a big job. That Boxster was cheap and the engine warning light suggested a stretched chain, which is a big job to fix. We have to ask ourselves are we capable of doing it? Is it worth doing? And will there be a profit in it? Thankfully I’ve got that goldmine in the workshop that is Elvis with his Porsche tools in his hand and plus he’s a super Porsche fan! So yeah it was a gamble that was worth taking. We could have had a £2,500 paper weight, but we didn’t… we ended up with Elvis managing to fix it! And I know at the end of the day Elvis, yes it was difficult but it was a relatively straight forward fix wasn’t it. Plus the Fiat was a clever buy as it cost nothing and we just used a simple house hold product you have in your house to fix it! The whole USP of the Fiat 500 Barchetta is the fact you can roll back the electric roof, but ours only went back so far. And we showed you how to fix it for nothing.
Elvis – It was and you know that’s what I love doing on this show. What I hope I am showing is that some of these jobs that are terrifying to some, I mean even taking the engine out of a car, that scares a lot of people off! They’ll just avoid it like the plague! But the reality is you don’t always have to be scared of it. Whilst it is a big a job and its a big lump of metal you have to lift out of the car, it’s just nuts and bolts. If you have the right equipment and the right tools, we’re not talking anything majorly specialist here, with a lot of effort and elbow grease, you can get a lot of these things done. And that’s where the profit lies! Plus with the Fiat, it is simple maintenance. So if you know that is an issue, we’ve shown that giving it a clean will stop it happening again. If people can take that away from this show, Mike and I will be very happy!
That Austin Maxi… in Citroen Yellow that was British Classic to brighten up anyone’s day. At £4k it was a good buy and its getting a lot harder to find entry level classics in that price bracket. But even at £5995 it was a nice buy.
Mike – It is! There were a few tears… you mentioned already when Elvis sent me out for that yellow Golf… there were a few tears that I could actually go and buy a yellow Austin Maxi! But me and Elvis are always looking for that one off, that special edition and I got that chance with the Maxi, which happened to be Citroen Yellow! It is the only one in the country painted in that colour. So you are right Niall, everyman classics are very difficult to find at the moment and it is the emerging market in this classic car movement. So we had two strings to our bow, one we got a one off car and two, its an everyman classic. So I always knew it was gonna sell but the problem with it was the paintwork. Fortunately Elvis had a cure for that!
Elvis – It was a really interesting car and again what I hope we showed in that episode is that you can fix something yourself. I mean how many people drive around cars with faded panels? It is a really common problem and it really lets down the look of a car. It can be fixed though and it doesn’t always need a repaint. You can do a colour correct process and since that episode aired, I’ve had lots of detailers messaging to say thanks for showing that, because a lot of people don’t realise its something you can do to save a cars paint.
Elvis your idea of making the clock out of the F1 brake disc, a very cool piece of automobilia… and less messy than stripping down and rebuilding an old horse box. Thinking outside the box though.
Elvis – Ha ha yeah! I’m really proud of doing those and it has a nice link to my background too. And they sold really well too!
In episode 2 you upgrade from a Honda Civic to a Caterham 7… now that is a Dream Car to aim for. And a very worth boost for its owner Mark who has been hit with a lot of bad luck.
Mike – I mean again, when I first met Mark, usually I cry at the end of the episodes… but when I first met Mark, I was sobbing my heart out. This is his last chance to enjoy motoring and he’s got a debilitating illness with no cure and its going to hit him in a few years. He’s on medication now which means he has some mobility and he has a really cool son and he wanted to have that last hurrah and thrill ride with his son and go out and enjoy the countryside. That really tugged at my heart strings. When I told Elvis about Mark’s story he had a lump in his throat as well. So there was no way we wasn’t gonna do it. We made sure we got him the best Caterham 7 for sale in the UK at that time and it was an amazing episode!
Another Dream Car upgrade that fans can look forward to is the flip from the Volkswagen Touran to a retro Nissan Patrol… what an icon and one of the all time great 4x4s. But they are so rare to see nowadays.
Mike – There was actually only two for sale in the whole of Europe so this was a tough one!
Elvis – They are incredibly rare! Just to find one was incredibly hard, let alone find one that was worthy of being someones Dream Car! And the Patrol that Mike did find was incredible and it was an amazing example. But in that episode when Mike was on his way back with the VW Touran, I got the call to say he had broken down. I had to go rescue him with the trailer so we had a very tough start! But it was one of those magical moments at the end where we got to deliver a car that we knew was going to change someones life. We always get there and we will always do whatever it takes to get there!
Mike and Elvis were talking to Niall Julian
Catch weekly episodes of series 2 of ‘Wheeler Dealers: Dream Cars’ on Discovery, Mondays, 9pm and available to stream on Discovery+. Series 16 of ‘Wheeler Dealers‘ returns to Quest on Thursday 7th April.