We are counting down the Top 50 hot rods and street cars of all time that have made an appearance in a television series, or a memorable television episode. Starting from No. 50, and counting down to our No. 1 pick, follow along with our memories, and see where your favorite show lands.
40. Wheeler Dealers: ’57 Chevy 210 Bel Air
Airing on the Discovery Channel, the British television series “Wheeer Dealers” follows the mission of hosts Mike Brewer and Edd China as they seek out and buy top model vehicles to restore or improve said vehicles on a budget with the hopes of turning a profit.
Taking a classic American icon such as the 1957 Bel Air 210 from a traditional color to a more modern hue is a risky proposition, especially when going from a subdued baby blue to bright yellow. Two outcomes are possible with this bold finned body: either it turns out looking like a Checker cab, or it looks absolutely smashing. Since the project acquired is a four door sedan, the prospect of it ending up looking like a to a taxi is all too real.
In season nine, episode five, Mike and Edd are faced with this very juxtaposition after acquiring the car, which was purchased in Sarasota, Florida as an original barn find for approximately $6,000 USD and shipped to England.
Wanting to modernize it while still retaining its place in history, but geared to make a profit on the subsequent sale from restoration efforts, the Chevy is rolled into the paint booth. Edd painfully looks on as the first coat of Ferrari Yellow is laid down on one of the most indelible designs to ever come out of General Motors’ Design and Style Studios.
The build notes state the car is “more correctly a 210 model (the middle trim range) with Bel Air (top trim range) quarter panel trim … it does not carry the front fender chevrons or extended rear fin trim of a true Bel Air.”
Upgrades made during the restoration process included new chrome wheels, tires, paint, chrome, engine parts, accessories, interior, gauges, imports taxes, and shipping. Since appearing on the show, the car has been fitted with the fender chevrons and rear fin trim.
The total project cost was nearly $21,300 USD. It sold for $25,297.60 and retuned a paltry profit of approximately $3,950.