Let’s face it. There’s always going to be a part of ourselves that feels the urge to collect things. There’s just something about being able to purchase something you value a lot and then, storing it inside a treasure box.
For some people, collecting has also become a way of life. In fact, there are those who go on to buy rare antiques and then proceed to sell them at a much higher price. On the other hand, there are also collectors who target specific types of items. And for the folks that we regularly watch on History Channel’s “American Pickers,” it happens to be anything and everything that’s Americana.
According to History Channel, “Pickers like Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are on a mission to recycle America, even if it means diving into countless piles of grimy junk or getting chased off a gun-wielding homeowner’s land.” For these guys, picking has also become quite an adventure.
In fact, let's relive 20 things that actually happened on “American Pickers.”
20 They wandered around the Mole Man’s home
Ever since Ron, aka Mole Man, appeared on the show, fans can’t keep talking about him and his incredibly unique home. While most homeowners tend to build up or build wide, it seems the Mole Man decided to keep building his home downwards.
As a result, he’s got quite a subterranean abode which Mike and Frank had the pleasure of exploring.
19 They ventured around the closed down Eagle Park
It caused quite a buzz when Mike and Frank decided to explore Eagle Park, an abandoned amusement park in Cache, Oklahoma. The show’s Danielle Colby had toured the place prior to this visit.
However, she reportedly didn’t have much time to go over the stuff since she got busy hauling some old bumper cars.
18 Wolfe and Fritz encountered the Wolf Boy
If you’re into stuff that’s undoubtedly freaky, then you would certainly appreciate Wolfe and Fritz’s encounter with the Wolf Boy. As you may know, Wolf Boy is one of the most macabre discoveries of curator Homer Tate.
In fact, this one is among the 26 mummies that were found inside a cave in Peru.
17 Fritz was sued over a polarimeter
A polarimeter is a tool that was once used for measuring the sugar content in beer. At one point, a man named Jerry Bruce saw Frank and Mike buy one during an episode of the show. Bruce proceeded to contact Fritz and agreed on a purchase price.
However, Bruce later claimed that he never got the item. And when he sued Fritz, he won by default since the “American Pickers” never showed up to court.
16 They purchased a very rare cycle car
One of the most special finds that were featured on the show was the rare 1914 Merz Cycle Car. According to the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa, the one that Wolfe and Fritz got was originally picked from a man in Florida.
It was then later sold to the late John Parham who was an American Motorcyclist Association Hall of Famer.
15 They came across a unique circus banner
During one of the episodes of “American Pickers,” Wolfe and Fritz were seen checking out a very unique looking circus banner. Instead of having prints with various whimsical creatures, this one displayed the Last Supper.
Even weirder, the banner has a sign that reads, “The Last Supper Life Size Animated Figures.”
14 They managed to find the original Jell-O wagon
Perhaps, one of the coolest finds from “American Pickers” is the classic Jell-O wagon. It was originally discovered by Colby in a family barn in Ouachita Parish. Later on, the classic wagon was purchased by Jim and Mary Sandoro, the founders of the Buffalo Transportation/Pierce-Arrow Museum.
Upon acquiring the wagon, Jim Sandoro told The Buffalo News, “We're thrilled to have it. It's an important Western New York relic that we believe is one of the first moving advertising units to be used commercially in the United States.”
13 They got the original Yoda prototype
One of the craziest picks ever made by Wolfe and Fritz is, undoubtedly, the original Yoda prototype.
Of course, anyone who is a big fan of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise would readily recognize this character. As recalled by the website Notably, this item cost as much as $6,250. We’re pretty sure it was worth every penny.
12 They purchased the Hot Rod truck
Perhaps, one of the hottest picks made by Wolfe and Fritz on the show is a Dodge A100 Hot Rod truck that came with a loud orange paint. As you may recall, Wolfe was keen on doing a test drive.
However, he couldn’t since the low roof didn't give him much space. Fortunately, Wolfe and Fritz got it for a steal at $12,500.
11 They invested in a cool airstream trailer
At on point, the show features a 1948 airstream trailer that Wolfe simply falls in love with. However, he also encountered an owner who was rather reluctant to part with the airstream.
In the end, however, the boys managed to acquire it. As recalled by Hagerty, the airstream was “purchased for $8,000 and repaired for an additional $3,000.”
10 They found a leather license plate
Aside from cars, the stars of “American Pickers” are also fascinated with Americana car accessories. And hence, Wolfe and Fritz were quite thrilled when they found a unique leather license plate from the early 1900s.
According to Direct Expose, in those times, the government allowed people to put license numbers on their cars however they wanted.
9 They sometimes haggle too much
On the show, “American Pickers” Wolfe and Fritz sometimes don’t like to play nice with sellers. Instead, they would haggle too much, sometimes even reportedly below the price that was originally agreed upon before the cameras started rolling. One could argue that it’s a business strategy.
Others can say that it’s a rather unethical practice. Regardless of how you feel, we can’t argue that it makes an episode more interesting.
8 One of their most expensive purchases was a pair of classic cars
At one point, our favorite “American Pickers” became determined to acquire a pair of classic cars. It was none other than two 1954 Nash-Healey coupes.
As you can recall, Wolfe and Fritz ended up acquiring a red, Cadillac engine-powered Nash-Healey for $21,000. On the other hand, they also got a nicer grey Nash-Healey for $25,000.
7 They spent the most money on some old motorcycles
The episode was referred to as “The $90,000 Question” because this was the amount of money that guys ended up spending for a lot of old motorcycles. And once they purchased it, it turns out they acquired a lot of valuable bikes.
As Looper recalled, these included “a "Johnny Cash Special" motorcycle, a bike from 1931 consisting of little more than an engine and a chassis, and, best of all, a decades-old Ace four-cylinder number, one of the rarest motorcycles in the world.”
6 They got up close and personal with Aerosmith’s old van
As recalled by the History Channel, “Although the duo had gone to investigate the relic based on little more than a hunch by the van’s owner, it turns out they had struck gold.
The van had belonged to the legendary band Aerosmith, and played a significant part in the band’s story when they first began performing in the 1970s.” Talk about getting lucky!
5 They dealt with William Shatner
At one point, veteran actor and television host William Shatner obtained the services of Wolfe and Fritz to obtain some amazing pieces for his home. In the end, the men found Shatner an authentic millstone for his garden.
For this, they had to pay the owner his asking price of $2,500.
4 They dealt with Dolly Parton
Over the years, “American Pickers” has developed quite a following from celebrities. One of which is none other than country music legend Dolly Parton. As you may recall, the show’s Colby ran into Parton when she visited Dollywood. From there, the two had struck quite a friendship.
In fact, the musician even turned to “American Pickers” to purchase some vintage accessories for her newest Dollywood ride.
3 They sold a crazy item to Jack White
As you may know, the boys of “American Pickers” once dealt with The White Stripes’ Jack White.
And as Noteabley recalled, “The Pickers sold White a taxidermy elephant head for $6,000 in addition to $6,000 worth of White’s personal antiques. They originally bought the head for $9,500. White was happy to take the elephant off their hands.”
2 Mike and Frank got into trouble with animal activists
At one point, Wolfe and Fritz got into a good bit of trouble with animal activists. This had occurred when the show aired the episode that featured the taxidermy elephant head that was sold to White.
For the record, the “American Pickers” do love animals. In fact, Wolfe even appeared on a PSA for Last Chance for Animals, according to the organization's 2012 press release.
1 Danielle got into trouble with the IRS
As it turns out, Colby got into some serious trouble with the IRS after allegedly forgetting to pay her taxes. In fact, Colby had owed Uncle Sam under $6,000 in unpaid taxes back in 2013. This is due to her shop 4 Miles 2 Memphis.
And according to a report from Looper, Colby went on to receive four more notices in the coming years.
Sources - The Buffalo News, Noteabley, Direct Expose, Hagerty & Last Chance for Animals