Fashionable Watches

The Most Expensive Items In American Pickers History

Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz struck gold with
their hit History Channel series American Pickers, which follows the besties around
the country as they search for treasure in America’s garages, basements, and outbuildings. Not every trip is a major payday, but sometimes
the boys get lucky. Here are some of the most expensive items
ever discovered on American Pickers. Fritz and Wolfe have a special affinity for
rare cars manufactured by companies no longer in business. In this season 12 episode, they stumbled on
an exceptionally scarce Auburn Phaeton 653 from 1935, the last year of production on
that particular automobile. They paid its owner $26,500 for the car, although
it cost them another $1,000 to ship it back to American Pickers HQ, where they spent around
$10,000 to make it look and run as good as new. It wound up with a value of $45,000, and after
subtracting the $37,500 investment, that makes for a tidy profit of $7,500. License plates today are made of metal, and
issued by state motor vehicle departments as a way to uniquely identify each vehicle. But when cars became commonplace more than
100 years ago, the government issued license numbers, but not plates, meaning drivers or
car companies had make their own, and they sometimes used unusual materials to do so,
such as embossed leather. Wolfe thought this leather beauty was pretty
peculiar, and paid a whopping $1,000 for the privilege of ownership. He later sold it, and made a nice $200 on
the flip. American Pickers season three began with the
duo hitting the road for Bushkill Park, an amusement park in Easton, Pennsylvania. One of the oldest continuously operating amusement
parks in the country, it opened in 1902 but mostly closed down in the 2000s. On a guided tour of the property they found
some whimsical and enticing sideshow banners used to promote the park’s circus events long,
long ago. Knowing they were worth something, the Pickers
walked away with a few for $700, but were delighted when they later sold for $10,000. Royal Pioneer specialized in luxury motorbikes
until a factory fire limited the company’s lifetime production at around 500 and destroyed
the entire operation. That makes a Royal Pioneer motorcycle in any
condition rare — in fact, only four are known to exist. That’s why Wolfe forked over $55,000 for the
skeleton of a 1910 specimen. Sure, it didn’t look like much, but a little
elbow grease and he’d be sure to make a tidy profit. After all, another restored Royal Pioneer
motorcycle had previously sold for nearly $100,000. While swinging through New England in late
2013, the Pickers visited Holyoke, Massachusetts, home of Paper City Brewery. Co-owners and brothers Jay and Jon Hebert
keep a nice collection of classic motorcycles in the company’s mill building, so Wolfe and
Fritz soon found themselves in motorcycle heaven. Of the more than a dozen bikes on display,
the duo bought five altogether, including a 1932 Harley-Davidson. Total offering price of that loud and powerful
haul: $62,000. The guys didn’t exactly know what to expect
in season 16 when they were approached by a woman who promised that she had an interesting
and extensive collection of movie memorabilia. But they were blown away by what they saw. The collector was in possession of several
awesome pieces, including a prototype of an officially licensed Yoda statue created in
the mid-’90s. Even a non-collector knows that a one-of-a-kind
Star Wars piece like this is going to be valuable, especially considering it’s different than
the manufactured statue. Take home a Yoda the Pickers did, for the
relatively low price of $6,250. In the season seven premiere, the team spotted
what seemed at first glance to be an original Lionel model train set, and one in mint condition. They agreed to pay $8,000 for the whole shebang
and couldn’t believe now lucky they were. That would turn out, unfortunately, to be
one of the most disappointing acquisitions in American Pickers history. When they asked an auctioneer for an appraisal,
they learned the toy wasn’t quite what they’d thought. The train was not 100 percent original parts
— many had been replaced, significantly reducing its overall value. Ultimately, the Pickers unloaded the train
set for $3,400, less than half of what they’d paid for it. “I kind of want to throw up.” Sometimes Lady Luck is with Mike and Frank
during the filming of American Pickers, like the time in season five when they found an
actual dinosaur bone. The guys also found fortune eleven seasons
later with something decidedly less prehistoric: an Eisenhower-era motorcycle with an attached
sidecar. The guys managed to find a rare Zundapp RS
750, and paid out a not-insubstantial sum of $10,000 to own it, plus $1,000 in shipping. After spending some more cash to restore it,
a Georgia vintage motorcycle shop took it off their hands for $18,000. In the middle of season 13 of American Pickers,
somehow, someway, the team discovered two Nash-Healeys at an old AMC dealership. Nash Motors only produced cars from 1951 to
1954, and high-end and classic car collectors love them, so to find two of these sleek and
wonderful sports cars just hanging out and gathering dust is kind of unreal, so the guys
just had to make an offer. $46,000 is a lot of money to spend on anything,
let alone two cars that hadn’t hit the road in decades. Yet in the end, as they often do, the Pickers
came out on top. According to the Hagerty Price Guide, each
car is worth around $37,000, which means Mike and Fritz basically got two Nash-Healeys for
the price of one. This episode from the show’s seventeenth season
bore the cryptic title “The $90,000 Question,” because that’s roughly the amount the guys
consider spending on an unbelievable lot of old motorcycles in various states of disrepair
on a property in Oregon. There among the slowly rotting hunks of once-grand
metal sat a few choice picks, including a decades-old Ace four-cylinder number, one
of the rarest motorcycles in the world. It’s not going to be cheap for Mike and Frank
to get it into roadworthy shape, but it was just too good to pass up. Altogether, the guys pull the trigger and
actually hand over about $90,000 on the bikes — a Pickers record. “If they want to come out and buy more stuff? Absolutely.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
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