Tonight’s episode of “American Pickers” was titled “White Knuckles.” Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe, are the professional hunters who travel across the country picking through rusty gold; those hidden treasures covered with rust from age. That rusty gold is what keeps them in business, buying low and selling high, but even they find things that they do not want to part with.
As the episode starts, Mike is finally back on the road with Frank. His back is much better with the brace he is wearing. Besides, he was like a fish out of water in the shop. They are in Arkansas and now that Danielle has gotten a taste of the road; she is not happy to be back in the shop.
Danielle calls them with a lead, and it is paradise to them. They met with John, who has been a car and motorcycle collector for years. As they walked through acres of old cars and vehicles, and when they saw an old Ford with a skeleton shift knob, Mike offered $150 for the knob. John took the offer. They found out that John lost his leg in a motorcycle accident many years ago and was also a hairdresser back in the days of the beehive hairdo. His passion was motorcycles and to see his collection is a true history lesson.
As Frank and Mike rummaged through his stuff, they found an old rusty Schwinn bike that they got for $150. John was very reasonable with all the offers that Mike and Frank threw out at him as they bought several parts and accessories. They found a 1942 Harley that was made for the Army. A model WLA Flathead, that was a mainstay of the Army during World War II. Today, there are thousands of vintage Harleys still in Russia. Then Mike spotted a 1944 Harley-Davidson Knucklehead that had a sidecar. Mike said that finding a wartime knucklehead, it was like mining gold. This bike was completely restored and when asked, the price was $47,500. Back in 1944, they made less than seventy of these and to get one. During the war, Harley was concentrating upon the war effort and not civilian usage. Dealers had to complete an essential usage form, and they were primarily sold to fire and police departments. John has the title for this bike with the serial number. The bike has not been driven in over a year.
When Frank attempted to negotiate for a 1942 Harley Bobber, John asked if they were interested in both the Bobber and the Knucklehead as a bundle. Mike was interested, but not for the price John was asking. They negotiated to $34,500 for the both bikes and are welcome to come back at anytime.
Danielle was pleased with the camel guns they found on a previous episode, titled “Hometown Picking” were valued at $1,500 and $750 and called to tell the guys. While on the phone, Mike told her that he bought the Knucklehead for $30,000 as she dropped the phone! True to their word, after the appraisal proved the guns were genuine; Danielle drove out to meet with the previous owner. Mike promised that he would send him $500 if the guns were the real thing, and Danielle got to meet with Dale and personally hand him the $500.
In Tennessee, the guys were free styling and came across a barn with a King Edward Cigar Sign. They pulled over to show them the list of items they are interested in. He is just starting his collection, but knows someone who would be interested in seeing them. The place was loaded with signs and memorabilia from yesteryear. The place was a trip down memory lane. Larry was his name, and he was willing to sell. Mike spotted two tin signs, and he asked for $100 each, Mike told him that they were worth much more and gave him $175 for each of them. Frank found a coin-operated nut dispenser that even heated the nuts for a nickel with a turn of the handle, they settled on $225 for it. Frank found a record player with Howdy Doody on it for $65. Mike found a box of yo-yos with Roy Rogers and Trigger on them and each in their original packaging along with the display box for $150. Mike found a 1918 Red Cross poster with a nurse and the WW I doughboys; he got that and a Firestone print for $250. As the guys were loading their van, Larry’s wife came out and was ecstatic to see some stuff leave.
Dave, the friend who restores vintage stuff came in and brought items to the Nashville store. Lauren was thrilled to see the radio neon sign all restored and lit again, along with the grill of an old Dodge that he restored but kept the integrity intact. The radio sign was discovered in the episode titled “California Gold Mine.”
Wonder what they find on the next episode of “American Pickers?” If you like this series? Be sure not to miss another post by hitting the “Subscribe” link and following this Examiner. Thanks!