Last night’s episode of “American Pickers” was titled “Deuce Digging.” 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, the “American Pickers” are free-styling in southern Illinois. Free-styling means they are just driving around looking for treasures because they have no leads in the area. They drove through an alley and found loads of stuff they liked, then a man drove up on a Segway. The man was not all too friendly, but then he understood that the guys were not there to steal, but buy. They made the first sale, an old gasoline pump for $275. Frank found an old Briggs & Stratton sign for $25, then there was a motorcycle graveyard at the back and an old barn just filled to the rafters. Frank found a Western Auto sign that he just had to have. After a lot of dickering back and forth, Frank bought it for $1,000. The place turned out to be a picker’s paradise. Ray and his treasures were the best thing they could have found in Illinois. Frank bought a three-wheel Honda scooter for $400 that was intended to be used for a Shriners parade.
Around back, they found another building and inside, there was the ultimate item; the frame from a 1932 Ford Roadster, the inspiration of the Beach Boys hit “Little Deuce Coupe.” Ray used to race stock cars and purchased the car in 1959. Ray has the body, the windshield, the grill and the title, and the guys just have to have it. Ray wants $2,500, then went down to $2,000. Mike will take it for $2,000 if they can get it out of the garage. It took four men to move it, but it worked for them. Ray is 73 and has been picking for over sixty years. He loved the guys, and they are welcome back anytime.
They called Danielle to tell her about the car frame, and she had another lead for them. They met with Jeannie whose grandfather had several stores in one location. They found the original store sign that they offered $175, Jeannie will think about it. Mike found an old brass cash register he bought for $475. The list went on and on and they found movie posters, racks for old records, an antique Radiopticon, the predecessor to a View-Master. As they were leaving, Jeannie agreed to sell the sign.
When they got back to Iowa, they met with their friend Dave and his expert friend Ben. When they saw the frame, although rusty, it was worth $5,000. They already doubled their money after paying $2,000 for the frame and $200 for the windshield and grill. Ben estimated that to fix it up would cost between $15,000 to $20,000 to trick it out. The guys agreed to go ahead with the restoration and keep it from Danielle.
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!