‘American Pickers’: Mike Wolfe Dropped Serious Money on a Restored Ford Truck

by Taylor Cunningham

American Pickers star Mike Wolfe may have a keen and savvy eye that earns him big returns for restored vintage items. But even he can make costly choices sometimes, and we learned that when he bought a 1954 Dodge tuck in lieu of walking away with thousands in profits.

The deal was featured in Season 18, Episode 1 titled Mike’s Big Buy. During the installment, Mike as his ex-co-star Frank hauled a classic Indian four-cylinder motorcycle from Oregon to Los Angeles. Mike had already invested $22,800 into the bike and was expecting to sell it for $30,000. But to make sure it was worth the money, he asked an expert to do the finishing touches.

While there, he met up with his friend and owner of Old Crow Speed Shop, Bobby Green.

As soon as the duo showed up at the shop, they were in American Picker’s heaven. Vintage classics abounded, and Mike and Wolfe were beside themselves.

And when Mike noticed a 1954 Dodge, he had to have it.

“It’s got the ’54 Dodge Baby Hemi, Heavy 12 Bolt Rear End, paint’s got the right amount of stank on it, the leather inside is amazing. this build is exactly what I would do,” Mike said.

Mike then proceeded to take the Hemi for a test drive, which just made him want the truck even more. So when he got back to the shop, he and Frank started considering bids.

The ‘American Pickers’ Creator Gladly Accepts a Loss in Exchange for the Classic Truck

Green immediately suggested $40,000. Then he changed the price into a packaged deal. Mike could trade the truck for the bike and then hand over an extra $10,000.

Frank was a little apprehensive about the idea. As he pointed out, $40,000 total would mean that they would owe more than they made. And that’s just bad business. But Mike couldn’t help himself. And he accepted the terms.

“All of these things, we’re caretakers of for a short amount of time. Right now, it’s my turn,” he said as he jumped behind the wheel.

At the end of the day, the American Pickers icon lost $7,200 worth of profit. But he was clearly willing to accept the hit. During his 23 seasons on air, he’s made plenty of wise buys that have padded his pockets. In fact, according to Looper, Wolfe makes an astounding $500,000 a year filming his series. And that’s not even counting the money he earns outside of the gig.

So we’d say that Mike Wolfe puts in enough hard work to justify a costly impulse buy every so often.