‘American Pickers’: Why Mike Wolfe Couldn’t Close on a 1960 Porsche 912

by Taylor Cunningham

American Pickers star Mike Wolfe has a unique gift of haggling. In nearly every situation, he’s able to strike a deal with a seller that makes both sides happy. But sometimes, Wolfe has to walk away empty-handed, which was the case when he found a 1960 Porsche 912.

In a season 23 installment titled Picture Perfect Pick, Mike and his brother Robbie stumbled upon the classic car hidden under a sheet and stashed in a dusty storage building. The vehicle had been a “getting around town car” for Jim, the late husband of seller Mary Young.

While Jim cherished his vintage wheels, when his daughter Sarah was born, they were no longer practical. So he moved on to a family-friendly vehicle, and the Porsche became a memory.

Upon first glance, The American Pickers host had to have the car. As Sarah said, her father was proud of the fact that it was “as original as it gets.” And Mike believed that was true.

Robbie also knew the Porshe was a rare find, and he was willing to go all-in to snag it.

“Any car from the 50s and 60s, if you find a car with original paint with low miles on it, you have to try and buy it,” he said. “They’re like unicorns out there.”

However, the odds were stacked against the brothers from the start. Sarah admitted that she’d already turned down a $25,000 offer in the past. And because that specific model ranged in value from $25,000 to $60,000, she didn’t leave much room for Mike to pay for refurbishing costs and still pocket a profit.

An ‘American Pickers’ Porshe Specialist Claimed the Paint Was Not Original

So before Mike made an offer, he decided to get a Porshe specialist named Rich on the line to verify that the car was as original as it appeared. But after coaching the two on how to check for themselves, it was apparent that the paint was in fact not original. So the value of the car took a dive.

“It’s a little bit hard to break the news to somebody that what they have isn’t what they thought,” Mike admitted to the camera. “But on the other hand, it’s good to let them know that it’s not because now they can represent the car the way it should be.”

Original paint or not, Mike still wanted the 912. However, he was only willing to fork over $20,000, and that was his first and final offer.

But with that, there was no more talk. Sarah and Mary said the offer wasn’t enough for the Porche, and they gave a firm no. Because the car went into a lower price point, they decided to keep the collectible in the family.