‘American Pickers’ Star Mike Wolfe Once Paid $1,000 for a License Plate

by Chase Thomas
(Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images for Red Earth)

American Pickers has lasted over 20 seasons now. It is unreal for a television program to make it a decade and this program has quietly doubled that altogether. Part of the reason the show has lasted so long and so many folks have stuck with it for so long is the excellent cast of characters on the program. One of those characters is Mike Wolfe, who, yes, paid $1,000 for a license plate.

A thousand bucks for a plate.

It’s not just any license plate, though, it’s of the leather variety. Yes, Wolfe became enamored with this particular plate he found sixty miles north of Detroit. The man selling the item, Toney Thomas, tells him that it is indeed one of the rarest he’d even find. Naturally, Wolfe is on board and offers him $1,000 for the item. Wolfe’s insticts are correct as the item gets flipped for $1,200 netting him an easy $200 profit. The plate was originally made in 1908 for an Oldsmobile, and the owner could prove it, so Wolfe was able to flip it.

What a bargain, right?

What Makes ‘American Pickers’ Star Mike Wolfe Different

In an interview with Go-Star, Wolfe said, “A judge I met in Florida has an incredible collection of petrobilia, signs and gas pumps. A lot of people have beautiful collections that are clean and on display. This guy, his stuff was piled on top of each other. For me, I want to know why people go down this path, why they buy all high-quality stuff. For this guy, it was because he worked in a gas station when he was 13. Just that one experience changed his path. That’s what interests me. I go in, and people have one hundred or one thousand of one thing, and it’s the back story that is intriguing to me.”

This is super interesting from Wolfe. He is less intrigued b the items and more intrigued by why folks have the items in the first place. This is what separates him on American Pickers. He sees it all differently from the rest of the cast. He wants to know the backstory of what he’s walking into, and he wants to pick the brain of the folks he may eventually do business with. He’s thoughtful and meticulous on the program, and it’s one of the many reasons the show has worked for so long.

You can watch episodes of American Pickers on the History Channel where the program has completed 22 seasons to this point and stars big-time folks like Mike Wolfe as the group goes antiquing for over 300 episodes.