The episode features Wolfe, a die-hard fan of Indian Motorcycles — he even has their logo tattooed on his arm — as he tries to solve a family mystery. A family in Massachusetts tells him that they believe someone in the family buried an Indian motorcycle somewhere in their backyard. So, the American Pickers get to work with shovel and spade. And after hours of digging, they finally find the buried treasure.
The bike was in pretty rough shape. That makes it impossible to restore, but Wolfe would rather keep it as it is anyway. The story is too good to pass up. You can watch the American Pickers as they find the bike — or what’s left of it — here.
Wolfe’s Antique Archeology shared a photo of where the bike is now. Over the years in the ground, the bike eroded and decayed. But it’s still pretty cool.
“The Lost Indian LIVES! ⚡️👏⚡️ It’s *VERY* fragile but the Indian @mikewolfeamericanpicker unearthed on @americanpickers based on family lore is displayed in our Iowa shop for everyone to enjoy!” the caption reads.
The owner of the house expanded on the story behind the bike to MassLive.com before the episode aired in 2019.
“The rumor is my grandfather, Dominic Cardaropoli buried his motorcycle in the driveway at 29 Monroe St., a house he owned until his death in 1974,” wrote Bill Smidt, of Feeding Hills, Mass. “I am 73 and heard the story since I was a child.”
‘American Pickers’ Star on Item that Got Away
American Pickers star Mike Wolfe said out of all of the years he’s been a picker, there is still one item that he couldn’t buy that haunts him.
Wolf found an Indian Motorcycle that predated 1915. He had to have it. This type of motorcycle isn’t just rare, it may be the holy grail for a motorcycle-mad collector. Unfortunately, the owner was just as passionate about the bike. So, he refused to sell it, he told Southern Antiquing and Collecting Magazine in 2011.
“70% of the stuff I find, I can’t buy. It is not for sale,” Wolfe told the magazine. And the other 30 percent often that he does buy often takes a great deal of negotiation and haggling to get the collector to sell.
The greatest pick Wolfe said he ever had also involved Indian Motorcycles.
“A few years back I was reading a motorcycle magazine. There was a classified ad that read ‘Buy-Sell-Trade Indian Motorcycles.’ I called the number. The older man who answered the phone said there were still a few rusty bikes out in the barn,” he explained in 2012. “I drove 800 miles, arriving in Pennsylvania the very next morning. When the old farmer opened the barn door I knew I had hit the mother lode: 10 vintage Indian bikes and two more barns full of spare parts. The mega pick of a lifetime.”