Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are businessmen. Of course, part of what makes “American Pickers” so good is the passion they have for the stuff they’re finding. Some of the stuff they buy, they’re getting just because they want to hold onto it.
At the end of the day, though, they’re looking for value. They’ve been known to encounter the occasional one-of-a-kind item over the years. But what’s the most they’ve ever spent on a specific haul?
At this moment, there is a worn-down, rickety old car hiding in someone’s garage that hasn’t seen the light of day in decades. Little do the owners know, the company that made it has long been out of business, or perhaps the specific model is highly sought after by collectors. Those are the kinds of things Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are hunting down on “American Pickers.”
Sometimes, they encounter people that have been collectors themselves or have inherited collections of things like motorcycles, for example. Old bikes, like old cars, have a special place in Mike and Frank’s hearts. Not only because the pickers think they’re incredibly cool, but also because they can be some of the most lucrative picks out there.
The Season 17 premiere episode of “American Pickers” saw Mike and Frank make the most expensive deal in the show’s history. It started like many of their encounters do. They were checking out an old barn house full of motorcycles collected by the owner’s late father. Most of the antique motorcycles were little more than rundown old bikes you might find in any garage across the country. A few, however, stood out.
A $90,000 Haul for the ‘American Pickers’
Among the motorcycle graveyard sat a four-cylinder Ace. Unassuming to most, Mike and Frank quickly recognized it as one of the rarest bikes in the world.
The Ace Motor Corporation was a Philadelphia-based motorcycle manufacturer that operated in the early 1920s. After only a few years of production, the company went out of business in 1924. A few years later, it was purchased by Indian, who soon discontinued the Ace name.
All of this is to say that Ace motorcycles are extremely old, and there aren’t many of them in existence. The opportunity was too good for the “American Pickers” to pass up. But the bike wasn’t being sold individually. And the rest of the lot included some stuff of moderate value, like classic Packards and Studebakers. So Mike and Frank made an offer on the entire collection.
For the low price of $90,000, the pickers walked away with a collection of bikes in a horrible state of disrepair. The Ace itself, which they paid roughly $45,000 for, needed a ton of work done before it’d be in roadworthy condition again.
The $90,000 price tag marks the largest single purchase made on “American Pickers.”