‘American Pickers’: How Mike Wolfe Picked a Rare Ford That Was Basically Stuck in a Tree

by Clayton Edwards

Today, we’re taking another trip down American Pickers memory lane. Once again, we’re going back to the good old days when Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz traveled the country together. They made one heck of a team. Mike had his eyes on the big-ticket items while Frank broke the ice with bundles of smaller antiques. Additionally, their chemistry made the show entertaining as well as educational. So, let’s go back to the halcyon days of season 17 when Mike and Frank rescued a 1933 Forde Coupe from its wooded resting place.

This crazy find came from the episode of American Pickers titled, “My Sweet Ford,” the guys were in Washington. While there, they entered what should have been a paradise for Wolfe: an old body shop. The place was literally packed to the ceiling with decades-old car and motorcycle parts. However, they didn’t find anything inside the shop that caught their eye. Things changed when one of the owners pulled a Ford grille out of one of the piles. That’s when the other commented, “I’m not sure what that car is – a ’33 or a ’34 – out back.”

In a cutaway, Mike Wolfe explained to American Pickers viewers why he was so excited about the find. “’32, ’33, ’34, these cars are highly sought-after. But, for some reason, the ’33 is like the hardest one to find,” he said. Mike knew that he was on the edge of truly striking gold at this body shop.

Then, they walked into the woods and found the car. That’s where things get interesting.

The American Pickers Pick a Rare Ford from a Tree

Mike Wolfe instantly knew what they were looking at. It was, indeed, a 1933 Ford Coupe. He could tell by the body style and the fact that there were five windows. After looking over the rust-coated body, the American Pickers star said that it was a great candidate for restoration. To make things better, the rear end, frame, and engine block were all there as well. However, Wolfe noticed that the coupe didn’t have the unique dashboard and instrument panel.

After he mentioned this, the owner informed him that the dash was hanging on the wall in the backroom of the shop. At that point, Mike Wolfe knew he had to have it. However, the car had been sitting for so long that a tree had grown up beside it. As a result, the ’33 was wedged between the tree and another classic car. So, they had to call a tow truck to pull it out. The process was touch-and-go, but they made it happen.

In the end, the American Pickers crew agreed to pay $14,000 for the Ford. Mike called the find, “Picking folklore.”