‘American Pickers’: Why Frank Fritz Likes to Restore Antiques He’s Found

by John Jamison
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One generally doesn’t get into antiques for the want of money alone. Flipping them can prove lucrative, certainly. But the kinds of things found on “American Pickers” are few and far between. The only way to be successful in the field is to be like Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe. They are both extremely passionate about antiques, to begin with. That passion helps to explain Frank Fritz’s philosophy on restoring them.

Anyone who has delved into the world of antiques knows that there is a lot of nuances. No single item is the same as the next, and as a result, it can be difficult to figure out what to do with one. For example, certain items like antique coins stand to lose most of their value if restored improperly. After all, antiques are antiques for a reason. You don’t want them looking like they just got made yesterday.

That’s the case for nearly every item Frank Fritz comes across in his personal life or on “American Pickers.” Including his beloved motorcycles. His favorite pastime is working on old bikes.

There is a fine line between restoring an item and maintaining its appeal as an antique. That’s why Frank attempts “to restore it just enough so you can see how it would have been.” And that’s not just for maximizing the value. It’s because Fritz genuinely wants to see things in that condition.

Talking to The Gazette, he mentioned how his particular weakness is motorcycles. He owns an impressive collection of around 60 total, most of which are in working condition. He admitted that his own house is full of antiques. It just goes to show how invested he is in preserving these items.

Further, and different from Mike Wolfe, Fritz prefers to target the less valuable items in the first place.

The ‘American Pickers’ Star’s Connection to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

With the 2021 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally underway, it only seems appropriate to explore Fritz’s connection to the event.

Remember when we said Frank Fritz has a thing for motorcycles? Well, his love for them goes deeper than one might initially think. The first he ever owned came early. He purchased a 1959 Harley Sportster during his sophomore year of high school. He also happens to be nearly a lifelong attendee of the storied Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

“I was in Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota in August last year. I’ve been going to Sturgis for 40 years now. I just got inducted two years ago to the Sturgis Hall of Fame,” Fritz told The Sun. “To be inducted into the Hall of Fame is the biggest praise that I have ever received. It means everything to me. It is a dream come true.”

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