The Best Episodes of American Pickers
This isn't your grandmother's antiquing. Pickers like Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are on a mission to recycle America, even if it means diving into countless piles of grimy junk or getting chased off a gun-wielding homeowner's land. Hitting back roads from coast to coast, the two men earn a living by restoring forgotten relics to their former glory, transforming one person's trash into another's treasure. American Pickers follows them as they scour the country for hidden gems in junkyards, basements, garages and barns, meeting quirky characters and hearing their amazing stories. If you think the antique business is all about upscale boutiques and buttoned-up dealers, this show may change your mind--and teach you a thing or two about American history along the way.
#1 - Pickin' Perry-dise
Season 2011 - Episode 24
Looking for roadside relics in West Virginia, the guys pick an Appalachian village museum where Mike ups the ante to score a rare retro motor. The museum's octogenarian owners--The Perrys--have never sold anything before, and after sealing the deal on an odd electric peacock, Mike makes his move. In Nashville, Danielle is unimpressed with the pool of quirky candidates she's met to manage the new store. Dave's Ohio storefront is filled with cool bikes and scooters but his business plan is more show than sell. With every room packed to the gills, a father-and-son duo open the doors to their staggering collection where the guys find a giant Goliath head that bears a strange resemblance to Frank.
#2 - NASCAR Challenge
Season 2011 - Episode 9
The men search for auto-racing memorabilia at the request of the curators of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in North Carolina. Included: a visit with "Humpy" Wheeler, former president of Lowe's Motor Speedway; and Billy Biscoe.
#3 - Pinball Mania
Season 2011 - Episode 16
The guys head to the Lone Star State, hoping to uncover a Texas-size honey hole. Once there, Mike and Frank dig through a huge outbuilding filled with dead coin-operated games (in the dark because the electricity was out). While they make an offer on a few rare gems, the owner struggles to let go of his grandpa's merchandise and all the memories that go with them. He steers the boys to a hangar-sized warehouse down the street where the guys discover the mother-lode of pop culture pinball machines. They end up at John's jaw-dropping collection of rare motorcycles, bikes and even rarer parts. At first the guys go into overdrive, but when they realize nothing is for sale, Mike switches gears and comes up with a plan!
#4 - Civil War Pickings
Season 2011 - Episode 10
The guys are on an assignment that's 150 years in the making. The Gettysburg Museum asks Mike and Frank to help expand its collection by hunting down some hard to find Civil War items. It's a daunting task made even harder with a limited budget. Danielle gets things rolling when she sends them to a previous customer who's a Civil War buff. Frank scores a Spencer Carbine. They next visit a collector, Keith, who doesn't want to sell, but they convince him to loan a rare Dog River Confederate sword to the museum. They also buy a Springfield musket and canteen. But their picking skills are put to the test when they spot a Union frock coat. It's at the top of the museum's wish list, but can they negotiate a sale and keep within the museum's tight budget? In addition, the guys experience a Civil War adventure when they sign up with a local re-enactment group. As Captains on opposite sides they go into battle, leading their respective troops.
#5 - They Boldly Go
Season 2011 - Episode 5
Mike and Frank are out in the Kentucky on a different kind of mission. They're going to someone who needs their expertise to make his home unique. The owner is William Shatner, who gives Mike and Frank a very specific list. While Danielle looks for leads, the picking is red hot at Thurman's Tennessee hills property. The lifetime collector says he's ready to make a deal, but is he really? Next, the guys hunt for the perfect showpiece for Shatner's garden and think they've hit the jackpot with an amazing millstone collector. That is, until they find out his prices outweigh even the heaviest of stones. And, with just one week to deliver the goods to their celebrity client, Mike and Frank call in a favor from a designer friend. Finally, with a van full of treasures, they deliver their booty to Shatner, hoping they haven't let him down.
#6 - Jurassic Pick
Season 2011 - Episode 22
In Mississippi, Mike and Frank find what turns out to be a priceless, 65-million year-old dinosaur bone. It's appraised by the curator of the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. Next, they find a 1960's Bella German scooter judged among the best on the market at the time, and an antique audio recording device made from piano wire.
#7 - The Belly Dance
Season 2012 - Episode 8
Automotive aficionado Dale gets seriously cranked up over Mike's one-of-a-kind belly tank racer. But the negotiations could crash if the classic can't run leaving Mike out thousands of dollars. Freestyling in New Hampshire, Tommy's treasure-packed barn yields some incredible railroad relics. Mario loves his junk but says he's willing to negotiate, and after gambling on a very cool retro smoking toy, bundle-master Frank steps in to save the day for Mike. Bruce's jam-packed property is staggering and though he's reluctant to sell, Mike manages to pull the trigger on a rare folk art rifle.
#8 - The Elephant in the Room
Season 2012 - Episode 2
With a Noah's ark of exotic animals, the guys visit a Maine taxidermist where Mike gambles big money on a huge elephant head. Danielle's search for a pachyderm-loving buyer leads to a wheelin' and dealin' rock'n'roll legend. Building collector Bill loves a good joke but his prices are no laughing matter. George's Maine marine features great prices, even better stories, and everything from maritime collectibles to a bejeweled antique hotdog steamer. The rock'n'roll legend is a collector himself. He's a tough bargainer with a couple of items to trade up his sleeve.
#9 - Frank Bears All
Season 2011 - Episode 15
Mike and Frank are picking their way through Florida when they get a lead on a potential gold mine -- a five-acre property that's an automotive graveyard. The guys also visit an off-the-grid hangar-sized geodesic dome home where they discover two gems: a very rare piece of rock 'n' roll history and an unusual motorcycle sidecar. Mike's hunger for seafood lands them a chance pick through slot machines, vintage advertising, sci-fi movie props and taxidermy bears.
#10 - Fast Eddie
Season 2011 - Episode 26
While Mike and Frank pick the back roads of Minnesota, they challenge Danielle to sell a ten-foot fiberglass cowboy boot that's been gathering dust for over a year. After a lifetime in the demolition business, Fast Eddie has tons of unusual oversize treasures. A great lead gives the guys first crack at a treasure-packed farmyard estate sale. Ted's garage is filled with awesome mantiques and Mike goes into overdrive when he climbs into the rafters and discovers a honey hole of rare bicycles.
#11 - Love 'Em and Leave 'Em
Season 2012 - Episode 16
A former Georgia boxer fights to keep a lifetime of stockpiled stuff but his wife is fed up. After scouring their five-acre property, the guys make off with a band's worth of brass instruments and a surprisingly rare art deco fan.
#12 - The Pick, The Pawn & The Polish
Season 2011 - Episode 13
In this special American Pickers/American Restoration/Pawn Stars crossover episode, Mike and Frank are in Arizona when Danielle calls about a high profile client with a tough deadline: Pawn Stars' Rick Harrison wants a particular model of a 1957 Chevy for his dad and gives the guys a one week deadline to find the rare car. After some dead ends, Mike and Frank finally find a car in need of considerable restoration. They arrange to meet Rick at Rick Dale's (American Restoration) shop where both Ricks can see the car and they haggle over the price. Can these tough negotiators agree on a deal?
#13 - An Indian Reunion
Season 2011 - Episode 11
In Florida, Mike and Frank visit a hangar-sized barn full of treasures, owned by a couple of junkyard junkies who've been picking since 1948. An awesome circus property turned animal preserve features lions, tigers and bears among circus paraphernalia and a mysterious locked trunk. And while freestyling, the guys come to a screeching halt after spotting a zebra-striped vintage motorbike in a yard. The collection is an Indian's dream. A major score leads to an unlikely reunion at a vintage motorbike museum.
#14 - Automotive Archaeology
Season 2011 - Episode 19
The guys head to Michigan hoping to strike automotive gold in the heart of the America's car capital. Clearing the contents of derelict storage lockers, Brian's sprawling auction house is a picker's playground where Mike and Frank get junk drunk as they dig deep. The guys next meet Jim's awesome collection of original automotive advertising art. And Tony wants to thin out his collection of old car and gas station memorabilia. Hoping for a lottery-style return, Mike and Frank battle it out for a collection of motometers before uncovering two items, each with a jaw-dropping pedigree. And Mike makes a sweet deal with a museum curator to ensure that a rare piece of car history finds a permanent place of honor.
#15 - Pandora's Box
Season 2011 - Episode 14
Mike and Frank are cruising around Daytona Beach, and while the sun is shining outside, the van reeks and the hunt is on to find out why. The guys stumble onto a street lined with abandoned businesses and fall head over heels for a girly neon bar sign. Barbara's bayou property is a pickers' paradise. Plus, Randy's suburban home is packed to the rafters with rare collectibles. But when the guys get a load of his prices, it's time to pull out all the stops.
#16 - When Horses Fly
Season 2012 - Episode 6
Burning up the back roads of South Dakota, Mike and Frank get off to a great start in Jim's spectacular man-cave. But when he slams on the brakes, they switch gears to score a heavenly sign. Freestyling in Iowa, the guys take a chance at an old airport turned auto body shop where a retro car takes them back to the future. Packed with roadside relics, Norm's property features a jaw-dropping collection of vintage pedal cars but the guys soon discover he drives a hard bargain.
#17 - Odd Fellas
Season 2012 - Episode 5
Frank goes wild in Joe's garage. It's packed with vintage motorcycles and while Frank scores deal after deal, Mike's efforts sputter and stall. With his family hit hard by the recession, a prolific collector is eager to sell. The guys scour building after building but sometimes one man's junk is just junk. While Frank gets ready to go to his high school reunion and show off his restored Plymouth, Mike and Danielle visit a Virginia property that turns out to be a mega-pick. With jam-packed buildings and trailers, Bill's sprawling collection features Odd Fellows relics and a vintage guitar that may be worth a fortune.
#18 - Urban Cowboys
Season 2011 - Episode 18
Looking for picks in Texas, the guys see a sign for Gilley's Club, the honky-tonk club made famous in the 1980 film Urban Cowboy. Soon they're face to face with country music superstar Mickey Gilley himself who has a warehouse jam-packed with rare Gilley's memorabilia. Later, Paul's sprawling junkyard features a staggering amount of stuff. His grandson Pride takes the guys on an adventure, and when it comes to negotiating, young Pride proves he's tough. Gilley steers the guys north to a peanut factory where Jim has preserved all the big-ticket items from Gilley's, including a mechanical bull. But when Frank gets a load of the bar's original grand piano played by many a music legend, a potential deal is music to his ears!
#19 - Frank's Pacemaker
Season 2011 - Episode 17
Thousands of miles from home, the guys are scouring the back roads of Texas desperate to find the big-ticket item that will make the long trip worthwhile. Just like his late father, Aardean is a funeral director who never throws anything away. And with everything from neon crucifixes to an embalming table with an incredible history, the guys are dying to dive in! On a mission to preserve the history of the telephone, Don's jaw-dropping personal museum includes over 200,000 rare items. Featuring room after room of vintage signs, toys and mantiques, Susan's suburban home is packed to the rafters with Americana. The good news is she's downsizing and everything is for sale, but the bad news is the guys still haven't found that big-ticket item. After touring Cecil's awesome vintage car collection, the guys get access to his "toy box." Making a series of great deals, Mike leaves Frank in the dust. That is, until the "bearded charmer" spots a rare scooter and makes his move.
#20 - What Happens in Sturgis...
Season 2012 - Episode 1
Danielle turns up a good lead she's been working on for months. When Mike tells Frank let's pack up for a trip to South Dakota, Frank says he can't. He's secretly going to his 30th annual trip to the legendary Sturgis motorcycle rally, but says he'll cover the shop. So Mike takes Danielle, first to Dollar Dick's, a tough-minded auction aficionado whose yard is covered in rusty gold. Next, they happen upon what looks like a tourist trap, but the 1880s ghost town pays off with a speed pick in a pair of treasure-filled silos that turns up some unusual items. Finally, they get to Dave's amazing automotive collection where Mike spies a sexy belly tank cycle car with classic Hollywood history.
#21 - Not So Cheap Thrills
Season 2011 - Episode 23
Mike and Frank are freestyling in Minnesota where they stumble on salvage operator Terry who has a staggering scrap yard. Everything is for sale, including a mother lode of retro signage. Next, coin-op kings Gary and John "say" they're ready to sell some of their vast collection of vintage arcade games. Frank takes a major gamble on some old school peep show coin operated machines. And retired twin brothers Steve and Tom open up their massive collection of toy cars and trucks. Danielle gets an appraisal on the peep show item.
#22 - Frank's Big Shot
Season 2011 - Episode 8
The guys are still cruising California looking to score big. Will a generation's old salvage yard be the place? Can they even get in? Later on Mike and Frank visit a Scuba lover's mini museum and Mike has his eyes on a pricey brass dive helmet. At another pick Frank finds a unique motometer. Then in a random turn of events, the fellas go from picking to a basketball court with Frank "The Free Throw King".
#23 - Knuckleheads
Season 2012 - Episode 7
With a sprawling warehouse and overstuffed semi trailers, Kevin's New England property is a gold mine where Mike makes off with the Michelin man and then gambles on a rare collection of vintage pilot gear. A former racecar driver with an amazing collection of automotive artifacts, Big Bad Jess is a serious collector who says he's ready to sell. In Maine, Jim's barn is a sprawling Harley Davidson honey hole where the guys are tested with a mystery part that could save them some coin.
#24 - The Mad Catter
Season 2011 - Episode 25
Hoping to score big on the East Coast, Mike and Frank make stops in Virginia, DC, and Maryland, and are delirious when they find themselves waist-deep in a treasure-packed machine shop. Harry's property is wired for maximum security and once the guys gain access to his amazing vault, Mike makes a high-stakes gamble. Driving off the beaten path, the guys run across a quirky artist with a wacky sense of humor and a sprawling Virginia property packed with funky collectibles. After wading through building after building, Mike pounces on a one-of-a-kind feline with an impressive pedigree. Featuring the mother lode of "petroliana," Mike and Frank scour a defunct Maryland oil company where everything is for sale. Tim is hoping to make some money to revive a vintage local beer and the guys are determined to help him clear out some of his unique mint-condition inventory.
#25 - Mike's Holy Grail
Season 2012 - Episode 11
While cruising the back roads of North Carolina, the guys get a somewhat vague lead on the holy grail of motorbikes. The XAVW is a legendary masterpiece because of its detailing and unique components. Mike is determined to find it and puts pressure on Danielle to track it down. In addition, in Betty's sprawling warehouses, filled with a variety of stuff, the guys uncover everything from architectural salvage to an amazing military artifact. Also, Dale has an awesome junkyard and a noble cause. After gambling on a collection of Indian artifacts, Frank gets some jaw-dropping news from the appraiser.