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'American Pickers' meet the ‘Rocket Man’ on History Channel

The crew of American Pickers, Mike, Danielle and Frank
The crew of American Pickers, Mike, Danielle and Frank
Photo courtesy of History Channel used with permission

Tonight's History Channel episode of "American Pickers" was titled "Rocket Man," starring Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe. They are professional pickers that travel across not only the United States, but over the world picking through treasures covered with dust and rust from age, and love every minute of their hunt as cobwebs and dead animals don’t seem to scare them a bit.

As the episode begins, the guys are continuing their trek in California. Danielle calls with a strange lead. His name is Baron Margo and he is a Steampunk artist. The guys are enamored by the crazy items he has made from items of long ago. He has trains, planes and rockets. He even built a car that resembles a rocket ship and let the guys take it for a spin. The price is $50,000 for this piece, not for its mechanical ability, but for its artistry.

All of his creations were not immediately successful; he spent ten days in the hospital having skin grafts when one of his cars backfired and burned his arms. He showed the guys the vehicle that he still intends to fix and drive someday. Mike spotted an ancient pedal car that was pretty rusty, but got it for $250. They found signs from the early part of the last century, and lots of great stuff. They left happy, and Baron was joyful too.

When they arrived at the next lead, from Greg and Lynette, Mike asked if he was “Low Ball Lou,” and he knew immediately who sent them. He preferred to be called just plain Lou. He was restoring a Chrysler Town & Country woody convertible from 1948. When they went into his shop, the place was filled with motorcycles, mini-bikes, and cars. Mike got a 1932 Ford grill for $700 and was happy to get it.

Frank found a hot-rod Dodge a-100 truck. Mike was too tall for it, but Frank fit in it and took it for a nice rode. Lou wanted $12,500 for it; Frank got it for $11,000 after a bit of haggling, and when Lou’s wife came outside and pushed the deal.

The next lead Danielle called with was for a Larry Snow. He had gold-mining water cannons and all kinds of stuff, like Indian parts. So they got to look around at his ranch, not where he lives, but where he keeps his stuff. When Larry told them stories about his items, he had a smile from ear to ear. They found out that Larry was a McGiver since he was twelve. He took an Indian 741 motor and mounted it on a Cushman scooter, but it had too much horsepower for the scooter and burned up too many tires. The guys bought the 741 for $1,250, and headed back to Iowa. On their way, they had a contest to see who could go without peeing the longest. When they finally arrived at the store, Frank went into the shop, and Mike knew that he won the bet on this episode of "American Pickers."