Last night's episode of "American Pickers" was titled "The Million Dollar Mistake." Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe, are the professional hunters who travel across the country picking through rusty gold or hidden treasures covered with rust from age. That rusty gold is what keeps them in business, buying low and selling high, but even they find things that they do not want to part with.
In this episode, Danielle sent them to deliver an antique toy to a collector with a stop along the way to a farm in Upstate New York. The farm was immaculately cared for and looked like a picture post card. The family has owned the farm since the 1700s. The family was very wealthy, and some of the things in the barn were from Italy. They took their own boat and returned after a year with treasures from abroad. Although the boat was 110 feet long, they would leave after Christmas enduring a rough time at sea. They had small children who also went on the trip, and the man showed them pictures of them on the boat. Mike had his eye on a donkey cart with hand painted inscriptions, but it was a family treasure he did not want to part with. Frank saw a 1969 Harley Sportster, but did not like the price and let it be.
Mike climbed up in the rafters and found an old canvas-covered trunk. The man told them that it might be wicker under the canvas. It had the original label inside and was made in Italy. Mike bought it for $175. Frank was listening to Mike's motivational tapes on the way there about the art of negotiation, now he can put what he learned into action. Frank found an old pinball machine that had no flippers; meaning it was pre-1947. The pinball machine sold for $150.
Then he took them into the house. It had 12 bedrooms and was enormous. He led them into the attic; a honey hole full of antiques. They found pre-1920 riding boots of high quality; of course, the family had horses. Mike got them for $110, and they were in awesome condition. They found an airplane model and a picture of the man's wife's grandmother who was an autogyro pilot. The autogyro was the predecessor of the helicopter, and they had a landing pad on the farm. They cost $15,000 in the 1930s and were only affordable to the rich.
Before they left, Frank got the Harley for $1700 and through the art of negotiation asked the man for a freebie. He gave him an old Christmas tree stand that he is sure he can get $75 for.
Danielle called to send them to an old restaurant that was closing. A father and son have memorabilia from way back and are anxious to sell. Mike spotted an old sign that caught his eye, and the teenage son took over with the dealing. They got some nice signs, an old Shell Oil bottle, that was sold in bottles before cans. Mike bought an old kid's bicycle that was made to look like an Indian motorcycle for $500.
In the bar basement, they found tons of signs, and Frank found one from Genesee Brewery from Upstate New York. If it worked, he would pay $40, and he found an outlet and it worked. Nice pick!
One more stop before New York City is to a guy who not only sold Packard, but he wrote the book on them. This man had the very first V-8 Packard that rolled off the production line. The man was named Nathaniel T. Dawes.
Mike spotted 1950s pinup-girl air fresheners, he got for $100. Then they went up to the loft in the garage. They found signs, and an old red Pegasus from the old Mobil gas station; Mike got it for $1900. The day was a hit all around, and the both "American Pickers" were very happy.
In the city, they located the buyer, the producer of "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" with Meredith Viera. The buyer was giving the toy to Meredith for a gift and as Frank was looking for the bathroom, he accidentally made a cameo appearance on the show.