Tonight's History Channel episode of "American Pickers" was titled "Legend of the Lost Indian," starring Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe. These professional pickers 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 the episode begins, the guys are still in New England when Danielle calls to give them a lead about an Indian motorcycle that was buried on someone’s land by their grandfather. Indian motorcycles were started in this country in 1901 and when the old factory in Springfield, Mass. was shut down in 1953; original Indians are highly collectible. Mike is passionate about these motorcycles and gets the info as they head there.
They head to Springfield, just five blocks from the original factory, where grandson, Tony believes he knows exactly where his grandfather buried it. One small problem; Tony’s family does not own the property any longer, and because they are chasing a legend, it possibly could be just that; a legend.
They met with the current owner, a lady named Sylvia, who agreed they could look for the motorcycle. While digging, they found an automobile engine, a manifold, a transmission for a truck. They found everything but an Indian motorcycle. Suddenly, Mike found an exhaust and several other parts of the bike. Mike was possessed, as the rest of the crew decided to quit, Mike was not ready to quit, and Eureka; they found the frame and the rest of the bike. The yard was pretty chewed up, but as night fell, they were still digging. When it was finally done, they had the rusty relic of Tony’s grandfather, and he was very nostalgic and finally saw the truth of what was only until now; a bit of his family folklore.
Danielle called with another lead, two brothers Jay and John, who own a brewery and collect motorcycles, specializing in Indian motorcycles. When the guys got there, they were both in love with their collection. The guys had the motorcycles for many years, and although they wanted to restore them, the brewery took up most of their time. With the income from the sale of the bikes, they could upgrade the brewery and make more beer. Those stainless steel tanks cost about $10,000.
Between the Indians and the Harleys, the guys were like dogs in a butcher shop. Frank bought an Indian for $12,500, and two Harleys, a VL and a K model for $7,500. This was the honey hole of motorcycles. Mike bought two more, a 1939 Indian 4 for $30,000 and a Rigid Chief for $10,000. They spent $62,000, which was the biggest amount they ever spent at a pick, but they were in motorcycle heaven on this episode of "American Pickers."