Last night’s History Channel episode of “American Pickers” was titled “What’s Inside the Vault?” as Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe, the professional hunters travel across the earth picking through treasures covered with dust, spider webs, rodent poop and all kinds of stuff.
As the episode begins, the guys are at the Maryland/Pennsylvania border as they speak with Mike’s mother Rita, who is learning to play the ukulele. They talked jokingly about starting a band, and she told them there were lots of nursing homes that would be happy to hear them. As they drive through torrential rain, a call from Danielle beckons them to see a man named Warren, who has seventy-six acres of land with several buildings. Warren and another man drove up to them on mini-bikes. On the back porch, is a ton of stuff and Mike sees a glass display cabinet he gets for $200. He built the house they live in with forty-foot beams. There were lots of advertising items especially things the guys just had to have. Frank found a tradesman trunk Frank got for $200 and Warren confessed that he paid $5 for it last week. Mike found a grill from a Packard.
As they were talking, it started to pour again so they ran into another barn. Lo and behold, a 1936 Mercedes convertible that a neighbor brought home with him after the WWII and drove it for years. As it stands, it is worth $100,000 and if restored could bring $250,000. They found a small apartment-size stove that came from an old row house that was in a jade green color like much of the glassware of that era. When they left Warren and his friend, they were happy to say they made quite a few deals and Warren now had more money to restore any room they made with more yard sale finds.
Back on the road, Danielle had another lead for Hillary, who’s Uncle Dick passed away leaving her with tons of things. She will have his friend Gary there with her because she did not know much about his collections. When they went inside, there were restored cars and bicycles from yesteryear. Mike just loves bicycles, so he checked out the ones that were in his element. He found one that had no badge, but Mike believed it was a Hickory from the early 1900s. Mike got the bike with wooden wheels for $800. They found out that her uncle delivered feed to farmers and when he saw items, he liked, he would make an offer.
As they looked at the cars, they found the first car Uncle Dick ever bought; it was a 1929 Chrysler convertible that he drove back and forth to Lehigh University. None of the cars were for sale right now, so the guys looked for other items that were for sale. They found several boards that contained ice skates with years they were made stated on each board. Mike never saw anyone who collected ice skates in any place and was fascinated. Mike got the whole collection for $1,650, which included boxes with ice skates. Mike found a 1960s Bianchi bicycle he got for $750. Mike also got the Indian shock absorber display for $725 that he just loved. Indian Motorcycle also made cars, bicycles and car parts, and Mike is enamored by them, and his love keeps their memory alive.
Before they left, Hillary invited them into his lawnmower shop where Uncle Dick was the unofficial mayor of Branchville, New Jersey. The back room contained his private collection that very few people got to see. Mike found a huge loving cup trophy for ice skating and a Hawaiian surfing trophy. Because of the sentimental value of the items inside the vault, they preferred to keep it all for now, but Mike and Frank left there happy and with more items for their shop. As for the band, it seems like they were already kicked out before they ever started. They received a video with Mom, Robbie, Danielle and Lauren already playing their first tune without them on this episode of “American Pickers.”