As a professional treasure hunter of sorts, American Pickers star Mike Wolfe has spent most of his life finding diamonds in the rough. He travels the country (previously alongside his friend and partner Frank Fritz) in search of bits and bobs to sell in his antique store or keep for himself. The one item Mike has consistently been on the lookout for is a motorcycle, which is why his recent announcement was so shocking.
Apparently Mike is about to part ways with some of his collection, which means the shoe is on the other foot. Here's what we know about Mike Wolfe's motorcycle auction.
What's the deal with Mike Wolfe's motorcycle auction?
Mike's motorcycle auction, which takes place in Las Vegas Jan. 27 and 28, is called the As Found Collection for a very good reason. Keeping a bike in its original condition, the way Mike stumbled upon it, is what makes it so special for him. "I've always celebrated the fact of something being ‘as found’ because I've wanted to continue its journey with me the same way I found it," he told USA Today. "I feel connected to it, if I leave it 'as found.'"
The history of a bike is written in every scratch and every dent. Restoring it kind of takes it back to square one, which is not where Mike Wolfe likes to be. This is a man who appreciates history, and sprucing up a bike robs it of its past. "Now, if I was to clean this thing, or take it apart and restore it, it would immediately mean not much to me at all because then you start looking at the restoration and you stop looking at the history of the bike," he shared.
If you think you might bid on a bike, you'll have a ton of gorgeous options from which to choose. According to Mecum Auctions, the collection includes "more than 70 two-wheeled icons, all from Mike Wolfe’s private collection and, for the very first time, prepared to impress a new set of owners as they cross the auction block in Las Vegas at Mecum’s 32nd annual Vintage & Antique Motorcycle Auction."
Why does Mike Wolfe like motorcycles so much?
Believe it or not, it all started with being bullied. He told The Des Moines Register that as a kid growing up in Iowa, he would come across tons of junk while cutting through alleys to avoid his bullies. It didn't take long for Mike to befriend some of the older gentlemen whose garages were littered with junk, but overflowing with possibility. "The garbage became my toys and they became part of my imagination and they became part of who I was," he told the outlet in 2019.
One day he came across an old bicycle which was something he could never afford on his own. From that moment on, it was two wheels or bust. This obsession led to a job at a warehouse building bikes in his early 20s. He elevated his hobby from garbage collecting to picking and soon moved onto antique motorcycles. Now it's time for those bikes to move on as well, to the next garbage collector turned picker.