Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

American Pickers Paid $7,000 For An Ultra-Rare Hanomag RV

Some of the most interesting finds on "American Pickers" have been rare, older vehicles, like a 1910 Royal Pioneer motorcycle and a 1935 Auburn Phaeton 653 convertible. But in Season 21, Episode 2, "Jolene, Jolene," Mike Wolf and Frank Fritz come across perhaps the rarest and strangest vehicle in the show's long run. The proprietor of Gordon's Service in Hoquiam, Washington, a man named Norm Callaghan, shows Mike and Frank a long, silver RV that appears to be a Volkswagen van cab grafted to a Silver Streak trailer but turns out to be a Hanomag, one of only 23 produced by Silver Streak in the late 1960s.

As seen in a clip from the episode available on YouTube, Mike is fascinated, calling it "business in the front, party in the back ... the mullet of RVing." Norm says the Hanomag was "an absolute failure," noting that its puny four-cylinder engine struggles to get it to its maximum speed of 52 miles per hour, which is achievable only with some wind assistance. He initially demands $7,500 for the still-running RV — which has only 14,000 miles on the odometer — before Mike talks him down to $7,000.

Mike Wolfe sees the Hanomag's potential through its dirty, worn interior

"This is like [the] Patridge family and Brady bus had a baby," Mike Wolfe quips as he takes in the dirty vintage appliances and furniture fixtures and nearly floor-to-ceiling brown shag carpet. He goes on to praise the unique concept, remarking that the Hanomag came from a time when designers and manufacturers were less concerned about mass-market potential and were free to make products with purely visceral appeal and perhaps uncertain sales prospects.

Mike notes that it will take a lot of elbow grease to get the interior cleaned and restored well enough to make someone want to actually buy and sleep in it but concludes, "When we get done with this thing, it's not going to be a mullet; it's going to be a mullet," giving the final word a snooty French pronunciation rhyming with "chalet." While he and the Antique Archaeology team will no doubt have a giant task ahead in transforming the Hanomag into a swanky dwelling, its rarity and unique design will certainly mean they will have no trouble selling it at a profit once their work is done.