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Why Mike Paid $1,000 For Pieces Of A Motocross Sign On American Picker

Mike Wolfe has been known to purchase a plethora of bizarre items during his time on "American Pickers. Indeed, Wolfe's purchase history throughout the series includes everything from taxidermied elephant heads to a haunted footlocker. However, longtime fans of the series will know that Wolfe's favorite items to collect revolve around his lifelong obsession with motorcycles and bicycles. And although Wolfe has bought plenty of vintage motorcycles, bikes, and cycling memorabilia over the years, his specific obsession with bikes actually extends well beyond what we see on screen.

Though much of what Wolfe buys in the series ends up being resold at his antique shop, the veteran antiquer frequently spends top-dollar on bikes for his own personal collection as well. Interestingly, Wolfe has been on the hunt for one particular item for years. In fact, he has even gone so far as to assert that one particularly unique bike is his "Holy Grail" item. All told, it's clear that Wolfe's obsession with all things cycling has cost him plenty of money over the years — though perhaps his boldest cycling-related purchase involved a rare motocross sign he discovered in Season 18.

The sign represents an important piece of American motorcycling history

The reason why this particular purchase is so shocking (even for a motorcycle enthusiast like Mike Wolfe) is because the sign itself had actually been chopped into multiple pieces before Wolfe found it. According to the owner, Clint, the sign has originally been cut to fit the inside of a desk, where it was used to keep mice and other vermin out the drawers. The sign is an advertisement for a dealership that sells "Indian Motocycles," which Wolfe instantly recognizes as the name used for the vehicles in the early 1900s before "motorcycles" became the more popular term.

Not only is the sign incredibly rare (and over 100 years old), but it represents a very important aspect of American motorcycling history. Indian Motorcycle was actually the first American motorcycle brand to be produced and was founded in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1901. Indian Motorcycle's contribution to motorcycling is so significant that Springfield is still considered to be the birthplace of American motorcycles, and as such, this authentic sign is an extremely important piece of motorcycling history.

Recognizing the sign for what it was, Wolfe agreed to pay the hefty sum of $1,000 for the pieces, promising to reassemble the sign on a slab of wood. In the end, it seems like Wolfe's vast knowledge of motorcycling paid off, as the historically significant piece earned him a profit of $500.