'American Pickers' VonDutch XAVW Hits Museum!

The National Motorcycle Museum has become quite a cross roads for all sorts of antique and vintage motorcycling. John Parham, long time collector and president of the Museum practically lives there and welcomes in almost daily collectors of motorcycles, toys, artwork, photos and more, even old oil cans and great porcelain signs.

John knew Mike Wolfe for about 20 years before he became a celebrity through the television hit, American Pickers. So Mike makes it a point to stop by and see John when he’s in the neighborhood, or has some super new find he wants John to see, maybe even own. But then sometimes, Mike keeps the coolest things he finds, like many of us do. Such was the case recently.
What is a picker? In case you don’t already know it a picker is the first guy to lay eyes on a neglected, hidden, forgotten interesting object from our past. Pickers knock on doors out in the country if their sixth sense says the barn holds an old motorcycle or car or just a fine nickel plated kerosene lamp from the late 19th Century. Pickers know what’s good, dig it out, dust it off and for the first time in maybe 50 years identify it, price it and try and sell it for what it’s really worth. Mike Wolfe is a real picker, has been for most of his life. And Mike likes to share his finds with John Parham, and the National Motorcycle Museum. Case in point, the Von Dutch XAVW motorcycle Mike Wolfe recently scored.
Mike got a call one day from a friend telling him about a Von Dutch motorcycle. Two things probably popped into Mike’s mind. First; BOGUS!, because Von Dutch stuff is so rare. Second; I’d better get there quick before someone else does. And he did. What he found was the bike Von Dutch had built around 1966 along with paperwork that had Ed “Big Daddy” Roth as a past owner. He made a deal on the spot and took the motorcycle home with him. Real pickers don’t fool around when they find something great.
What’s so special about the XAVW? Most people know Von Dutch for his artistic classic pin-striping and some know he has painted a few bikes, written some strange prose, made some knives and pretty whacky sculptures. But working with a Harley-Davidson XA, a World War II shaft drive machine that’s relatively rare now, some Moto Guzzi components and a 36 horsepower flat four Volkswagen engine he joined some cool components and built a completemotorcycle. A complete Von Dutch motorcycle. That’s rare.
After showing the bike at TorqueFest in Iowa this summer Mike made a deal with John Parham to lend the bike to the Museum for display. The museum has lots of bikes and memorabilia on loan which keeps things there changing, always new. You can head over to Anamosa, Iowa any day and sit down right beside the bike, study it and consider all the thought and the work Von Dutch put into it. It appears he had to stretch the frame, make it wider to get the VW engine to drop in. Amazingly a lot of other pieces lined up well as he mated the engine to the XA clutch and trans. He even made the kickstarter work. Forks are early 50’s Moto Guzzi and the seat may be as well. Visually the components all fit together really well, even the form of the Guzzi fenders connects well with the mid-sixties Honda CB450 gas tank, especially with Von Dutch’s two tone paint and striping. Even the VW badge fits well artistically. But anyone who has done work like this knows the challenges. Looks easy, maybe, but this was a lot of work and the outcome must have made Von Dutch grin.
At the Museum the XAVW is parked next to a Triumph Von Dutch painted and some other great Von Dutch creations and paint work. It’s one of over 400 motorcycles at the NMM, and one of about 30 custom bikes, and in a sense one of the most radical, even if it doesn’t gleam with a ton of chrome. It’s another marker of the accomplishments of one of the most revered artists in the motorcycle and custom car world. Pickers, creatives and visionaries like John Parham come together so you can get side by side with some great Von Dutch creations any day of the week at the National Motorcycle Museum.
158 replies
  1. ric ealy
    ric ealy says:

    i just watched the episode last night where mike bought the von dutch motorcycle, how cool is that, and just wanted to google it and see what he did with it, now i know, what value could be placed on this excellent ride, i have a 1970s italian motorcycle that i have to get off my butt and restore, it was my dad’s, he had a biker gang back in the day, but not with this bike, i have a picture of him and his boys and their gals sitting on their indians/harleys, its my favorite picture of him, thanks…

    • Luis Meneses
      Luis Meneses says:

      I just watched that episode on History channel here in Portugal, Europe. Amazing stuff these guys end up with. I am crazy about old motorbikes and cars, and everything old and cool for that matter. If anyone comes up to these parts check with my friend and partner João and check Old Stuff Garage page or email him at oldstuffgarage@gmail.com for amazing rusty gold in Portugal.
      Take care and good hunting

    • Blair Travers
      Blair Travers says:

      I live in Australia, and love the show, just watched this episode and same, Googled Von Dutch and its a GREAT Story. Keep it real guys, love your work.

    • Shelli Woof
      Shelli Woof says:

      Just wanted to say I just watched episode of the lost Von Dutch motorcycle and wanted to see what happen to it too. Mike was so over it he couldn’t even sleep. Im a thrift store or garage sale picker. Lol Love the show ❣️

      • Phil
        Phil says:

        I’m on here the same as everybody else I’ve been watching American pickers for some time I have it on my 24/7 channel through IPTV and I just come across this one now and I did the exact same to Google to find out if it was real and where a bouts orwhat happened to the bike

  2. kumar srinivas
    kumar srinivas says:

    hai mike. congrats. u really got a great bike. von dutch motorcycle was really amazing one. its only one in the entire world.

    • Richard John Holden
      Richard John Holden says:

      I have a spare VW engine, I remember the program how much was it? I forgot, Anyway im a Brit living in SE Asia, planning or thinking of planning to make an exact copy of this great bike, I made a working bike of Steve Macqueens’ bike from The Great Escape movie

  3. Gaurav
    Gaurav says:

    Same with me………I watched the episode and googled it. This all reminds me off about my dad’s bike, that was 1962 Rajdoot bike(indian brand). 10 Years back we sold it.

  4. sandman
    sandman says:

    Of all the so called custom bike builders Von Dutch stands alone. Most builders develope a style that defines them, Von Dutch seem;s to cover every style.He has streamliners, choppers,bobbers,dirt bikes,sport bikes, stretched bikes ,shortened bikes,high and low bikes and he used Harley’s, Honda’s, Italian and English bikes.
    Most builders you see on tv just keep doing mostly the same thing with Harleys
    Just amazing talent and vision and courage to do his own thing .

  5. Tim Henrich
    Tim Henrich says:

    This really puts into perspective what is still out there in some people’s barns and shops.
    Definitely the best pick I have seen on either one of the picker shows American or Canadian.
    Should he not have paid double ; To the couple he bought it from that wour be my only negative
    Input to this whole epic find. I think he stole it for $21,000 could only imagine what
    Some would have paid for this jem a must have for a motorcycle collector.
    Kindest Regards,
    Tim Henrich

    • econobiker
      econobiker says:

      Yes, he stole it for $21,000 when you consider that Von Dutch’s tool box sold for over $300,000.
      But when people don’t have a clue of the value of something right infront of them and get offered money they take it even if a little research would show how much it is worth.
      Then people also don’t know how to sell something at an auction or even contact an auction house about this.

    • David Parker
      David Parker says:

      One can’t help but wonder. I have seen it written that these shows are often “seeded” with extra-nice material here and there. However, I think this was a real find but they probably spoke with the couple beforehand to be sure they would sell. Just guessing.

  6. Jay Barrington
    Jay Barrington says:

    I’ve watched your show now what seems like forever with my boys. Though Im not a bike collector I still remember my little 75 RD 100. The thing is it was neat to see that somthing that we see on your face that is really special. It makes me and probably a lot of us want to know more about it. I have a tremendous thirst for knowledge and you always peak my intrest. Thanx Mike

  7. Veno
    Veno says:

    The show only went to air in Australia on the 11 april .
    great to see mike has left the bike as it was found and
    is now letting every one enjoy his rewards.
    This website helps dot the pieces together.

  8. Steven
    Steven says:

    Mike Wolf could not sleep the night before because of this bike, he knew how rare this was. I watch this show all the time, and know that what he paid to this couple for the bike (21,000.00 US) is pennies for what it is really worth. I dont think this couple knew what they really had after all. Remember mike said he could not sleep the night before. For example at auction a painted tin sign from Dutch’s shop in Tempe Arizona shop 48 x 48 inches sold for 18,720.00 US. This couple looked like they really needed the money, and said they appreciated it. I remember when these guys bought some old carnival canvas signs $600.00 for both and got them appraised and sold them for 10,000.00 US. These guys then went back and give the guy ( previous owner) $5000.00 US to get his park up and running again. Funny this bike was not appraised on the show as they always like to let you know what they will profit. If he does sell this in the future, do you think he would let this go for 40,000.00 US which would still be a steel, I don’t think so. Dutch is a originator of the Custom Kulture not just a brand that Paris Hilton wore. But it would nice to see him give that couple a slice of the pie if he does, the GFC hurt a lot of people and happy endings are always good too
    Thanks Steven

    • Pete Peterson
      Pete Peterson says:

      I have a 1956 Von Dutch watch that he painted on the face of and signed. Do you know anyone who might want to buy it? I also have a bunch of Von Dutch stories I could tell.The Motorized skate……the 300SL Mercedes that he “Flamed”.
      How I got to ride his bike for four days to break in the new rings.I was 21 and just out of the Army and I was broke and I did not have a car Would I break in his bike for him? Is a pig shitting in the woods?. It was a 250 Zundapp (sp?)two-stroke but Dutch called it his Moto Guzzi. He had a skate that he put an .029 engine on and a transaxle so the skate would work. He had a little gas tank on the heel plate and in tiny letters that I could barely see he wrote NITRO.The wheels and the transaxle were chromed and the footplate was a metallic blue with white pin striping He strapped it on the buddy seat with a bungee. He said that if I broke down on the road I would have a way home

    • SuperC
      SuperC says:

      He stated on the show it was priceless. As in he could not put a value on the Bike itself. Now instead of the bike being in the barn its in a museum where it belongs. I’m sure this bike would be really really hard to appraise.

  9. Coop's
    Coop's says:

    I can’t see Mike Wolf giving a cent to that couple, he was well aware that he had struck gold and pulled out all stops to get that bike, and good on him, but there is something I don’t like about that man. Anyway sad that the couple had to let it go, and many a fortune has been made off the back of a recession. It is great to see the old Dutch Banger in the public eye again, due to it being hidden for so long. Another mystery solved hey.
    Cheers from Down Under,,

    • Stefcat
      Stefcat says:

      I think Mike did very well on his word.
      He’s contributing to displaying the existence of such a rare work of art.
      Mike made the first offer to a person that knew more about the bike history than most of us. His offer was declined, and a counter offer was presented by the couple, and Mike closed the deal!
      This motorcycle is priceless, and it is in the hands of a fair man.
      A fire, a theft, a building collapse could have taken this bike’s life!
      Mike saved and shared it!
      Thanks to all!
      Another great mechanical story to tell!

      • pide
        pide says:

        Precisely! You nailed it Stefcat…and Not so much on the price but how Mike is sharing it to the World to be appreciated by people like us…And this is the same thing the owner wanted..It’s the greatest thing!

      • Mitch Gawlik
        Mitch Gawlik says:

        Stefcat presented things correctly, if you paid attention as you watched the show.
        The sellers were not country bumpkins or or stoned out freaks. They didn’t even come across as being in dire need of cash. Wolfe didn’t take advantage of them, he made a deal and at the time this was filmed the couple seemed satisfied. Maybe seller’s remorse hit them later. Is the bike particularly kool or an engineering masterpiece? I’d say no. If it had been built by Orange County Customs people would laugh at it. Its koolness factor comes from being associated with the name Von Dutch.If someone actually paid $300,000 for a Von Dutch sign, well, the guy’s not lucky he got it, he’s a n idiot.

    • Jay
      Jay says:

      That Bike is one of a kind. That means it is worth exactly what someone wants to sell/buy it for. Just because other Dutch items sold for more does not make the bike worth like amounts. As noted, the lady knew exactly what she had and could plainly see how bad Mike wanted it. The SELLER set the the price. Mike just accepted it. If he ever decides to sell it, he will set the price he sells it at just as did this seller.
      Besides. It was rotting away in a barn, was seen at a yard sale by someone who recognized it for what it was and came in turn to Mike. What if it had been sold to someone who didn’t know about Dutch & this bike? What might have happened to it? Mike cleaned or had it cleaned up with original stuff carefully preserved. He will protect its original condition and now is sharing it with all who care about such things. More than the previous owners were doing.
      When all is said and done, Mike has every right to sleep the sleep of the just.

  10. Gilberto F. DHS
    Gilberto F. DHS says:

    Same here. Just watched the episode, googled it, found this. On the dark side of the story he stole it from that couple. On the bright side, me and everybody that is posting about it didn’t even knew it existed. Good for Mike even though some times he sounds rare…..

  11. Pedro
    Pedro says:

    I saw the bike on last night show, and was amazed by the fact that in Brazil, they have mated vw engines to bike frames to make the Amazona bike, for some time. On the show Mike decides to keep the XAVW, so there is no profit for him there; so it is more of a loss of $21,000 dollars. The beauty is that for Mike the XAVW has greater value then what he paid, and he is sharing that with us.

  12. joe walsh
    joe walsh says:

    Looks like a piece of shit it is a piece of shit its rusted doesnt run and lokks like a bitsa
    get over it

  13. Jadson
    Jadson says:

    I am Brazilian, today was seeing the program on channel Hystory, I was impressed by the story and by bike.
    Congratulations to all.

  14. Andy
    Andy says:

    What an absolutely fantastic find. . . im an aussie, and know Ken’s work well. its a crying shame that alot of americans have no clue, even in this day , as to who he is. cherish your find mike. . keep his memory alive ! #Von dutch was a f**king legend. . not just a clothing label ! !

  15. Chris
    Chris says:

    I think that a policy of additional compensation for some of these old timers who are clearly in financial stress and rich in hard won memorabilia would be the right thing to do. I notice that on the same American Pickers show, seen in Australia last night, the team decided to pay another $500 to an ancient Indian artefact collector once the appraisal was done. Good on them for doing that. Adds cared my friends! 100% profit is normal, more than that then lets consider the situation guys.

  16. Kibu
    Kibu says:

    My roomie’s dad was friends with Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. He’s got some of the original artwork that Roth did here with his dad, and an original draft of Rat Fink which his father drew. The story he was always told was that Roth thought it was “far out” and modified the drawing and used it on his work. Not sure what the artwork is worth, but I keep bugging my roomie to loan it to a museum.

  17. Larry L. Brown
    Larry L. Brown says:

    I have read some about the few shaft drive Harleys made as prototypes and that one was modified by Von Dutch and is now where it can be viewed is awesome. A ride to Iowa is on my Bucket List.

  18. Talus Knight
    Talus Knight says:

    Watching the Pickers marathon leading up to a new episode and there’s the Von Dutch XAVW motorcycle episode so I had to Google it to see what became of it afterwards…..Awesome !

  19. chris
    chris says:

    This is the first time ever leaving a comment on any topic. But I have to say, the owners could of just declined their offer. I think people judge mike and think that he’s on TV so he has enough money. So what the bike wasn’t valued on the show. THE SELLERS NAMED THEIR PRICE AND MIKE PAID $4,000 under that. Pehaps the sellers were about history of the bike and not about the money. And the comments of some people here sound like they are about the $$$$.

  20. victor p
    victor p says:

    Hey..i saw the program….it was very nice..then i started diging in the web….so now i know more about this bike…congratulations mike….was a good buy…by the way i know you like v.w buses… i own 72 bus T1….hey mike when you will have something about vw buses in your show…well meybe some day…o.k

  21. lowbet
    lowbet says:

    i just see this the pickers episode tonight, and i go to googling this von dutch motor.. It is best mike and team invention.. Your the best mike and frank.. From indonesian fans..

  22. William Page
    William Page says:

    Cool Bike, Neat history and adventure finding it. Good to see it is on display for all enthusiast’s to see. Hope fully one day I get to the musuem.

    ROGERIO says:

    Cara me amarrei na moto assisti o epsodio todo peeelo histori sou do brasil e assito sempre esses caras , admiro eles q legal conseguiram algum bem dificil , sorte a eles !!!
    Brasil = brazilian

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  25. Mike the Bike
    Mike the Bike says:

    How awfully sad this episode was. There’s something about Mike Wolfe’s pure greed that really makes me furious- shame on him. He stole that bike from that poor couple, and had the balls to offer them $15K for it at first. Why would they sell it for less than one third of it’s true value to that greedy bastard? If they had simply put it an a reputable national auction, they might well have gotten $50K more for it, and I’ll bet they could have used the money more than Mike Wolfe could use the windfall.

    • SuperC
      SuperC says:

      Lol Mike the Bike, these folks didn’t have to sell the bike, they didn’t even have to show him the bike. The fact is they did, and the fact is Mike spent quite alot of time looking for it. It was sitting in the barn, rusting away, and Mike rescued it and loaned it to a museum. I’m pretty sure thats more then what you would have done with it, and more then what that couple done with it. That bike was acquired fair and square, and mike never held a gun to them and forced them to buy it.
      Quit complaining and be happy that Bikes gonna live for a long long long long time now. Guarentee he’s added another 100 years to that bikes life at least.

    • KKK-Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
      KKK-Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) says:

      Even if the last thing if i ever would smell from Mike… is his “greed’. He is really fair and has a lot of compassionate thing in him. How could not you guy love this man. As he said ” this thing goes straight to my private collection and not sale at any co$t !.
      Well done bro to you , frank and to Daniele who got u the coordinate for this extreme rare pick!.

  26. Gerry the mod
    Gerry the mod says:

    Er…….. I think I detect a hint of jealousy there ! they were were happy with the price they called , and the 15k ! you have to start somewhere ! and it’s gone to some where its gonna be appreciated , I enjoyed the episode these old things haven’t got price tags on them , they worth what someone’s willing to pay, we only look after them till the next person comes along , sure some one may have payed 50k no one was cheated everyone was happy

  27. Marcel
    Marcel says:

    Just seen the Von Dutch episode on History… THAT thing is just a piece of beauty!! I think 21k was fair to the original owners. As one guy said above, you have got to start somewhere and 15k was imho a good opening bid…
    Congrats guys.
    The Netherlands

  28. Howard
    Howard says:

    You ALL missed the fact that ED BIG DADDY ROTH was the last registered owner of the bike if I remember right, And that is (almost) as big as VON DUTCH being the builder!!!!!!!! That was one of the biggest finds ever. Two of the best Painters and pinstripers of all time. Mike did what anyone of us would have good for you Mike.

  29. Howard
    Howard says:

    OH yea joe walsh your an A$$ and notice your name has no caps!!!!!
    One other thing I owned ED ROTHS girl friends 1976 Baby blue Monte Carlo. It had very simple pinstriping on it. and was signed by him. Wish I still had that car! Kinda Kool!!!!

  30. Mick
    Mick says:

    I taped the show when it aired here in Aussie and, only got to watch last night.
    I was excited as Mike was….What great find.
    I cut my eye teeth on guys like Von Dutch, Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth, George Barris, Ray Fahrner, (yeah I know, the last two car guys but, still had a BIG influence in culture) reading about them all in magazines as a teen ager in New Zealand.
    Nice to see it on public display….wish I could attend, alas, I’m in Aussie.

  31. elnino
    elnino says:

    Marvelous works by the last owner and the picker team.
    Salute to Mike, Frank, Danielle, and Jon to discover a hidden treasure.
    Well, it’s kinda late for me to comment. But I just saw the episode here in Indonesia. Hope to see this team in my country during their holiday…. Maybe

  32. Lethabo Noko Moleele
    Lethabo Noko Moleele says:

    Hi guys
    Clearly South Africa receives broadcasts after a long time, today I saw a bike I never knew
    Existed A Von Dutch XAVW. I am a biker of the current age, really nice guys keep it up.
    Hopefully one day I will make it to your meseum. I actually even neva knew nothing about Von Dutch.
    Take care now

  33. Richard Kantor
    Richard Kantor says:

    I am really disappointed that the bike was purchased for such a small amount. I feel that the couple were ‘robbed’ in a sense by Mike and I don’t think I will watch this show anymore. Anyone saying that it is costing him money as it is in his private collection. It’s an investment which he will sell at some point in the future and I suspect for a value of at least $250,000. Compare with American Pawnstars when a client comes in with something really valuable to sell – they immediately advise them of what they are asking is way to low for the value of what they actually have – they don’t need to do this. And with the amount of free advertising Mike is getting in this show I’m sure he would have paid around $50K for this bike.
    Sad that the poor and elderly get taken advantage of.

  34. Richard Adkins
    Richard Adkins says:

    People, people, people use your brains and think for a second! American Pickers is a REALITY television show and is scripted! ALL the reality shows are scripted. Who do you think is doing all the filming when Mike and his side-kick travel from pick to pick? Who do you think is filming during all the picking and the interviews? Mike has a television and sound crew with him when he travels. It would really be interesting to know how Mike (really) found out about the Von Dutch bike. You can bet your a$$ he had all his bases covered and paid for the bike BEFORE that particular show was aired. Also, don’t feel sorry for the couple that sold him the bike, you can bet they were more than adequately compensated. It was nice of Mike to share his find with the common masses.

  35. Mike
    Mike says:

    We are all the real winners. The XAVW would have still been sitting in a barn if Mike hadn’t purchased it. The couple that owned it have $21k more than they would have had.
    If you really feel sorry for them send them a check!

  36. Pligrso
    Pligrso says:

    Avid watcher of American Pickers…..I agree, Mke got a great deal on the Von Dutch bike, but there has been plenty of bad deals made too. The sellers were aware of the rarity and history; I think the idea Mike would care for the bke as it deserves and display it to show the next generation the amazing artwork of Van Dutch as FAR more important then the underpaid price of $21,000, (then again, noone checked if the bike engine was drained or it’s sat with gas & oil this whole time….that means majorly expensive work to unfreeze the engine…could mean another $20K+ to get it running again).
    As someone who has ridden for @ 30 years and is now handicapped after being knocked off and driven over by a hit & run driver fled the scene, I can tell everyone that, without a doubt, I would break my 2.5 year vow to not ride again for a chance to ride that bike. (Might wind up divorced afterwards, but what a way to go…lol)
    The bike should be traeted as a Warhol, an icon to the 1960’s way of life and freedom of expression. I’m thrilled this long-lost piece of history hasbeen found for the public to admire, finally after missing for the last 50 years.
    Thumbs way up to Mike Wolfe and Frank Fitz for finding, chasing down and acquiring this one of a kind piece of true Americana history

    • Jim Smith
      Jim Smith says:

      Had a friend who had the same thing happen to you and even though he lost his leg still rides but now it’s a tryck

  37. carmelo
    carmelo says:

    Congrats Mike and Frank! The Von Dutch is a great find for future generations to enjoy. Thank you for bringing it to light after all these years. And a great thank you to the couple who kept this bike in their barn protecting this amazing piece of history.

  38. Andy M.
    Andy M. says:

    Cool motorcycle as a piece of art. I just want to know one thing: does it run? Great to look at, but I want to see it move!

  39. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    I,ve watched this episode over and over. Not because of the bike, but because I knew the couple back in the seventies before Tom was injured and had to stop building some of the greatest bike ever. His name should be in the same hallowed memories as Von Dutch or Big Daddy.
    Ovida was his girlfriend, and a friend of mine for a while until we moved out of the state.
    I was Dyno Don,s girlfriend, he rode with the group and hung out at the shop.
    I hope Tom and Ouida are happy with the money they received. I guess it would have been better if they had gotten more, but it is what it is.
    For me, it was just great to see them again, and wonder how everyone else from those day s is.

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  42. jerry loomer
    jerry loomer says:

    Im glad mike bought the von dutch bike for the world to see . Never knew it existed if not for mike would still be in a shed rusting .thanks mike . You brought an eighth wonder to the world .jerry

  43. Oxfordgirl
    Oxfordgirl says:

    Have you ever thought how much time, effort and cost goes into finding these picks? Most days they probably just break even. Ŵe only see the really great finds – be that in terms of value or interesting unusual stuff. He’s been picking for decades and that means he’s invested his time educating himself through trial and error. I, for one, don’t begrudge them a good profit where they can get it. These guys pay fair wholesale prices.
    Getting personal and nasty is really not necessary or helpful. The saying ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all’ Might be worth considering…..

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  45. Mr.G
    Mr.G says:

    I’m sorry to have to say this, Mike and Frank need to bring the Von Dutch bike sellers a nice fat check, and we’ve all seen them “rob’ people before…. let’s pray, they stop preying on… sure they donot always win, but this was just so wrong I guess they already done so… Greeting s From a Dutch guy who knows about copper wire cheapcheap says the bearded birdy
    Ggreets all

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  47. Lawrence
    Lawrence says:

    just watched that episode of tha von dutch bike nice to see that u guys put it in a museum so everyone can enjoy u can definitely see tha attachment that couple had to that bike to sell it to u.. good for u guy… love American pickers great t.v. show u guys are very very honest to. if u make more then u want ull even send extra money back to tha person who sold it to u.. witch means alot to alot of people keep being honest and doing wat ur doing u guys are great.. cant. forget about danni shes awesome too

  48. Ron
    Ron says:

    I watched that episode too and if Mike were to sell the bike i’m sure like all other followers of the program know very well he would share some of the profit with that couple.In the 60’s I had several motorbikes and scooters which would be worth loads now triumph tiger scooter, and little sister the princess( though I can’t anything about that online. Triumph speedtwin, thunderbird with sidecar frame( bit hairy on bends), indian brave, Suzuki 80cc sports and Honda fifty sports( full fairing).Plus an Italian 175cc bike that I don’t remember the name of and an LD Lambretta. And you people knocking Mike, he’s a good guy, you could learn from him.

  49. Clone
    Clone says:

    Set up? Obviously the show is heavily edited to remain entertainment value. So perhaps the selling price was agreed on in advance;;and tney were tipped off to its last observed location and owner. it has now gone to a much better home, it more than likely will need the carb overhauled/rebuilt or replaced. Piston is probably rusted to the cylinder wall. Alot of the exhaust side componemts appear victims of rust and neglect as well. (If someone actually wants it to ever run again.
    Being a great negotiator and getting great deals doesn’t make you a gypsy,theif, or a bandit.

  50. Richard Hahn
    Richard Hahn says:

    I built a vw powerrd BMW motorcycle in 1972 and still have it today. I also run a Yahoo group dedicated to VW powered bikes. There are hundreds thru out the world. Very powerful,smooth ride.

  51. fred lopes
    fred lopes says:

    I am Brazilian, today was seeing the program on channel Hystory, I was impressed by the story and by bike.
    Congratulations to all. showman…

  52. Randy
    Randy says:

    I have a friend in AZ that has a old VW powered motorcycle like that and is done up with some cool gold leaf graphics. Also has a side car. He told me it was built in Von Dutch’s shop back in the day and he would like to sell it $15k

  53. Jim
    Jim says:

    I agree 100 per cent, that it’s great to see this Priceless piece of Americana out in the sunlight. That said, I must also agree with those who wonder about Mike. If you watch the deal as I have several times, Mike offered 15 K , and a quick NO followed with Mike then offering 16 K, then came the explanation about the true owner. When the owner shows up and meets Mike, it is explained that the price wanted was discussed in the house and that price is 25 K.. At this point Mike knows he can now buy what he knows is PRICELESS for 25 thousand. Knowing the story, about the owners, the bike, Mikes desire to OWN it, his reaction to finally getting a price tag should have been, Thank you for allowing me to now be a part of this bikes life and I promise I will do right by your thoughts and wishes for the bike, and handed them a check for the 25 thousand ASKING price. That would have been a special moment!!!! But Noooooo……instead we got to see the picker in action, much to my displeasure, with a counter of 20 K. At that point, the old man (owner) knowing that the money would really come in handy for their family and probably having had the Wife on the side of selling it, comes back with…..Can you at least do 21?
    Watch Mikes face…….have you ever said to an opponent in a chess match…..CHECKMATE? Well that term is expressed visually all over Mikes face and I was sickened to my stomach by it. It’s one thing to be a business man and needing to make a living, but let’s take note…..this bike isn’t being resold, it was marked PRICELESS…NOT FOR SALE…and is now Mikes property. Let’s remember, Mike has a last name……Wolfe, and oh boy is he.

  54. Dave
    Dave says:

    It would be cool, to built a new one, exzackly like the original to ride? Don’t think it would be that hard or expensive.
    Love your show, I build custom things out of junk.

  55. Don Shanklin
    Don Shanklin says:

    I visited the museum in August 2016 and somehow missed or overlooked the Von Dutch VW motorcycle. That is too bad because I had a small part in the creation of that bike. In 1966 (or 1967) I had a pardenership in a small machine shop in Reseda California. I friend of a friend knew Von Dutch and knew that he had a aluminum casting to adapt a Volkswagen engine to a motorcycle transmission and needed to have it machined to fit the application. He said Von Dutch liked the barter system for payment for the machining and would be willing to do some pin striping in trade for the machining. I had a nearly new 1966 VW Bug at the time and I thought it would be neat (now “cool”) to have it striped by Von Dutch. I did the machining and delivered the casting to Von Dutch and ask him if he would do a conservative striping job on my VW. It was a dark green car and he striped it in a light gray (to match the interior). He striped around the windows, the roof line, the belt line and around the fender openings – nothing wild. It had a emblem on the rear hood lid stating “1300” meaning a 1300 cc engine. Von Dutch carefully printed “HORSEPOWER” under the emblem. I kept the car until 1973 at which time I sold it to a person who bought it for his daughter to drive to high school. At the time I did not realize the value of a Von Dutch pin striping job. I wonder what ever happened to that car, it would be worth big bucks today as a piece of Von Dutch artwork.

  56. Marc
    Marc says:

    Mike is a Sorry worthless crook for taking advantage of people that dont understand the value of things important to others. He knew very well that this bike would sell for at least 7 figures. The nerve to offer them so little for it and make them think they are getting a great deal with the price they came up with. Then to put it in the museum on “LOAN” to try to make it seem as he is doing a good thing. You can tell mike has no values or morals or he would have done the moral thing and gave at least $500,000. I mean really…Von Dutchs paint box sold for $300,000. MIKE SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF HIMSELF AND THE SHOW! What a sorry individual you are.

  57. lisa Howard
    lisa Howard says:

    I also saw the eposide when American Pickers had found my dads bike. A friend called and said “Lisa ” turn on history channel!!
    The motorcycle was such a rare find and was very excited. Im very glad to know what happened to it and that it is exactly where it should be. A museum.
    I donated a car to a museum years ago also. Maybe you guys could send me an address. so one day I can come back East and visit? I live in Arizona.
    So good to meet you guys out there. !!. Lisa Rene Howard, daughter of the Late great ” Von Dutch ”
    Thank you for everything you do.

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  65. Panicmose
    Panicmose says:

    Mike was WAAAAY too excited about this bike… played the whole pick wrong! If he’d have been professional or act cool like it was any other pick, he could have bought it for cheaper. These guys knew immediately that he was after this bike! And they made him pay up! Saw the $$ in their eyes!!!
    No doubt, the show is fun & entertaining, but I feel kinda bad for some of people they buy (or sometimes rip off) these items from at such low prices… then resell at exorbitant amounts!!

  66. Rod Turner
    Rod Turner says:

    Took a while but just saw episode tonight on buying the Von Dutch special. So cool and so glad its in a cool place

  67. Tony
    Tony says:

    For all the people that think Mike ripped off the owners of the Von Dutch. Mike is a businessman, he makes money by buying and selling, so naturally the less he pays for something, the bigger the profit. That is how he makes money and a living. Quite often, they advise sellers, they are asking too little for an item and pay more than the seller asks. They also donate items to local museums – free. They do a good job!

  68. Harm
    Harm says:

    I have built a VW bike 58 years ago and still have it and running The last 50 years its got a 1600 type3 engine. I am a professional arts painter and I have built the bike when I studied painting at the Arts Academy. I am now 76 years and still riding bikes.I live in the Netherlands. The bike is still running well! Sorry I cant place pictures of the bike on this site

  69. Robiul
    Robiul says:

    It is a matter of luck to see such products. There are many types of motorbikes today but the motorbikes in this museum are completely different. And in terms of quality, there are many different designs of bikes now, but it’s interesting and traditional in every way.
    I know of a product that is a favorite for anyone and can look stylish if you want

  70. Jhon
    Jhon says:

    An excellent article. The image mentioned on this page looks like an elite-class motorcycle. Many thanks to the author for presenting such an article. Hope you will give us such articles in the future.

  71. Robert Zigler
    Robert Zigler says:

    I met Dutch when I got out of the service 01 13 49.At that time he had a little shop in a motorcycle shop on Atlantic Blvd in Long Beach Ca.He was doing nice pin striping so I had him do some basic striping on my ’41 Ford 2 door.We a lot of the same friends so at times we would go to the riverbed, drink wine,ride our bikes,he rode a Zundap,swim in the river and just have a ball.I think the first “flying eyeball”he painted was on Ed Roths refrigerator.I wonder if it exists now?We were never real close but he was always around.I got married and moved away so that is the end of my story


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] for this model bike (oddly, it has a VW tail light integrated – someone suggested it may be a Von Dutch creation), but awfully nice of Fred to send that to me, at his expense and time, no less. Just recently, he […]

  2. […] took my picture (below) in front of the famous Von Dutch Volkswagen motorcycle that was featured in one of the American Pickers […]

  3. […] XAVW built by Von Dutch that was recently ‘picked’ by Mike Wolfe of American Pickers, is powered by a flat-four […]

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