This episode of American Pickers begins with Danielle asking Mike and Frank for a raise. Unfortunately, she uses the fact that she is spending too much money on gas money while running errands for the shop as her reason for needing a raise. You will see later in this post why why that was an unfortunate plan of action.
Mike and Frank do a little freestyle pickng in North Carolina and stop at a property with old buses, cars and tractors filling every square foot–it looks like a junkyard. Gene McLaughlin is the owner of the property and offers to show them around–all 17 acres of it!
The first item to catch Mike’s eye is a pair of large, rusty gears from an old cotton mill, and he buys them for $40. After a little more picking, Mike buys a cast iron camel foot step from an old shoe shine stand for $10, and Frank finds a brass Pyrene fire extinguisher for $15. It’s obvious that Gene’s prices are way too low since neither Mike nor Frank are haggling much.
The trio visit another one of the outbuildings which is packed to the ceiling, and Mike buys a brass blade fan for $35, and a neat old cast iron fire call box made by Gamewell for $25. Frank finds a coin taker box that once collected fares on a streetcar and after a little bit of back and forth, buys it for $50.
Outside yet another building, Mike finds a riveting machine with ornate cast iron legs. It’s unusual because it’s not huge like most industrial items, and Mike buys it for $100.
In Gene’s house, Mike and Frank learn that Gene is an accomplished artist and draws incredibly detailed images of steam engines. Mike wants an original drawing and makes an offer of $200 for it, but Gene isn’t interested in selling for that amount, so Mike has to settle for a $100 print. I think Mike probably was feeling guilty for lowballing Gene all day.
Danielle has a lead for the guys to follow up with — Pastor Cecil — another collector with lots of outbuildings. Every wall in Cecil’s home is covered in clocks — over 300! the first item Mike buys is a 1920’s Daisy BB Gun with the shot tube still in it for $25. Frank buys an ugly King Tut lamp for $20.
Mike uncovers an interesting antique magnifying glass which was used by clergy members to read the bible on the pulpit. Mike buys it for $200 without any haggling.
Inside a shipping container in Cecil’s yard, Frank buys a tiny printing press for $25. Mike finds a colorful plastic 1950’s pillow radio, that was probably from a motel, and a plastic fix-tuned radio, which was a promo item from a radio station. He buys both for $170.
Mike and Frank visit another one of Danielle’s leads, and it’s a pretty big deal. Jeff owns a 500,000 square foot building that is filled with stuff he salvaged from buildings he bought in 30 states! Mike is “junk drunk.”
I honestly don’t know where you would even begin in a situation like this but Mike and Frank get to work. The first quality item they come across is a large 1940’s sideshow banner. On one side, it shows a midget horse family, and on the other there is a pig with an elephant’s trunk. Mike buys it for $1,000.
Frank buys some boxes of old baseball cards, knowing that most are worthless, but takes a chance on them for $100 per box. In that same room, leaning against the wall, is an amazing carnival spinning wheel, which Frank buys for $450.
In the garage area, the guys find a 1975 Mini Contessa — a French micro car. Mike and Frank think it would be the perfect solution for Danielle’s gas money problem. It needs a little work but it will be great advertising for Antique Archaeology for $2,500.
While the credits roll, Danielle gets to take her new ride for a spin. Poor Danielle.
Gene was a really cool guy, and his drawings were amazing. Very reasonable with his prices, and just seemed like a genuine nice guy. And that Mini Contessa they got for Danielle is just awesome! This is one of the shows I look forward to every week.
Julia lotito says
Where in North Carolina? We live in Kannapolis and would love to see him about mg.
Kaci Daugherty says
Gene lives in Salisbury 🙂
Dwight Alexy says
I want first dibs if the mini contessa is ever for sale !
Frankie bissette says
I would like to mayb buy one of those Bissau live in nc too were in nc does he live thanks an would really appreciate it
Frankie bissette says
Busses sorry spell check
Sandy O'Sullivan says
Such a strange comment about King Tut… it was so obviously Buddha that it really made me wonder how much basic world knowledge Frank or Mike actually have?
Marlee Lobo says
Is it for sale? I want this.
ken scheub says
Would really like to purchase one of Gene McLaughlin’s steam engine drawings. Does anyone know where or how to buy one or get in contact with Mr. McLaughlin ? Thanks, Ken
tommy land says
i know gene. do you still need to get in touch with him?
Pete Giovannetti says
Do you still know how to contact Gene? I am interested in his artwork.
I’d love to call Gene, thanks.
I am interesting in any prints Gene would have for sale.
Jerrry Fonstetwald says
I used to work with Gene. Can you tell me how to get in touch with him?
Hello, I saw your post re: Mr. McLaughlin in NC.
I am in SC and travel to High Point regularly for business.
What part of NC is he located, would love to contact him to visit. thanks in advance. Todd
Christian Holbert says
I would like to contact Gene myself. I’m interested in his steam tractors.
Walt Hand says
Same as Ken Scheub said for me to; very interested in buying prints of Gene McLaughlins drawings. prints ys, I would about wanted to purchase one of Gene McLaughlin’s steam engine drawings. Thanks, Walt
I have a question about some things that I have
Max Pickering says
I would like to speak with Gene L. McLaughlin. Can you give me any information as to what town he lives in or better yet a phone number. I am interested in one of his buses.
do you still have the carnival clock for sale?
Joseph C. says
Where is Gene’s property? Is there a way to contact him? I’m really interested in the old buses on his property and if he’d part with any of the them. If those who know him could get back to me it would be appreciated. firstname.lastname@example.org
Christian Holbert says
If anyone has contact of Gene McLaughlin please contact me
Dawn Braeseke says
I too was looking for him…Googled…found his obituary. He passed away in Asheville, NC on March 12, 2015.
Donna Wilson says
Re your reference to the obituary for Gene Mclaughlin: I’m certain that that the deceased Mr. Mclaughlin (Asheville) was not the same man from the episode of American Pickers. The obituary is for a 70 year old. Gene Mclaughlin from Amer. Pickers is in his 80s.
A posting (of an early Frick tractor engine) by Gene Mclaughlin lists a Mocksville address.
Gene is my grandfather and is still very much alive 😉
Lew Crawford says
What a talented artist Gene McLaughlin was. Mike and Frank should have put him in touch with a publisher.
I’m sure a book on his steam engine drawings would have appeal to people in many countries including my own (New Zealand), an agricultural country. American Pickers has only recently started showing in NZ, one of my favourite TV shows.
Ken Cole says
Gene is a nice fellow. He and my dad were friends. My dad also had a visit from Mike and Frank. That episode was on Slim Pickings My dad bought one of Gene’s prints before this Gene became famous for a lot less than he sold them to Mike and the team.