It’s kind of a bittersweet day for fans of History’s American Pickers series as the network announced this week that one of the original cast members is retiring and being replaced on the show.
No, don’t worry, it’s not office manager extraordinaire (and Starcasm fave) Danielle Colby. And of course it wouldn’t be Mike Wolfe, right? Right. Does that mean we’re saying goodbye to one of the most loveable oil-can-craving teddy bears to ever appear on television? Nope, ol’ Frank Fritz ain’t goin’ nowhere neither.
The cast member being replaced is the Antique Archaeology van. You know, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter that has served as Mike and Frank’s home for who knows how many hours and who knows how many miles as it crisscrossed this country who knows how many times looking for valuable collectible artifacts and the even more valuable stories and people behind them.
According to a press release issued this week (Yes, there was a press release — and yes, this deserved one!) the boys are switching to American automotive giant Ford for their new wheels, a 2015 Ford Transit. Here’s a photo of the new whip:
“The biggest thing is, when the van is full, then we’ve got to come home. I’m interested in real estate on wheels,” Mike says during the episode airing tonight. “There were four or five different vehicles I was looking at, and I just keep coming back to the Ford as the better choice.”
More close-up photos with Mike and Danielle with more info on the van from the press release:
The 2015 model year Transit – built at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant – will be available in three body lengths, two wheelbases and three roof heights; in van, wagon, chassis cab and cutaway body styles; and in XL and XLT trim levels, offering more choices than ever from a Ford commercial vehicle.
The high-roof Transit – with best-in-class 81.5 inches of interior height – provides enough headroom for a person 6 feet 8 inches tall to stand upright in the cargo area. In some configurations, Transit offers as much as much as 75 percent more volume than the largest E-Series, saving customers the fuel costs and time associated with having to make a second trip.
The boys got the largest Ford Transit model, “with a long wheelbase, extended body and high roof – featuring the Ford 3.2-liter Power Stroke five-cylinder diesel engine,” according to the release. TMZ did a brief story on the new ride (with photos) and wrote “We’re told the old van had 275k miles on it and was starting to smell — so they gave up on constantly paying to fix it.”
Here’s an interior shot of the new American Pickers Ford Transit van from TMZ:
In honor of Mike and Frank’s decision to go with the Transit, Ford is hosting a scavenger hunt that challenges contestants to find one of 10 scale-model Transit vehicles on display in antique shops across the United States. The 10 winners get the use of a 2015 Transit for two weeks. (Visit http://social.ford.com/winTransit for details.)
“We are thrilled to expand the great multi-year relationship we have with Ford, said Peter Olsen, executive vice president of national ad sales for History. “We look forward to the Transit being part of Pickers for many years to come.”
We’re excited to meet the new van tonight, but before we do, let’s take a moment to look back on the reliable Mercedes-Benz Sprinter that has hauled innumerable tons of great junk and bad jokes:
Who knows? Maybe the old van will turn up on an American Pickers episode decades from now! 🙂
Be sure to tune in to History tonight at 9/8c for an all new episode of American Pickers in which the new Ford Transit Antique Archaeology van makes its debut!
Asa Hawks is a writer and editor for Starcasm. You can contact Asa via Twitter, Facebook, or email at starcasmtips(at)yahoo.com