Auction Hunters – “Home on the Gun Range” – S1E8 – Recap & Review
The word “Corona” might be enough to make a beer lover thirsty but Ton and Allen are hoping that Corona, California will give them much more than a beer buzz.
Located 50 miles outside of LA, the boys are figuring they might find a few gems in the town that’s the “best kept secret in Southern California”. Such a well-kept secret in fact, that Ton actually gets lost while driving there.
There’s only one unit being put up for auction this day and so arriving too late would be a major bummer. But they manage to not only get there but to negotiate the maze-like layout of the storage facility and find the unit in question, just in the nick of time. The unit is stacked high with what appears to be the contents of an office/small business, and which Allen figures is worth $2,000 so they set their bid ceiling at $1,000.
Actually arriving late ultimately works to the guys’ advantage as they are able to swoop after the bidding has begun, make a couple aggressive bids, and take the unit for $875.
The dig is a little dangerous – with the unit’s contents piled so high that it’s a “landslide waiting to happen”. So Allen starts pulling out stuff carefully, beginning with a lot of files that seem to be government documents related to “chemical, biological and radiological defense”, along with a hazmat suit. At first they think it might be classified information but they soon conclude it’s all out-of-date materials dating back to the Cold War.
Although the front of the unit led the hunters to characterize the locker as a “business unit”, there are some goodies in the back half of the unit that are WAY more fun, leading them to think that the CEO of the company was likely young and a collector of sorts.
The first item that excites them is an intricately carved wooden crossbow. It’s followed by a rare 10 gauge Winchester rifle. And finally there’s the day’s “trifecta” – a Kiss-O-Meter, a 1940s arcade style game where for a nickel you could see if your love life was ice cold or red hot.
The boys hurry off to their dealers, beginning with Joe, an antique weapons specialist. While the boys might have hoped the crossbow they found was an original from the 16th century, they’re soon informed that the bow is merely a Victorian revival piece made in the 1850’s – and not really meant for use as a weapon but more as a “wall hanger” in rich people’s homes.
The inlaid carving in the bow’s stock is not ivory but deer horn. The boys decide that rather than firing the bow and possibly damaging it, they’ll sell it as-is and still manage to get $1,300 for it. And of course Ton persuades Joe to let him try out a few of his high tech crossbows before they go, with a little balloon shooting practice.
To have the rifle appraised, they go back to their old buddy Blaze. He’s impressed with the 1901 lever-action repeating shotgun, just as the boys are impressed by his negotiating skills and they end up selling it to him for $1,100. As Allen observes, “if Blaze lived in the Wild West, he’d be a highwayman”.
Finally the boys are ready to deal on their third big item, with Jim, a vintage games expert. He likes the Kiss-O-Meter a lot, from its original pre-war parts to its nicely aged patina. When Jim offers $700 for the machine and Allen seems stuck at getting $1,000 for it, Ton offers a way to settle the impasse.
If Jim outscores Allen, when he takes “the love test” on the Kiss-O-Meter, he’ll pay only $700. But if Allen outscores him, then Jim will have to pay $1,000 for the machine. Jim goes up first and manages to rank as “Passionate”, which is quite high on the scale. But Allen manages to edge him out with a sizzling “Naughty” rating and happily collects his grand.
Our bottom line for the season closer: They paid $875 for the unit but sold three high tickets items for $3400, leaving them a profit of $2,425. And making them even happier is the news that Spike TV has picked up their show for a second season, with a full 20 episodes to come!