The guys on the History Channel reality TV show American Pickers are always finding unique artifacts tucked away in someone’s garage or attic, but their discovery back in August 2018 might be one of their most significant finds ever. Rotting away in the woods of Chesterfield, Massachusetts, this rough 1964 International Harvester Metro turned out to be the original tour van for Aerosmith.
Determining that was no easy feat however. All the current owner knew about it was that the van was on the property when he bought it 10 years ago. From there, American Pickers contacted a former Aerosmith band member to try to authenticate the van.
When Aerosmith’s original guitarist Ray Tabano showed up, it was pretty clear they had definitely found a piece of rock and roll history. According to Tabano, the van was used as a “rolling hotel” after the band formed in 1970 to get to gigs.
“We’d drive from Boston up to New Hampshire for $125,” Tabano recalled. “Then after the gas, the tolls, and the food and back, we’d only make like $3 apiece. It just reminded me of the humble beginnings and I look at where [Aerosmith] has gone today — it’s just amazing.”
Perhaps equally important as the van itself, Tabano went on to say that the mural on the side of the van was the first time the Aerosmith name had been written out!
Finding such an important piece of history, the Pickers didn’t even waste their time with a low-ball offer. As the seller thought about the first offer price of $22,000, the two sides came to an agreement at $25,000.
To watch this ultimate rock and roll pick for yourself, you can check out the “Roll Like a Rock Star” episode here on History. The segment pertaining to the van starts at about the middle point of the episode.
This post was originally published on August 30, 2018.