Whether you love it or hate it, it’s undeniable that “American Chopper” will always be remembered as one of the most iconic reality TV shows for more than one reason. As the perfect combination of family drama, an iconic cast and celebrities who from time to time set foot in Orange County Choppers, there’s no way audiences will forget about the show any time soon.
While a big part of “American Chopper”’s appeal lay in its drama and everything that came with it, it wouldn’t be fair to ignore all the stunning and outstanding choppers featured in it, which continues to be the Teutul family’s legacy, regardless of whether or not they’re on TV.
So what are Paul Teutul Jr.’s best works to date, and is he still building choppers after leaving the family’s business? keep watching to discover all!
The Black Widow Bike
When talking about Paul Teutul Jr.’s most notable projects, we can’t help but mention the first chopper we saw from him.
Back when “American Chopper”’s first two episodes aired in 2003, we saw first-hand how unstoppable Paul Jr.’s building and designing skills played-off in the making of the Black Widow Bike.
That wasn’t the only notable thing about that chopper, though. From its helmet to its back wheel cover, the Black Widow has several skillfully detailed silver spider webs, which are elegantly complemented by the bike’s red and black paint job.
Almost a decade after its build, the Black Widow was revamped in 2012 by Paul Jr., who unsurprisingly and true to his obsession with spiders, kept it for himself, and is now exhibited in his Paul Jr Designs shop. The Black Widow looks almost the same, except that it doesn’t have the Orange County Choppers logo on its front anymore.
As many people know, Paul Teutul Jr.’s firing from Orange County Choppers was scandalous to say the least. However, besides being yelled at by your father on national TV, being exiled from the family’s business in the process was probably the worst part of it all.
After that famous father-son fight featured in “American Chopper”, Paulie was pushed to sell his shares in the business, and sign a clause which prohibited him from working in any field considered in competition to Orange County Choppers, taking him away from his craft and major source of income.
Given the situation, you could imagine how good Paulie felt while creating the Geico Chopper, the first one built by his then newly-established Paul Jr Designs. Just as its name hints, the Geico’s detailed paint job and slick design resembles a lizard, which combines well with its integrated heat pattern sensor. The chopper was unveiled in August 2011, and was later featured in American Iron Magazine.
Following the list of Paul Jr.’s most iconic builds, we just can’t forget the Anti-Venom. As the second chopper built in Paul Jr Designs, the black and yellow Anti-Venom’s design is undoubtedly nostalgic, given how closely it resembles the Black Widow Bike built in 2003.
Regardless of the resemblance, the Anti-Venom represents Paulie’s new beginnings, and the promising future his business had ahead. As he told the website Hot Bike, the chopper’s name hinted not only at his personal preference for spiders, but also his way of coping at having years of his work out of reach: ‘with the separation, I don’t get to have any of those bikes. So I have to create a whole new set of bikes for myself and for my new company’.
The Anti-Venom was unveiled to the public in August 2010, becoming Paul Jr Designs’ trademark chopper.
The Comanche Bike is surely one of Paulie’s most memorable designs, back in his days with Orange County Choppers. Introduced to “American Chopper”’s audience in October 2004, the Comanche’s malign-looking design was directly inspired by the Boeing–Sikorsky RAH-66, a US Army attack helicopter, which ceased production in 2004.
Seeing how the Comanche Bike includes small missile accessories, and a very detailed paint job, it’s not surprising that Paulie took this specific bike under his ownership again, after fixing up things with his father in recent years. The chopper is now exhibited at Paul Jr Designs showroom.
Although “American Chopper” was canceled in 2010, there was no way TV producers were letting Teutul’s father-son rivalry just go to waste off-camera. That’s how they came up with the concept of “Senior vs. Junior”, which centered on Paul Teutul Sr.’s and Jr.’s respective businesses, and the drama which often unfolded between the men despite not working together anymore.
Although of course the Teutul’s family feud was one of the show’s main attraction points, there’s no denying that “Senior vs. Junior” let us see some of the greatest works by Paulie.
Such is the case with the Cadillac build, a project commissioned by Cadillac Marketing Division from both Paul Jr Designs and Orange County Choppers. The main goal was for each business to design, build and compete against each other with a chopper inspired by the then-recently released 2011 Cadillac CTS-V model.
While Orange County Choppers chose to build a traditional-looking bike, Paulie and his team created a beautiful chopper, with daring lines and elegant shiny black and silver painted body, which was chosen as the competition’s winner, with over 200,000 votes online.
Though the Cadillac Bike was initially exhibited in June 2011 at a local supermarket location, it was officially unveiled in the show a month later in Arkansas, when it was auctioned in benefit of the Cure Duchenne organization.
Biker Build Off
Following the line of on-camera competitions, it’s mandatory to mention “Biker Build Off” two-hours long live special episodes.
The first took place in 2011, featuring a competition between Paul Jr Designs, Orange County Choppers and Jesse James, known for shows such as “Monster Garage”.
In order to create his entry for this competition, Paul Jr took direct inspiration of a Titan T-51 Mustang exhibited at his showroom, which was a replica of the P-51 Mustang fighter-bomber used by the US Army Air Force during World War II.
Paulie decided on keeping the T-51’s silver paint for his chopper, adding gorgeous details such as rose-gold and bronze-colored units, propeller-resembling wheels, and steel-carved star badges.
Junior’s entry won the fan-voting competition, leaving Jesse James and Orange County Choppers in second and third place respectively. The following year, the second competition – “2012 Chopper Live: The Revenge” – took place in Las Vegas, and was won once again by Paul Jr, whose red and silver chopper was auctioned in benefit of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization.
The Mutant Ninja Turtles Builds
As one of the most sought-after bike building firms in the country, it’s not surprising that big movie franchises commission Paul Jr Designs for builds. This was the case for the highly-successful movie “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”, premiered in June 2016.
Paulie’s task was to create two bikes fitting for the characters Bebop and Rocksteady. Getting inspiration from the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” previous movies, classic rock aesthetics and the characters’ villainous nature, Paul Jr. came out with some of his most gorgeous and evil looking designs ever.
For Bebop the warthog, Paulie designed a three-wheeled black and golden bike with staggering and dangerous looking spikes. For Rocksteady the rhinoceros, Paulie created a black and silver spiky-adorned two-wheeled bike, which sports a spiked hammer on its side. Both bikes were adorned with chains, horns and the characters’ name badges.
As if building choppers for such an amazing project wasn’t enough, Paul Jr. also briefly appeared in the movie’s beginning as a correctional officer. Both bikes also appear in the movie’s trailer, and were exhibited during its premiere.
Gears of War 3 Trike
Following the line of media-inspired choppers, in 2011 Paulie completed the “Gears of War 3” build. This trike took two “Senior vs, Junior” episodes to be completed, but several weeks on the design and fabrication process.
To make this chopper loyal to the video game’s concept, Paul Junior and his team visited the Epic Games headquarters, and met the company’s creative director Cliff Bleszinski, who patiently explained to him every little detail about “Gears of War”. Obtaining that extra knowledge on top of being inspired by the whole concept, turned into an astounding design.
As the “Senior vs. Junior” audience saw back then, the “Gears of War 3” Trike was truly memorable, and successfully encompassed all the video game’s grandeur, including its trademark skulls, 14-inch-wide tires, and pipes resembling gatling guns.
World Of Warcraft Choppers
There’s no way we could forget to mention Paulie’s “World Of Warcraft” choppers. To lead these projects to completion, Paul Jr Designs took direct inspiration from the rival factions introduced in the video game, receiving help from the franchise’s development team ‘to infuse the essence of the Horde and the Alliance into each bike’.
While the Alliance chopper incorporated the fictional fraction’s noble and honorable essence through an armor-like body, sword-resembling handlebars, and a beautiful royal blue paint job, the Horde fraction’s trike was evidently tougher-looking. With a detailed oxide-looking matte paint job, front horns and spiky details all over the body, the Horde trike was very loyal to Horde’s rogue essence. In the end, “World Of Warcraft” players ended up voting the Horde trike as the best.
Although most people know Paul Jr for his choppers, his years of expertise in the field of building allows him to work successfully in other automotive-related projects.
One of those cases in which Paulie put his heart into something other than a bike happened in 2019, when he designed and built the paint job of the TrüNorth Daytona Truck, meant to be exhibited at the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series event in January that year. Just one month before, he had already introduced the TrüNorth Warranty Bike, sporting a black paint job and striking green lighting, which left its Florida audience open mouthed.
Last but not least, the black matted TrüNorth Trike was introduced in February 2019 to an impressed Daytona Beach Brewing Company audience, along with Paulie’s two previous jobs for the company. While the difference in design of these builds was immense, the three ended up being somehow cohesive.
The Grill & The Dog Park
Nowadays, Paul Jr can proudly say that he built a stable, successful and international business for himself, something which seemed almost impossible back in 2010, when he was fired on national TV.
However, the road was long and tough. During that long year during which he was legally unable to work in any field directly related to his father’s business, Paulie’s outstanding steel building skills got him then-newly established Paul Jr Designs a collaboration with Coleman, to build the company’s 10th anniversary Roadtrip Grill.
Prior to it, no one really had really thought that seeing Paul building a backyard grill was possible, but the final result was incredibly good-looking and daring, fitting well with Paulie’s personal preference: ‘I was able to incorporate my own personal look and feel into a classic American grill, and give it a sleek, user-friendly design at the same time’, he said in a Coleman feature in 2010.
That wasn’t the first time Paulie put his efforts into an unexpected project, though. True to his love for dogs, in 2009 Paulie and New York’s Montgomery village’s Mayor Steve Brescia teamed up to build a community dog park, which ended up costing $50,000. Although Jr. wasn’t apparently involved with the park’s design, it remains one of the most memorable projects he’s ever been involved with.
The Last Ride Bike
Every reality show has its fair amount of drama, which makes everything more entertaining for the audience. However, despite how amusing seeing people’s petty fights on TV could be, any situation becomes sad if a family falls apart because of it.
While that could describe the Teutuls’ beef in “American Chopper” a decade ago, things nowadays are looking better for the Teutuls. In 2018, father and son started rebuilding their once broken bond, improving their relationship to the point where they were able to collaborate for “The Last Ride” in 2020.
This “American Chopper” special episode saw Senior and Paul collaborating to lead the ABC Supply Company Bike to completion. Though it was evident that the two aren’t entirely on good terms, the project turned out quite well, despite it being the first time father and son worked together on a project in almost a decade.
The ABC Supply Company Bike’s design and paint job was loyal to the company’s concept, and though it isn’t necessarily the most daring-looking chopper Paul Jr. has ever done, what makes it memorable is how important it was for him and his father on the personal aspect.