- 1 Some background on Paul Teutul Jr.
- 2 Paul Teutul Jr.’s ride to fame
- 3 “American Chopper” hits the road
- 4 Paul Teutul Sr. and Jr.’s rocky relationship
- 5 What did Paul Teutul Jr. do after getting fired?
- 6 Paul Teutul Jr. and his personal family
- 7 Paul Teutul Jr. goes back to American Chopper
- 8 Paul Teutul Jr.’s most famous motorbikes
- 9 What else has Paul Teutul Jr. done?
- 10 What has Paul Teutul Jr. been up to since 2020?
Some background on Paul Teutul Jr.
Paul Teutul Jr. is known for his role in the Discovery Channel reality television series, “American Chopper”, which followed the goings-on at Orange County Choppers, a company manufacturing custom motorcycles based in Montgomery, New York State.
He was born Paul Michael Teutul on 2nd October, 1974. His father, Paul John Teutul Sr. was the main creator and designer of the TV series. His mother is Paula Teutul, but his parents divorced, and Paul Sr. went on to marry Beth Ann Dillon in 2007, divorced her in 2015 and is now in a relationship with Joan Kay.
Paul has two younger brothers, Daniel, who is the owner of Orange County Ironworks LLC, and Michael, who was also in the TV series. Their younger sister, Cristin, is a nurse who works in Rochester, New York State. Paul Sr. was a member of the US Merchant Marine, and is a veteran of the Vietnam War. He battled with addictions until he cleaned up in the mid-‘80s. Paul Jr. became a born-again Christian at the age of 12, but the tensions at home led him to suffer addictions too, so that he ended up in a rehab at 16. His mother helped him turn his life around, and he’s maintained his faith to this day, and remained ‘clean’.
Paul Teutul Jr.’s ride to fame
When he was young, Paul Jr. worked as an apprentice in what was then his father’s business, Orange County Ironworks. He was educated at a vocational high school where he learnt the art of welding, which by then he was quite skilled in anyway. Further studies were undertaken through a program run by the Board of Co-operative Educational Services, and after completing his senior school year, he had all the necessary tools and skills to work with his father full-time. Paul Jr. started off on the bottom rung of the ladder with his primary duties being to clean the shop, sweep the floor, run errands and generally assist everyone. After he’d proved himself, he was eventually promoted to supervising the railing shop where his duties were to manufacture and paint railings.
Paul Sr. decided that it would be fun to build motorbikes and when his son joined him, Paul Jr. proved to have a natural talent for building and designing mean machines. In 1999 this led to Paul Jr. leaving Orange County Ironworks, and to father and son founding Orange County Choppers (OCC) with the idea of building motorbikes that were works of art. After a two-year period of trial and error, Paul Jr. was able to build a motorbike from scratch and all that was left was to unleash his creative flair, and delve into expanding his design abilities, something that has been an ongoing passion to the present day.
“American Chopper” hits the road
It wasn’t long before OCC were making their mark amongst the bikers’ community. Pilgrim Films and Television contacted them with an invitation to launch a reality-TV series based on their work, and six weeks later, Paul Sr., Paul Jr. and younger brother Michael were ready to film the pilot episode which included Rick Petko, Vincent DiMartino, Nick Hansford and Cody Connelly, technicians and fabricators at Orange County Choppers.
Two episodes in which they built their first custom bike, the Black Widow, were aired on Discovery Channel, to see what the public’s reaction would be. The Teutuls were concerned because the screenings included Paul Sr. and Jr.’s arguments and they thought that this may have a negative effect on the ratings, and to their professional ability as motorcycle assemblers, but to their great surprise, their pilot had the highest rankings of all the TV shows that featured that night. So it was that on the 31st March 2003, the series “American Chopper” was launched, and the reality-TV series ran until 10th May 2010.
Paul and his father appeared in many movies and TV series together e.g. in the 1997 TV Show, “King of the Hill” and in 2005 in “My Name is Earl”. In 2007 they both acted in the movie “Wild Hogs“, and over the years, they made guest appearances in various TV shows, such as “The Daily Show” in 2003, “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” in 2004, and the “Late Show with David Letterman” in 2007.
Paul Teutul Sr. and Jr.’s rocky relationship
Paul Jr. and his father always had a tumultuous relationship, and often butted heads. Fans of the show had got used to seeing them arguing, swearing and shouting at each other, but they weren’t expecting what happened next. In September 2008, Paul Sr. picked out his son for being late to work, which Paul Jr. had been on several occasions. Defending himself, Paul Jr. shouted that the work gets done by the end of the day anyway, and if he wasn’t involved, the place would ‘burn to the ground’. With that he picked up a chair, threw it against a wall and stormed out, literally throwing his toys. All the cogs and wheels fell off, as TV viewers witnessed Paul Sr. swearing at him and firing him on the spot in front of the other staff. Shortly thereafter, Paul Jr. was served a notice of default for pulling out of the show., but his contract was then modified, and he returned to the show in a different guise, only to leave again in April 2009.
What did Paul Teutul Jr. do after getting fired?
While waiting for his one year non-competing restriction to pass, Paul Jr. took the gap and put his skills with the acetylene torch to good use, by designing and making barbecue Road Trip grills for Colemans, and taking on some other work.
In April 2010, Paul Jr. founded his own company, Paul Jr. Designs (PJD) doing what he does best – custom building choppers. Later, in retrospect, he acknowledged that Paul Sr. had done him a great favor by firing him. Paul Jr. was happy to be away from the toxic relationship he had with his father, and felt that he was able to have fun for the first time. More importantly, he was able to put his creative talent to good use, going on to design state-of-the-art motorcycles, and expanding into creating branded merchandise i.e. clothing, and accessories for motorcyclists.
Yet that wasn’t the last of “American Chopper”, and Paul was impelled to give it another shot. So on 12th August 2010 “American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior” premiered on the TLC channel. As the title denotes, this reality TV spin-off spotlights the tensions and animosities between Paul Sr. and his company, OCC, and Paul Jr.’s newly opened business, PJD. Discovery Channel jumped on the bandwagon, realizing that their fans were revved up to see the outcome of the legal battle father and son were fighting at the time. Paul Sr. tried to force Paul Jr. to literally give his 20% share of OCC back to him; after a 14-month court battle, Paul Jr. won.
During that time, in 2011 “American Chopper Live: The Build Off” saw the two adversaries and their companies competing. Some former OCC employees including Cody Connelly joined PJD, and in December 2012, the special feature, “Chopper Live: The Revenge” was launched, filmed at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, with both Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. being part of the cast. Subsequently, “American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior” aired for 67 episodes over four seasons, with more sparks flying, being canned in 2012, but the bad blood between them remained.
9 years ago today we were doing riding shots out in the Nevada desert and gearing up for the second, winner take all live build off at the Hard Rock. No pressure. #BuildOff #ChopperLive #BuildOff2Bike pic.twitter.com/SSx9CLc2vs
— Paul Jr (@WhereIsPaulJr) December 8, 2021
Paul Teutul Jr. and his personal family
Paul Jr. married model/actress Rachael Biester on the 10th August 2010. They had met on set when Rachael featured in one of the episodes of “American Chopper” entitled “McCuff Gas Tank Protector”. Before their wedding, Paul Jr. and Rachael made an appearance in the TV show “Say Yes To The Dress” – Rachael was assisted in choosing her perfect bridal dress, and Paul Jr., who was more of a casual denim and leathers man, got a custom-made suit.
The couple married in a boathouse chapel on the Bonnet Island Estate beach in New Jersey. Even though they had rarely spoken to nor seen each other, Paul Jr. invited his father, who chose not to show up.
Rachael was born on 19th June 1985, in Los Angeles, California. The now 36-year-old blonde haired, blue-eyed model became the Vice President of Paul Jr. Designs. Paul Jr. and Rachael have an only child, Hudson Seven Teutul, who was born on 3rd February 2015. In 2019, Rachael opened a fashion clothing, accessories and gift shop in the Hudson Valley called “Oliver Anne Boutique”. The family currently reside in Montgomery.
Paul Teutul Jr. goes back to American Chopper
To everyone’s surprise, the father/son team were persuaded to resurrect their show, despite not having spoken a civil word to each other for years. Hence, “American Chopper: The Reboot” aired on Discovery Channel from March 2018, but only prevailed for two seasons until March 2019. The upside is that it gave father and son sufficient time to bury the hatchet and make peace with one another. They appeared together once again in a two-hour special on 4th August 2020, which was the last and final curtain for “American Chopper”, unless they decide to spring another surprise on their viewers.
Paul Teutul Jr.’s most famous motorbikes
Paul Jr. has some famous theme bikes in his showroom, from the first one he ever brought out, the black and yellow Anti Venom bike, and the original black and red Black Widow from the “American Chopper” series, both sporting a spider/web design, to a great selection of amazing mean machines.
The Spiderman bike changed hands a couple of times before he got it back. There’s the Jets Bike and Build Off 1 and 2, the Yankees Bike built when the series re-launched, enabling father and son to reunite; after it had been trashed, Paul Jr. bought it back at auction. The sapphire and blue chrome QUBX bike was created on the set of “Sr. vs Jr.”, but it took Paul Jr. seven years to get it back.
In 2014, two teams from PJD conceptualized and assembled two Azeroth Choppers, the Horde bike – rough and ready with thick tires, the fork being two simulated ivory tusks, and back tractor wheels – and the Alliance Bike, which was sleeker chrome and glitz, with front and back tractor tyres, for opposing factions of Blizzard Entertainment’s online multiplayer game, “World of Warcraft”.
In 2016, Paul Jr. appeared in the movie “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”, and two bikes which he designed and built for the characters Rocksteady and Bepop, had star roles as well. The Rocksteady bike sports a rhino horn and is rough and ready, with two rocket grenade projectiles. The Bepop bike is gold and black with spiked tire rims. Paul Jr. entered into a licensing deal, whereby he kept the bikes and he gets a cut on the toys of the bikes that are manufactured.
Paul Jr.’s personal favorite is the motorbike that was built for the MLB Network, which was won by a couple, but he later bought it back from them – he feels the MLB bike is the leanest, cleanest, most streamlined and aesthetically-pleasing bike on the floor.
What else has Paul Teutul Jr. done?
In 2017, Paul Jr. published a personal memoir entitled “The Build: Designing My Life of Choppers, Family and Faith”. The book has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon, and is a candid account of his stormy life at home and the battles with his father, while incredible bikes were being built amid laughter, outrageous antics and shouting matches. Paul Jr. also revealed how he found God, and how faith has pulled him through the tough times. In the book, Paul Jr. calls his father a ‘monster’, but as the year’s have gone by, he’s made his peace with the situation. As quoted in the New York Post on 3rd June 2020, Paul Jr. stated, “My intention is maybe to do another project (with Sr.) or multiple projects. Life is short — what can we do to make things good inside the family, and get together?”
What has Paul Teutul Jr. been up to since 2020?
In addition to his passion and profitable work building luxury motorbikes, Paul Jr. went on to launch PJD Studios, offering logo designs for print, digital applications and corporate branding, as well as promotional and marketing services; they now have offices in New York and Los Angeles. Paul Jr. is super excited about the new building they are busy constructing in Long Beach Island, New Jersey, which will have a showroom, offices, a space for Rachael and apartments upstairs.
PJD have recently entered into a collaboration with the bicycle manufacturing company Ruff Cycles, based in Regensburg, Germany. Paul Jr. designed an electric bicycle inspired by the Build Off 2 bike, with white-walled, red-rimmed tires, the No. 7 logo, pin stripes and logos, and is called the PJD-E Ruffian.
But that’s not all! Paul Jr. is not going to be stepping on the brakes at any time soon, in fact he’s going full throttle, and his latest venture is “The Paul Jr. Podcast” which premiered on 9th September 2021. With this podcast, he aims to do good and bring his audience items of interest e.g. the second and third podcast featured the Firearms Research Institute where the problem of veteran suicides were discussed. The institute’s suicide hotline receives 725,000 ‘phone calls per annum.
Paul Jr., now 47 years old, is a legendary name in the world of luxury motorbikes, and has a huge fan base plus a large following on social media, with 220,000 on Instagram, 1.4m on Facebook, almost 160,000 on Twitter and about 45,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel. He makes appearances at public events as a speaker and for signing autographs, so overall, according to Celebrity Net Worth, hi fortune is over $2 million, as of mid-2022. Paul Sr. hasn’t done so well though, and is in debt and apparently still fighting several legal battles.
Paul Jr. might have had a rough ride over the years, but right now his businesses are thriving and he’s more focused on his family and building a good relationship with his son, unlike the challenging relationship he endured with his father. He could never understand why his father constantly competed with him, and never supported him, and it’s important for him to bring up his son to be better than him. He declares that he’s blessed with Rachael as a wife, who held his hand and steered him along the correct path through the tough times, and his family inspires him to be the best he can be. He knows God watches over him and that He is the source of all his creativity, and that the secret of success is to simply keep moving forward. Well, according to his track record, Paul Jr. has his pedal to the metal, and is certainly going places at quite a speed.