Paul Michael Teutul, known as “Junior” or “Paulie,” was the star of “American Chopper,” a reality TV show about a family business dealing with the design and building of custom motorcycles, Orange County Choppers or OCC. His father, Paul Teutul Sr., “Senior” for short, founded the company in 1999, three years before Discovery Channel aired the debut season. After it did, the family was forced to relocate the shop to a new location in Newburgh, New York State, USA, to cater for the increased workload. Junior’s younger brothers, Daniel “Dan” and Michael “Mikey,” were also series regulars alongside several charismatic employees.

OCC created bikes for fans of the show who won their contest, well-known companies such as video game publishers and developers, and various charities and government organizations such as the Fire Department and US Air Force. However, the drama between the father and son, and the father and other employees was central to the show and drew in the viewership. The duo would butt heads about significant decisions, criticize each other’s work, and yell at each other for various reasons. However, they nearly always reconciled once the stress disappeared, and they revealed the product.

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Unfortunately, the conflict reached a boiling point in late 2008, when Paul Sr. fired Paul Jr. Although Junior briefly returned as a contractor, contributor or advisor, the times were tough; the fifth season premiered in January 2008 on Discovery Channel’s less-watched sister channel, TLC, then in February 2010, after the sixth premiered in April 2009, mainly without Junior, TLC announced that it was canceling the show.

Half a year later, TLC premiered a new spin-off show, “American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior,” but it didn’t last long; the second season’s final episode aired on 17 December 2012. However, it chronicled the disagreements and legal issues between father and son, revealing that Junior was starting a company to rival his father’s; here’s what happened afterwards, and where he is now.

Junior eventually resolved issues with his father

When it canceled the show, TLC stated, ‘The Teutuls will always be a part of the Discovery family, and we congratulate them on a tremendously successful series run.’ After the spin-off show ended in late 2012, Junior disappeared from TV screens and started working on Paul Jr. Designs, a company that did the same as Orange County Choppers, and was also physically close, hence it was its rival.

Senior continued working in his shop in Newburgh before he landed a second spin-off, “Orange County Choppers,” which aired on CMT in 2013 and ‘14. Junior and Senior didn’t collaborate, and seemingly didn’t communicate publicly until the spring of 2018, when Discovery Channel announced the revival of “American Chopper,” and premiered two seasons, 11th and 12th overall, in 2018 and 2019, and a special in August 2020 to ensure that there were no unanswered questions after the series ends. Paul Jr. is now a married father of one son, and still manufactures motorbikes and creates custom designs for his company, while staying in touch with fans.

Junior quit the show

A big misconception is that Senior fired his son and ensured that he wouldn’t have a spot in the show. That was true initially, because the tension culminated in a 9 April 2009 episode entitled “NHL Bike/B-2 Bomber Bike.” It was described as ‘one of the most heated fights between Senior and Junior,’ which wasn’t overstated. Senior terminated Junior’s employment indefinitely after they started arguing about his son being late to work.

Junior returned to work shortly, and the two macho men calmed, perhaps with the help of Discovery Channel or TLC producers. Junior remained in that position until the 30 April episode, when he announced his departure as a full-time employee. He returned a few times before the show’s cancellation, but only unofficially, when his father wasn’t in the show or the builds required extra help, which was important for legal reasons.

He branched out the same year

Paulie didn’t quit recklessly; he opened a design firm, Paul Jr. Designs, that year, and was immediately hired for several notable projects, including designing a dog park in Montgomery, New York State. Next year, Junior was hired for his first product design, doing a facelift for the Roadtrip Grill product by The Coleman Company for their 10th anniversary. Junior also proposed creating a line of dog toys for a well-known company, Bamboo Pets, in an “American Chopper” episode of 4 February 2010,

He faced legal issues

Two months after his dog toys pitch, TMZ reported that Junior wanted to start a motorcycle design and building business that would compete against his old one, owned by Senior. That was likely his plan when he started Paul Jr. Designs, but court documents in his later lawsuit revealed that Junior had a one-year non-compete clause in his employee contract, so he had to wait until 30 April 2010 to start. Junior expanded his design business instead of starting a second company, and hired old OCC employees, his brother Mikey, Joe Puliafico, Vincent “Vinnie” DiMartino, and Robert “Nub” Collard.

Cody Connelly, one of his best friends in the show, who left OCC with Vincent in 2007 to start V-Force Customs, joined Junior’s company in 2014, only helping out, meaning that he wasn’t a full-time employee, but appeared in several episodes of “American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior.” Cody also sued Senior and OCC for using his likeness in promotional materials, after he’d left.

Junior’s departure didn’t sit well with his father – Senior wanted to exercise an opinion on Junior’s contract that allowed him to buy his son’s share of 20% in OCC, so he sued him. An evaluation of the circumstances and the company’s worth continued until 14 December 2010, when Junior won an appeal over a lower court. His appeal asked for the sale to be deemed invalid and his ownership of 20% to remain unchanged until they reached a fair price for a potential buyout.

Junior counter-sued his father and demanded that the court monitor the finances to prevent fraud, and force his father to pay $100 million in damages. Their civil action lawsuit became inactive on 16 February 2011, and the case left the court system. However, an episode of their spin-off from 29 August revealed that the two settled out of court, and that Senior bought Junior’s 20% stake for an unspecified amount.

Junior is married and a father

Tumultuous business dealings and new beginnings weren’t the only significant happenings in Junior’s life. He met his girlfriend, Rachael Biester, when she was hired as a model in an episode of “American Choppers.” They married on 20 August 2010 in the Boathouse Chapel on a beach at the Bonnet Island Estate in New Jersey, in front of 135 family members and close friends; he invited his father, but Senior didn’t attend. Junior and Rachael were guest stars during season five of a TLC TV show about wedding dress shopping, “Say Yes to the Dress,” the same year. Their only son, Hudson Seven Teutul, was born on 3 February 2015.

His design business is successful

Junior’s business, which he later revealed was located at 157 Ward Street, Montgomery, New York State, where it still stands, began to thrive after the first spin-off ended in late 2012. He had many projects and featured many visitors and buyers on his Facebook page, @paulteutuljr. His page had over 1.3 million followers in July 2023, and had used it in early 2021 to reveal plans for a second location , opening a new retail-only shop at 1714 Long Beach Boulevard in the Ship Bottom township of Long Beach Island, New Jersey, on 20 October 2022. His grand opening event had a meet and greet time slot, live music, a vendor fair, and autograph signings. Junior also invited the New Jersey State Police employees and Troopers United Foundation workers and supporters. That was understandable because he joined NJ State Police during the opening of Troopers United Foundation’s second annual car show a month before. When he opened the second location, Junior also revealed that he would soon open a third location.

His business worked on two prominent projects

Although Junior does most of his business away from the spotlight, Paul Jr. Designs has had two noteworthy clients in the past. He created two custom Azeroth Choppers to promote the 13 November 2014 launch of the “World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor”, expansion to the well-known video game by Blizzard Entertainment; a web series about their creation ran from 17 April to 5 June. Developers replicated the Horde version of his bike in the game, then sent it to all players of that faction who were online between 24 July and 30 September. Members of the opposite faction, Alliance, could buy it for in-game gold in December.

Two years later, producers of the feature film “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” hired his company to create two bikes for the characters Rocksteady and Bebop. Junior also makes a cameo as a correctional officer in an early scene, when Shredder gets pushed into the prison van.

Me with Bebop and Rocksteady of TMNT Movie.

Posted by Paul Jr. Designs on Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Junior reconciled with his father in 2018

After the last episode of their spin-off in 2012, Junior posted a photo in which he hugged his father and two brothers, Mikey and Dan. That already suggested that a chance existed to smooth things over. They were busy on individual projects until 2018; his business took off, and his father was hired for a second spin-off, “Orange County Choppers,” which aired one two-hour pilot and an eight-episode-season between August 2013 and January 2014, and a special in December 2014 that involved basketball star Shaquille O’Neal. His father was accused of running a version of the Ponzi scheme with his restaurant in 2016. He was charged with fraud complaints for several misconducts towards his business partner, Thomas Derbyshire, in 2018.

Regardless, the two were ready to film – albeit separately – when Discovery Channel proposed the revival of the original TV show. The preview of the seventh season’s first episode of “American Choppers” aired on 1 March 2018. Luckily, the two filming crews came together during an episode when Junior discovered that a bike they’d made for the New York Yankees got vandalized, and was sold at a salvage auction. That allowed the father and son to remember the old days, and marked their first in-person collaboration in about a decade.

The 2020 special was an end of an era

The show’s eighth season, and the franchise’s 12th, aired on 12 February 2019 and concluded on 2 April 2019. Discovery Channel announced in late July that a two-hour special, “American Chopper: The Last Ride,” would air on 4 August 2020, advertised as the first time in the show’s history that Paul Jr. Designs and OCC would collaborate on a single-client project.

Furthermore, the announcement clarified that it would be the last; they had eight weeks to finish the motorcycle for ABC Supply Company, then the leading siding and roofing US company. They wanted to work at the OCC shop in Montgomery, New York State, for obvious reasons, however, it was being demolished after Senior sold it to the money lender in 2011, then leased it from the new owners, who wanted to build something else. It was later revealed that Senior would reopen an expanded business, OCC Road House & Museum, in a newly built facility in Pinellas Park, Florida, in late June 2021.

Junior appreciates the journey

Paulie remained humble despite his success. He’s most active on Facebook and Instagram, regularly posting throwbacks and appreciation posts for his family, friends and fans. For instance, a few days after the two-hour special aired, he organized a Facebook live stream to answer fans’ questions. Similarly, Junior has shared remembrance posts to celebrate notable days, such as the December 2012 winner-take-all build in the Nevada desert.

He’s supported several charities, including 22 a Day Veteran Suicide Prevention, and urged the production company to make episodes of “American Chopper” on Discovery+ streaming service, available outside the US.

Finally, Junior remembers people who helped or spent time with him, from colleagues such as Dale Walksler, the owner of Dale’s Wheels Through Time motorcycle museum, to fans who visit his shop and take pictures with him. Similarly, he’s shared his fans’ collections of OCC die-cast bike toys and other memorabilia, and at times vowed to help them find the missing pieces.

He is a dedicated family man

Junior frequently posts about his wife and son on social media. He captures memorable moments, from attending events promoting his business, to private activities such as taking his son Hudson, whom he calls “Huddy,” for his first bus ride in September 2021, then following the vehicle on his bike to the school. He also took Huddy to Liberty State Park in August 2021, because his son loves dinosaurs. Junior also noted that his son loved seeing the 2016 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” movie, and was excited to match the two toy replicas in real life to the ones on-screen in 2021. Junior is still deeply in love with his wife; he posts a picture with Rachael for every anniversary, and something jokingly describes them as only ‘Huddy’s parents,’ as he’s the center of their world.

As if that didn’t signify his love enough, Junior released matching dad-and-son shirt designs in August 2022, having modeled the shirts together. Moreover, he considers animals part of his family; he has a brown Labrador, and has adopted a toad his son named Pinky Toe, after finding the reptile stuck under an outdoor carpet.

Even the locations of his shops are significant. He opened his first location across the street from the Newburgh location of OC Iron Works LLC, the automobile body works shop led by his younger brother Daniel. As for the second, Rachael is from Long Beach Island, they married there, and both want to spend more time there. Finally, Junior ensures that he can spend all important holidays at home, such as ThanksgivingHalloween, and Christmas.

Junior has expanded his reach

He’s also documenting his professional decisions via social media. Junior revealed that he ran out of space in the showroom of his first location, so plans to showcase most of his bike collection at the second. That’s because Junior began filling his first location’s storage with vintage items that he loves collecting and displaying, including Coca-Cola Sprite Boy signs, the original 1960 “Bibendum” Michelin Man costume, and other original or modified items.

Junior has also collaborated with companies such as Reliable Scaffolding & Shoring Services from Havre de Grace, Maryland, to create a ScaffBike, and has shown his MLB bike at the event for the Far from Home, an all-veteran ocean rowing team from Florida. He was also invited to the opening of the Hard Rock Hotel in New York City in May 2022, allowing his fans to meet him outside the meet-and-greet events.

However, his essential collaborations date to 2021, involved with Cadillac to create The Cadillac Bike, and with RUFF-Cycles to manufacture his first PJD-E Electric Bicycle. Junior sells the latter for $6,500 as a pre-order in and out of the US, with a five-month delivery timeline.

He gives back to his fans

Paulie launched The Paul Jr. Podcast in September 2021 and has discussed various topics, from collecting vintage items to mental health, his views on life, and military-related topics. Junior uploads a version with a video, alongside other content, to his YouTube channel  @PaulJrDesignsOfficial.

Also, as mentioned, he never forgets his fans and was always ecstatic to gift a bike in “American Chopper.” Thus, he tries to keep up the tradition in a new way – among the most notable giveaways was a November 2020 competition called The Next American Innovator, with a Paris, Texas-based company, Chapman’s Paris Honda Yamaha. They gifted two finalists – one chosen by a jury and another by the people’s votes – two bikes, Honda Monkey and Honda Super Cub.

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