It’s hard to believe that it was 2003 when Discovery Channel first introduced us to American Chopper and the fascinating custom motorcycles of father-and-son team Paul Teutul and Paul Teutul Jr. During the series’ run and their follow-up Senior vs. Junior, their craftsmanship and creativity was often overshadowed by their turbulent and explosive personalities, which eventually led to a bitter estrangement and Paul Jr. establishing his own company, Paul Jr. Designs. With the passing of time and with American Chopper’s return to TV (Tuesdays on Discovery), the Teutuls continue to work on their relationship and some pretty amazing bikes. “I’ve been building motorcycles almost 20 years now, and this season I am building some of the best bikes that we’ve ever built,” Paul Jr. tells us. Here he answers some of our own custom “5 Questions.”
If you could pick only three tools to save from your toolbox or shop, which three would you grab? I’d have to have a tape measure. The waterjet that I use is the only reason we can do television in the time frame we have to do it. Because we have a waterjet, we’re able to cut parts that are very complicated that would take you days to do by hand. And, I’d need the welder.
What’s a movie that you could watch over and over and never get tired of? On the funny side, it would definitely be Christmas Vacation. And on the serious side, it would be Godfather II. Years ago, growing up, we watched Christmas Vacation starting, I’d say, in November, and watched it right through January every other night.
What celeb would you absolutely love to walk in your door and have them ask you to build a bike for them? Bono from U2. I would love to build a U2 bike. They’re one of my favorite bands, if not my favorite band, and I just would love to do something themed.
When you look back at episodes from 10 years ago, you’ve aged beautifully. What do you attribute that to? I married the right person, and that goes a long, long way to keep me young — my wife, Rachael. I just feel like I’ve just been very fortunate and blessed. I’m excited about life, and I love what I do creatively, and I just feel very blessed to have the gifts that I do, and the opportunity, frankly. I come from a steel business background, a family business, and so growing up, I worked hard. I worked weekends and summers even at an early age, and that was what was expected and that’s what I did. Maybe not always perfectly healthy, but it’s what needed to be done, and ultimately I think it’s helped me become the person that I am.
As for his current relationship with his pop …The past is just way behind us, and I got no room for any of it, regardless of what went down or how it happened. I’m just in a position and place in my life where I just want to move forward, because nobody’s getting any younger and life is short and I’m a father now and I have my son, and I just want things to progress, so I’m going to step over halfway every time to make things smooth and work.