Remember the days when stretching a custom-built chopper as far as the eye could see while arguing with your kid could land you a sweet TV deal that would span more than 10 years? The Teutuls do. American Chopper debuted in 2002 and at its high, was bringing in 3.4 million viewers an episode. Times were good for the motorcycle industry, you could be building choppers, stretching swingarms, or simply selling motorcycles to anyone and everyone.
The Orange County Chopper crew was always up to its handlebar mustaches (which were much less ironic at the time) in drama. It was Senior yelling at Junior or an overzealous customer barking demands at the two, but you could just about bet that something would be thrown across the shop. While some may think the drama was scripted, the following court cases between the two would say otherwise. Senior sued Junior, Junior sued Senior – and won, and the two were never to speak again, that is, until they realized they may be able to make a profit from going back on the air.
Over the years since the show was canceled, there have been a few attempts at remakes all seeming to fizzle out into the abyss. There have also been mutterings of Paul Teutul’s dire financial situation which resulted in the sale of the OC Choppers headquarters and now, Chapter 13 bankruptcy and foreclosure of the American Chopper star’s home.
Just a day before American Chopper’s revival show aired on March 1, 2018, Paul Teutul Sr. (whose legal name actually carries a Jr. suffix) filed for bankruptcy claiming to owe more than 50 creditors $1,070,893.44 while his worth was only $1,801,729. Teutul’s home is now also in foreclosure, adding to the growing list of financial issues for the former television star.
Page Six obtained a response from Teutul’s rep who mentioned the filing “is part of the personal restructuring caused by the tax assessment which is a proactive, not reactive situation which is a positive thing for Mr. Teutul.”
Perhaps Discovery’s reboot of American Chopper will garner the ratings needed to continue on and Paul Teutul Sr. will be able to get himself back on stable ground. Only time will tell. But hey, if you feel for the big lug, check out the special premiere episode on Discovery and tune in when the series returns May 28, 2018.