OCC vs. PJD – It’s on!
American Chopper: Paul Sr. & Paul Jr. Discuss The Cadillac Build-Off
After sifting through the hundreds of fan submitted questions for Paul Teutul, Sr., we talked to the famed star of American Choppers: Senior vs. Junior to get his answers to YOUR questions – and, boy, did he ever answer.
Besides talking about the impending foreclosure of OCC, Senior revealed what happened after Odie left his shop after being fired from Paul Jr. Design, why the Black Widow bike is no longer at OCC, when the new world headquarters will be finished (and why they’re building it), what it was like to watch the transformation of American Chopper: The Series into American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior and many (many) other questions fans have been wondering.
While not every fan question was answered, I believe that you’ll be happy with the information that’s provided below. If anything, it’ll certainly fuel the fires on the Discovery’s American Chopper forum. But hopefully, it’ll give you a better understanding of things from Senior’s perspective.
Oh, and how did Senior feel about the fan questions? He was elated. Here’s what Senior had to say:
You know what, they were good questions! I don’t usually get question like that – they’re totally the same questions day in and day out. It’s nice to have fresh questions.
So, without further ado, let’s get to YOUR questions and Senior’s answers.
Hey Senior, how much are you benching nowadays? More than Junior, I bet!
[Laughs] Well, I sort of changed my work out a bit, but I was benching 455lbs.
What kind of engines do you use? How many CCs are they?
You know, we use SNS Motors. As far as the CCs goes, we pretty much go by horsepower and we go from 100 horsepower to 160 horsepower – depending on what the client wants.
Just curious what brand of helmet you wear.
You know, that’s a good question because a lot of people recognize me from my helmet and a lot of people want that helmet. I don’t know what that is, to be honest with you. I found that helmet at an Easy Rider show about 20 years ago and I watch it like a baby. I take care of that helmet like it’s worth a million dollars.
Have you ever had someone try to steal it?
I’ve had it missing for a little while and it was in my – I don’t know if you remember, I had my Ford explorer, the green one, that I wrecked my office with – I had it in there. I hadn’t been using that car for a while and I couldn’t find it – I was going crazy. It was probably missing for a month.
I’ve been watching since the very beginning and was wondering: how long do you think you’ll be doing the show?
Right now, I think we have a 4-year option, which means that we’re that we’re kind of obligated to Discovery for 4 years – depending on whether they want to pick up the show or not. I believe we’ll do all four seasons, ya know. I’d say a minimum of 3 years.
[Editorial note: that’s including the current season]
Do you ever think of life after the show? Is that something you’re looking forward to?
You know, that’s a real good question. It’s almost a part of life now. It’s like it’s a part of life now, so you don’t even – I don’t know what it would be like to not have cameras around, ya know?
Do you find it hypocritical that Junior fired Odie for the same reason that you said you fired him from OCC?
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s almost – and a lot of people have said it – it’s almost an identical situation. When you watch the show, he’s doing the same things that Pauly did and Pauly fired him for the same things that Pauly did.
That’s pretty observant, though. Somebody is paying attention.
What happened to Odie after he visited you at the shop?
Odie came and visited us and I think that, I think we were going to try and use him, but at that particular time we had enough people. I think he still stays in communication with Christian, but I believe he’s working someplace else. I would hire him back – I never had a problem with Odie, to be honest with you. He always showed up on time, he was a bit of a wise-guy, but he always did his job and showed up on time – and was always very respectful to me.
Are you hiring welders?
[Laughs] A lot of people ask that. No, not right now. The team we have now is irreplaceable and it took a long time to [find] a bunch of people that meet your requirements – which are mine – and also have the same work ethic as I do. That’s a biggie. Work ethic is very important – that’s what the problem was with Pauly.
Did you watch the first season of Senior vs. Junior when it aired? If so, how do you feel about what was shown?
I’ll be honest with you: I watched the first show and it upset me, so I really stopped watching. I don’t really watch the shows per say. I hear drips and drabs about it, but everybody is entitled to their own [opinion] and there are people that feel a certain way about him, and there are people that feel a certain way about me. So, it’s like the fans that are on Discovery chat room – I think that’s what it is? I don’t ever look at it, so I don’t know. Listen, we have millions and millions of viewers and I’m sure that it’s just a fraction that are commenting about it.
The way I look at it is, if a business-minded person is looking at it, they’re going to say that I’m on target. If a real motorcycle enthusiast is watching the show, they’re going to say I’m on target.
For the average person that watches the show – that’s not really a motorcycle enthusiast – and, listen, everybody loves the drama: that’s what makes the show popular. I believe that those are the fans that are going to lean more towards Pauly – and there are a lot of them.
The thing of it is that the building is going into foreclosure. Well, if you really think about it, probably ¾ of the people don’t really know what that means – and that’s not insulting them, you know what I’m saying? But they don’t. They don’t really know if that means you’re going out of business or if they’re taking the building back, so they don’t really understand – whereas a business person would really understand what’s going on there.
From a business perspective, I’ve been in business 38 years and I always seem to figure out something.
How is your relationship with Pauly and Mikey currently? Do you ever think you’ll reconcile?
You know, now I think it’s better than it’s been. I think that it’s not the same and that it’ll never be the same. I’m hopeful at some point that there will be some kind of happy medium where at least we could talk and still live our own lives, and be happy with that.
I just don’t think things will be the same and, as for right now, it’s a lot less tense than what it was before and we can actually meet each other face-to-face without any animosity.
I’ve heard that the lawsuit has been settled. How do you feel about the outcome?
I feel great about it! Absolutely great! The one thing I really like about it is that it allows us both to move on in life. Whether we agree or disagree on the settlement, it doesn’t really make any difference. The important thing is that it’s over.
People have been saying that the Black Widow bike isn’t at OCC anymore is that because you gave it to Paul Jr?
That’s really not a question I can…. I’m really not allowed to talk about it.
[Editorial note: Considering the stipulations of most settlements, that’s as close to a “yes” as you’ll hear]
Just read that OCC is trying to build a building next to the original world headquarters. Can you tell us anything about that?
Yes. First of all, I own all of the property around there and I own the street frontage, which is in front there. We have been having difficulty with the bank trying to work out an agreement – which people don’t see. Anyhow, we’ve tried to work things out with the bank and they don’t want to cooperate, so we made a decision to build another building.
Seeing that I own the property right at the top of the hill there, we chose to put our new world headquarters up there.
When do you expect to see that project finished?
You know what, I’m going to say – where are we now? – I’m going to say by December it’ll be done. I don’t mess around.
If you think about it: the bikes that we build – especially today – we don’t just build an average chopper. We do hybrids, we do diesel, we broke three world records this year with the electric dragster, so we’re doing state-of-the-art stuff, but we still do it in the 5-week period we have to do the show. So, regardless of how big the project is, we get it done – and I think that says something about me and my company.
What are you working on right now?
We’re working with company right now called PowerProbe – we just finished the bike today, as a matter of fact. We’re fortunate that we have quite a few builds ahead of us. So, we’ve been really busy and a lot of corporations are still coming to us – which is good. It’s been a good year and, you know, the show has been doing real good and I think that has a big play in it.
I also think that one of the hugest things that happened was that Discovery moved us back to the Discovery Channel, and that’s where we belong. We started out on Discovery, we did our first three years on Discovery, and it was their highest-rated show. Then they took us over to TLC – I don’t think TLC was doing that good and I think they thought we could help them – but it was more of a woman demographic and I think it actually hurt us – and I’m not so sure it helped the station.
But they were smart enough to figure out this Junior vs. Senior thing, which I give them credit for. I didn’t agree with it, you know, but I’ve got to give to them – they figured it out and it worked really well.
American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior airs Monday @9pm on Discovery
Follow Anthony on Twitter @anthonyocasio