As fans of American Chopper are fully aware by now, Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. had to sell the first chopper they ever built together, in order to keep the business afloat many years ago. When they started this latest build, they based it loosely on that first build. And, last night, Paulie was able to surprise his dad with not only a fantastic paint job on the tins of the new bike, but with the actual original bike on the day of the ride.
The bike was on loan from the owner, who bought the bike from the Teutuls years ago and kept it all of these years later. It apparently was not in perfect road-ready condition, but, in exchange for letting the Teutuls borrow it, Paulie had it picked up in Florida, and got it back in driving condition. It was a generous act by the owner, to contact Paulie and then let him borrow it, and it was a good trade for the owner, receiving free repair services for the loan.
Paulie was excited, because he knew his father would be both surprised and thrilled, and he was right. Senior did not get it at first—not surprising, since the bike had been gone for 14 years, and they had thought that it was probably sitting in a scrapyard by now, or had been parted out to various rides and was floating around across the country in pieces. But, when he realized it was THE bike, as Paulie had hoped, yes, he was thrilled, even opting to take it out for their ride, and letting Paulie jump on the new bike.
Paulie also had a plate machined for the new bike: “Teutul,” which was then plated with the copper leaf, as the tank and fender had been. It was a nice addition, and a second surprise for Senior.
Keeping the Love Going
Now, as Paulie indicated, the challenge for the two will be to keep the energy flowing. When they had a project, there was a solid, distinct reason to make time for each other; now, they will have to make time for each other just because they want to make time for each other.
Also, Senior told Paulie that he had heard from Mikey. So, perhaps there is movement in other areas of father-son relationships in the Teutul family.
“I gotta tell you, the ride was amazing,” Junior said, obviously happy. “And I can’t remember when I enjoyed a ride as much as that one. It was nice being next to my father again, kinda like how it all started. … I really, honestly, have not wanted it to end. … For the first time in my life, I’m experiencing my father in the absence in any kind of tie to work. … We’ll just see where it goes. I’m just looking forward to the future.”
And, at the very end?
A big father-son hug.
Good luck, Teutuls; your fans are behind you.
American Chopper airs on the Discovery Channel on Monday nights at 9 p.m. E/P.
Image: Discovery Channel