The Build By Paul Teutul Jr. A Reflection on Faith, Family, and My Time on “American Chopper” By Paul Teutul Jr.

Paul Teutul Jr. starred on American Chopper with “Paulie” and his father, Paul Sr., building custom choppers together. After his time on the reality show, he started his own business, Paul Jr. Designs. Today, Paul Jr. Designs continues to thrive, producing custom bikes for a variety of individual and corporate clients. The Build is his first book.

“It remains humorous to me that after ten years of appearing on a reality television show, the question I am most often asked, by far, is whether what happened on our show was, well, real. But then again, the dynamic that made “American Chopper” a global phenomenon did appear unreal, prompting the two to three million viewers tuning in on Monday nights to hope – even pray – that the volatile relationship between my father and me was too bad to be true.

The premise of the show was simple: a father and son work together to build custom motorcycles. “American Chopper” worked because the bikes and our relationship were jaw dropping. For 10 seasons and 233 one-hour episodes, my father and I were often a train wreck that proved equally as difficult to turn away from as to watch. And yes, it was real. In fact, I believe that because of my relationship with my father, “American Chopper” not only was the most real reality show, but it was the first true reality show that didn’t involve surviving on an island.

The arguments, shouting matches, door slamming, and wall punching were no different from my life growing up with my father, working for him in the steel business, and then building custom bikes together. The only dif­ference with “American Chopper” was that there were cameras around, recording our blowups for the world to see.
I have learned that there are many people with stories similar to mine – people who are part of, or are directly impacted by, an abnormal relationship. I have nodded in understanding while listening to fans of our show describe their relationships gone bad. I have even talked with one man who might have had a worse relationship with his father than I did with mine.

Those conversations are one reason I decided to write The Build. I have been married to Rachael for seven years now, and our strong relationship is one my parents did not have. Our son, Hudson, is almost three years old, and our father-son dynamic will be the complete opposite of what I grew up with. I have faith that will be the case… because of my faith. And when the opportunity arose to write a book about choppers, my family, and my faith, I said, “I’ve got to do this.”

Seeing my relationship with my father play out on a reality show for ten years was difficult because our society tends to keep such problems hidden. It has been difficult to detail in this book my bad experiences with my father because he is my dad, and I love him – I have long desired to have a nor­mal relationship with him.

But I kept it real on “American Chopper,” and I am keeping it real in this book, because I know there are too many others who will nod in understand­ing as they read my story. I’ve always liked having my freedom, and since the show ended, I have been able to make my own schedule for building bikes while also spending time with Rachael and, of course, Hudson. From my early teens until I was almost forty, I’d estimate that I worked two lifetimes’ worth of hours.

Hudson was born two-and-a-half years after we stopped filming the show. It isn’t easy to look back and say with certainty what I would have done in a hypothetical situation, but if Hudson had been born while the show was still filming, I know I wouldn’t have been around him as much as I have been. I can’t even imagine that.

Life is great. And I think the best is yet to come. I don’t know if that means another show or another baby. Or both! But I don’t think I’m done with television. The way our show ended with big ratings for the second live build-off leads me to believe there is equity there for another show. Part of me asks, why would you want to do that again? But barely in my forties, I be­lieve I’m in the prime of my creativity.”  208 pages. $14.95.  Order The Build by going here at Amazon.

Zipper's

26 Responses to “The Build By Paul Teutul Jr. A Reflection on Faith, Family, and My Time on “American Chopper” By Paul Teutul Jr.”


  1. 1 KIrk Perry Nov 11th, 2017 at 10:52 am

    But you’ll still go at him with a bar-breaker socket wrench if “pops” gets out of line?

  2. 2 Mike Nov 11th, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    They should do a series to revisit the owners of the bikes they built 10 yrs ago to see how they held up. I suspect not very well. It would be a riveting hour of television filled with examples of shoddy workmanship and questionable engineering. I shudder to think of how their death-trap “creations” fared on the road.

  3. 3 SYF Nov 11th, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Mike, I love that idea. Most of those lame bikes are probably sitting in their sponsor’s reception space or someones garage with a dead battery, flat tires, and never ridden. I bet most will sump out a quart or two of oil upon startup, too. Who would want to ride one of those cheesy Softail clones anyway?

  4. 4 highrpm Nov 11th, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    business @ Paul Jr. Designs must be slow. so pauly’s trying to shore up shop sales by adding a ghost-written bio to his product inventory?. custom moto’s are a tough business to be in.

  5. 5 Ericy Nov 12th, 2017 at 12:24 am

    is this relevant anymore?
    I saw let Mikey do a tell all, that would be far more interesting.

  6. 6 rebel Nov 12th, 2017 at 7:36 am

    the man
    the myth
    the legend

  7. 7 Eric Nov 12th, 2017 at 8:18 am

    Save the $15 and give it to a worth while charity.

  8. 8 Guzzigreg Nov 12th, 2017 at 9:12 am

    I agree with Eric!

  9. 9 Xenu Nov 12th, 2017 at 9:46 am

    The content of that awful show was the result of editing footage to produce a commercially viable product.
    It wasn’t Pauly “keepin it real.”

  10. 10 Chris Nov 12th, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Choppertown is real…say no more

  11. 11 Calif Phil Nov 12th, 2017 at 10:51 am

    I hope for his sons sake that what he says is true
    I grew up in an ozzy and Harriet style family and
    I am so lucky that I had a father that was the opposite of his.

  12. 12 Davis Nov 12th, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Glad everyone had a great childhood, I can relate to them and feel right at home, my dad was way worse, senior is a role model.
    I would sell my soul for a taco so I know I would do a reality show for that kind of dough AND publicity.
    Just wish I had y’alls class and upbringing.

  13. 13 Jerrman Nov 12th, 2017 at 11:34 am

    Say what you will about shoddy construction and whether those builds would last (I have no idea not having ridden one or having the tech knowledge to assess them), but the show was of a time — one that peaked a lot of rider interest, had millions watching, Harley was selling almost 350k motorcycles, the post era of Jesse James and the moto industry was on a high. Now all that seems like a reality show! How much of the story line or incidents were true (and sad for Paulie if they were as he says) it almost didn’t matter, it was entertainment, at least for the first few years. I lost interest in the fights and repetitive builds but if a tv show can stoke the interest in motorcycles, I’m all
    for it.

  14. 14 domino Nov 12th, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Hey Paulie … Your Dad brought you in to the family business. He recognized his drinking as a problem and got sober. He passed on his love of motorcycles, which has made it possible for you to enjoy your lifestyle.
    The times I watched the show I saw an egotistic guy who constantly disrespected his Dad who then reacted poorly.
    Do something for our motorcycle community … then I will read your book…
    Domino Dave

  15. 15 upswept Nov 12th, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    I’d ask him: “Why did you decide to sell your soul to the devil and promote a Japanese badged truck?”

  16. 16 golfish Nov 12th, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    I’m with Jerrman, that show did wonders for the motorcycle world. I’m not ashamed to admit that it got me to build my first bike. A big 300mm fat tire 🙂

  17. 17 goldy Nov 13th, 2017 at 10:31 am

    I’ve never ridden one of their bikes but they are seriously cool to look at. The show was an inspiration to a lot of people, I hope they bring it back.

  18. 18 boston jim Nov 13th, 2017 at 10:49 am

    ENOUGH ALREADY !!!

  19. 19 Hillbilly Jim Nov 13th, 2017 at 11:03 am

    This is The U.S.A and everybody has free speech and the right to try to make a living.

  20. 20 David Blaska Nov 13th, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Was watching American Chopper on the TV at the Paoli Pub in a small town south of Madison WI when I said would love to see one of those bikes in the flesh. Guy next to me at the bar said Come on outside and I’ll show you mine. Sure enough! A stunner.

  21. 21 takehikes Nov 13th, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Never liked the show and hated the bikes. Rolling abortions. Disgrace to the word chopper.

  22. 22 hacksaw Nov 13th, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    simple enuff to not watch and not read. certainly there are worse things in this world to comment negatively on rather than american chopper.
    i don’t understand the hate. why not just watch the NFL?
    i am not a jr. fan. but he wrote a book. didn’t take a knee.

  23. 23 Batterycap Nov 13th, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    I would have thought the OCC haters were all collecting Social Security by now. It didn’t take much to stir up that nattering nest of negative naybobs. Hey, it’s TV. None of TV makes any sense. Only rarely – like maybe once a year, do you sit and watch anything and come away from it without more IQ being drained.

    Now that we have found out that most Hollywood men have been trying anything from copping a feel up to forcible rape, we can look to the Tuttle’s for a ray of sunshine.

  24. 24 Xenu Nov 14th, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Thanks, Spiro Agnew.

  25. 25 RUB Nov 18th, 2017 at 2:43 am

    now if they will bring back devils ride , my life will be complete . laffing devils MC !

  26. 26 simon Nov 22nd, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    TELL ME IT,S A JOKE…..

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