From the Treads of American Chopper: All the Show’s Dirt

23. Forged From Steel

Long before he made bikes, Teutul sailed as a Merchant Marine during the Vietnam Conflict. The Merchant navy is not a formal branch of the military, but they get closer to the conflict than many enlisted folks. After that, he started a metalworking company, Paul’s Metalworks, in 1973. His company fabricated steel and iron for customers in New York. His shop did well. To this day, it still operates in Rock Tavern, New York under the name Iron Works. But, metal wasn’t Teutul’s dream. We’ll come back to that.

22. Teutul’s Real Name

Fun fact about Teutul: Somehow, the man didn’t know his real name until his thirties. He never knew his middle name, but when he finally learned the whole truth, he discovered that he wasn’t the first Paul. His father too was a Paul, making him actually the first Paul Jr. His middle name is Michael by the way, and he won’t go by Paul Jr. anytime soon.

21. Began in a Basement

While Teutul always fancied choppers, his work was in metal. Making the move into an industry dominated by brands like Harley Davidson, BMW, and Honda meant he would need to compete with them or do something different. Using what he knew from metalworks, Teutul enlisted his sons Paul Jr., and Mikey to start a chopper business in the basement. Forget cameras and face equipment, there was no garage when Orange County Choppers started. 

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