The Teutul family made a name for itself by building fiery customized bikes and added to the legacy by starring on multiple reality television shows.
But just as they hit the pinnacle of success, everything seemed to fall apart. The show was discontinued, the family split up, and the business moved from its birthplace in New York and disappeared off the face of Orange County.
With so much happening, the question has to be asked – is Orange County Choppers still in business?
Fortunately, you will be glad to know that Orange County Choppers is still alive and kicking. The only difference is that they have shifted their operations from New York to Florida in a very surprising decision.
So, what is the business up to today? In this article, we will find out exactly that.
What is Orange County Choppers?
If you are into customized motorcycles, you would definitely know about Orange County Choppers and what they do. If not, we will give you three seconds to guess before you get the answer.
And, 3…2…1 –
Orange County Choppers (OCC) is one of the most popular custom motorcycle shops, originally based in Orange County, New York. The company is famously run by Paul Teutul Sr., along with his feisty associate (and son), Paul Teutul Jr.
OCC started as just a regular, remarkably average motor-based business in New York. But they quickly rose to the pinnacle of fame after appearing on the hit reality TV show called American Chopper.
The American motorcycle community not only appreciated the wicked designs and innovations curated by the Teutuls but also loved to see the family drama unfolding before their eyes, especially the periodic father-son arguments.
With American Chopper catapulting the family-owned business to unprecedented fame and success, OCC became a common name, particularly within the community of motorcycle enthusiasts.
The business, naturally, was a hit, and the Teutuls raked in large profits from their daily toils. But it was not always fun and games for the company. The feud between Teutul Sr. and Teutul Jr. worsened each year, resulting in lawsuits and even temporary cancellation of the show.
In 2012, American Chopper finally decided to bid farewell to the long-loved family. The show aired more than 200 episodes starring the legendary group during this period.
After the show ended, the family name just faded away for a while. But Paul Teutul Sr. wasn’t going to let it all slip away without a fight.
And so he fought. And for the most part, he won.
What Happened to Orange County Choppers?
Orange County Choppers is still in business. They continued their motorcycle-related operations after parting ways with the show. However, Teutul Sr. took complete charge of the business and made some drastic changes.
Now, the business is not just a place where you can get customized bikes. The company has become a brand of its own, featuring merchandize, restaurants, and even an arcade area.
So, how did all this happen?
The truth is, American Chopper was not the only reason why OCC was a hit business. Sure, the enthralling family dynamics added an element of entertainment. But it was really the charismatic and talented Paul Teutul Sr. who ran the show.
What made OCC incredible was its attention to detail and expert craftsmanship. The show shed light on their passion for motorcycles and how the family would put their heart and soul into every bike they make, irrespective of how much profit they make.
And so, new works of art filed out of their garage each day – from sleek and shiny choppers to powerful roaring machines. The Teutuls were experts at bringing the most ingenious design concepts to life.
With so much fame accumulated, fans weren’t going to let them die out just because they didn’t appear on television anymore.
So, here’s a timeline of what happened to OOC after their rise to fame:
Even after American Chopper stopped airing in 2012, OCC continued to grow rapidly. They had garnered a cult-like following, particularly large groups of passionate motorcyclists who revered the Teutuls for their genius and like-mindedness.
Paul Teutul Sr., being the enigmatic personality he is, took advantage of the fame and converted his business from a simple motorcycle manufacturer into a lifestyle brand.
He also continued the development of OCC’s multi-million dollar headquarters located in Newburgh, New York. The large facility was already labelled the Mecca for motorcycle enthusiasts globally.
And after Teutul Sr. was done with it, the headquarters also became a family entertainment center featuring arcade zones, restaurants, and other specialized areas. This way, Paul Teutul Sr. was essentially bringing his non-motorcycling followers into the fold and quadrupling his revenue.
Pretty smart, right? If you have seen American Chopper, you would know that this is exactly the kind of move that Teutul Sr. would pull for the sake of the business.
OCC’s drastic change from an exclusive motorcycle manufacturer into a lifestyle brand was not well-received by all fans.
While the non-biking community members from around the country were jumping in to participate in the business, the other half of the customer base was not impressed.
After launching restaurants, merchandize, and arcade zones within their premises, OCC limited the space that they devoted to motorcycle customization and manufacturing.
In this regard, many people felt that the company lost the essence on which it was built. While the criticism was severe from a significant amount of people, it did not stop them from still being a part of the OCC community.
After all, one could not stay mad at Teutul Sr. for too long, could they?
When you are under pressure, even the most successful businesses experience financial strain. And that is also what happened with Orange County Choppers and Paul Teutul Sr., particularly during the later years.
In 2020, for example, the business was faced with a lawsuit by a photographer. Teutul Sr. and his youngest son, Mikey, had allegedly used some photos captured by the photographer for their t-shirts, leading to copyright infringement.
They lost the case and ended up owing the photographer a whopping figure of $260,000.
In the same period, the former partner of Teutul Sr. had also filed a lawsuit against him for fraud. The seven-figure Teutul estate in New York was in foreclosure as well. They were forced to sell it in 2019.
With so much going on, the financial state of the business was not optimal. While there is no indication that the company was ever on the verge of being bankrupt, it was still a very difficult situation for the Teutuls.
And that is probably part of the reason why they decided to move to Florida.
From New York to Florida
The challenges faced by Orange County Choppers in recent years compelled Teutul Sr. to book a flight to Florida. They already owned a house there, and decided they should just move all the business-related operations there too.
Needless to say, the fans were shocked.
In a surprising move, the multi-million dollar facility built by the Teutuls for their company was sold for a fraction of the price that was spent on it.
The Teutuls also auctioned off a large portion of their personal and professional belongings. One of these belongings included a decommissioned bomb. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
The transition was very smooth, thanks to the efforts of www.Auction.com, the company responsible for selling off the remaining assets to interested buyers.
The new headquarters of Orange County Choppers is in St. Petersburg, located on the west coast of Florida. The company now serves as a country club where motorcyclists can hang out with each other.
There is a Harley-Davidson dealership and Teutul’s Roadhouse Museum next to the headquarters. While there is less emphasis on motorcycle customization now, they haven’t completely stopped it.
In fact, OCC is still very popular for making their own custom Harley-Davidsons now. The company is almost acting like a partner to the legendary motorcycle brand.
Where are the Teutuls now?
So, what are the Teutuls doing now? They are still running their business down in Florida.
Thankfully, they simplified the operations. As such, old man Teutul does not have to parade around and work too hard for his retirement nowadays. But the passion for motorcycles is still there.
In fact, people have begun claiming that the new headquarters will serve as the second coming of Mecca for motorcyclists.
While there are no reports on the financial health of OCC, we can assume the business is still doing pretty well. Apart from its main headquarters, the Roadhouse is also raking in thousands of dollars every month.
Besides, the official website of the company is very active, regularly having updates and changes in their interface for enhanced user experience. The Twitter handle and the Instagram account of the brand post regular updates about the company, particularly its association with different community-led events and programs.
So, it’s safe to say that the Teutuls are still going strong, just like their business. However, one name is still missing from the equation – Paul Teutul Jr., the wizard kid who was the brains behind the operations.
Paul Teutul Sr. and Jr. – The Everlasting Feud
One of the main talking points of American Chopper was the regular bickering between Teutul Sr. and his son and namesake, Teutul Jr.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t just harmless bickering. Multiple reports suggest that the father-son relationship has grown tenser every year ever since the inception of the company.
It got to a point where Paul Sr. decided to fire Paul Jr. from the family-led business in 2008. What followed was a series of legal battles between the father and the son. As a result, American Chopper was temporarily closed, and the business suffered several setbacks.
Fortunately, the television series jolted back to life in 2010 as American Chopper: Senior vs Junior, with the show capturing the competitive battle between Orange County Choppers and Paul Jr.’s brainchild business called Paul Jr. Designs.
You might be wondering – are Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul Teutul Jr. still working together? Unfortunately, the dynamic father-son duo never got back together professionally after the rift in 2008.
Sure, the pair reconciled with each other on a personal level. Paul Jr. decided that “life is too short” and decided to make things right with his father after giving birth to his own child, something that served as a turning point for him.
The fact that they don’t work professionally now is one of the reasons why OCC is not doing as well as it was back during the glory days. The combination of Paul Jr.’s brilliant creativity and Paul Sr.’s business acumen and craftsmanship resulted in the perfect duo.
But ever since their separation, things have been a little murky in the customization department.
Orange County Choppers has not disappeared off the face of the earth. Paul Teutul Sr. is trying to restore the business to its former glory.
But without his trusty sidekick, Paul Jr., by his side, it’s going to be a challenge.
In any case, OCC is a legendary name within the motorcycling community. The impact of reality TV on OCC’s business has been unparalleled. Even if they are not making customized bikes with that ferocity anymore, they are still a lifestyle brand.
While it’s looking highly unlikely, we would not say no to a final season of American Chopper to give us some detailed closure about our beloved Teutuls.