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American Chopper

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Hold onto your butts, because the Teutuls are about to have a television show again, as the Discovery Channel is rebooting the incredibly popular American Chopper TV show. In it, Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. will once again stir the pot of their family feud, as they face off against each other as they build custom motorcycles and vie for title of “Biggest Man-Child in the History Humankind” on cable television. The news is of course a double-edged sword for the motorcycle industry, as American Chopper’s popularity was responsible for bringing motorcycling outside of our niche media focus, and putting it into the mainstream public consciousness.

Fresh off the moto-press newswires, we get word that Hudson Valley Merchandising LLC, the merchandising arm of Orange County Choppers, has sought protection in bankruptcy court under Chapter 7 of the US Bankruptcy Code. Listed as having $1.12 million in assets and $1.44 million in debts, Hudson Valley Merchandising LLC will be given a trustee by the court, who will then likely dismantle the company and its assets in order to make the company’s creditors as whole as possible. For those not familiar with the intricacies of bankruptcy law, Chapter 7 differs from the more well-known Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in that it almost always signals the end of the company filing for protection.

After 10 years and 233 episodes on the air, American Chopper is finally getting dragged out behind the shed, and put out of its misery on December 11th, 2012. It has been a long road with the Teutul family, as for the past decade we have watched the Oedipal struggle between Paul Jr. and Paul Sr., with man-child Mikey trapped in the middle, serving as the only adult in the group. Somewhere within the plot lines of Paul Sr.’s bicep size, and his battle with son on who can more perfectly fit the description of narcissism in the DSM-IV, bikes were made…but really we just showed up to see how many chairs could be thrown across the room in a single episode, or how often Paul Jr. could act like a spoiled brat.

In a case being prosecuted in Florida, a former dentist has plead guilty to supplying a number for high-profile athletes and celebrities with various steroid and performance-enhancing drugs. Among the names being pulled out of his business records is Paul Teutul Sr. of Orange County Choppers and the popular television show American Chopper. According to the seized documents, Paul Sr. received dozens of prescriptions for steroids and HGH (human growth hormone).

This news of course comes as virtually no surprise to anyone who has ever watched the show.

Using the account of OCC Head Assembly and Technician Supervisor Nicholas Hansford to list the bikes, it looks like at least two more motorcycles (maybe an A&R reader can help us identify them) are set to go up for sale. While Hansford has a video of the BSA B33 sitting in his YouTube channel, two other unlisted bikes (another BSA and a Norton) are included in the channel with video titles labeled “bikes for sale.”

According to the Long Island Press, OCC has missed several mortgage payments: one for $96,400 and another for $14,000. Financed through GE Capital, Orange County Chopper’s failure of payment is reportedly not because of a lack of funds (this seems somewhat dubious however, but we digress), but because of the loan agreement’s terms and payment amounts. Regardless of the reasons as to why, GE has filed for foreclosure against Orange County Choppers, and if unresolved would mean the likely end to the Teutul custom chopper business.

That’s right your favorite motorcycle show to hate, American Chopper, is back on TLC for another season, this time pitting father against son. American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior centers around both Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. building motorcycles in a sort of head-to-head competition. The father-son duo hasn’t spoken in over a year, which has created a great deal of drama in what was hailed as the last season of the original show. It looks like that drama is set to return to a television near you.

The Learning Channel (TLC) has finally given the television series American Chopper the boot, releasing information that show’s season finale will debut this Thursday at 9pm (8pm Central). We can only conclude that the show’s demise comes as a result of the ongoing rift between Paul Teutel Sr. and his sons, in particular his former partner Paul Teutel Jr. The two Paul’s are locked in a legal struggle regarding ownership of the American Chopper business, which has bled onto the television screen.

Even with Paul Jr. and Mikey off of the show American Chopper, Paul Teutul Sr. has found a way to fight with his children, and further estrange himself from his family. Paul Sr. has filed a dispute with the Supreme Court of New York state (the State’s lowest court), which alleges that the elder Teutul has the right to purchase his son’s stock in Orange County Choppers Holdings, Inc., the company behind OCC.