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American Chopper: What Happened To Paul Sr.

"American Chopper" has pretty much all the requisite pieces of the reality show puzzle. The most explosive arguments in "American Chopper" history have become legendary. At the very least, you've probably seen the famous chair-throwing argument that led to a viral meme based on a Season 6 episode where Paul Sr. fires Paul Jr. after a characteristically unfiltered argument. After the show, Paul Jr. went on to establish his own chopper-building business ... but what became of the gruff head of Orange County Choppers, Paul Teutul Sr.?

For one, he's spent plenty of time on TV. The original run of "American Chopper" ended in 2010, and the same year saw the premiere of "American Chopper: Senior Vs. Junior," which chronicled the business battles between Paul Sr.'s OCC and Paul Jr's competing custom motorcycle company, Paul Jr. Designs. In 2015, Paul Sr. and his other son Michael returned for yet another reality show, the one-season "Orange County Choppers." Combine these shows with a two-season revival of the original series from 2018 to 2019, and reality TV has certainly kept Paul Sr. busy over the years. 

On the family front, Paul Sr. has also been doing better in recent years. The two Pauls have worked apart since their famous falling out, and actually didn't speak for about a decade after it. Things were, in fact, so bad that Paul Sr. decided not to attend his son's wedding in 2010 despite being invited. However, while they've grown closer after the 2018 "American Chopper" comeback, they remember the hard lesson that they're not a good professional fit. "Working together was the downfall of our relationship, and I'm not willing to give that up again," Paul Sr. told People in 2019.

Paul Sr. has been involved in several lawsuits

Paul Teutul Sr.'s family life might be in a better shape than it was during the original "American Chopper" series, but other aspects of his personal life have been far more tumultuous. The fallout between him and Paul Jr. wasn't simply because the latter owned a part of Orange County Choppers. Their broken professional relationship was actually a potential risk to the show itself, and sent them to court in a case that ultimately led to Paul Jr.'s victory in his quest to stop his father from forcing a buyout, leading to the court determining a fair price instead. "There was a lawsuit and it was ugly," Paul Jr. summed up the situation in the People article. 

However, Paul Sr.'s court ordeals were only beginning. In 2017, his "Orange County Choppers" and "American Chopper" revival business partner Thomas Derbyshire sued him for fraud, alleging that Paul Sr. had used project funds for personal things and done deals behind Derbyshire's back — which Paul Sr.'s representatives denied. The same year Derbyshire sued him, Teutul's home was also in foreclosure. Come 2018, he owed over $20,000 in state taxes and filed for bankruptcy. In 2020, a court ordered him to pay a photographer over $258,000 for using one of his photos without permission in Michael Teutul-themed merchandise.

He and his company relocated to Florida

Paul Teutul Sr.'s Orange County Choppers is still around, but not where it used to be. The shop felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and closed in March 2020, only to announce later that year that it would relocate from New York to Florida — and that Paul Sr. would go with it. "This just makes sense," he said (via Times Herald-Record). "There's more of a sense of freedom in Florida, more of a fan base and you can ride for about nine months out of the year. There are also motorcycle events that take place all over Florida throughout the year."

Orange County Choppers' new Florida digs, The OCC Roadhouse & Museum, is a large restaurant, museum, and entertainment venue. While a business partner takes care of that side of things, Paul Sr. himself runs the nearby motorcycle shop where, as of 2023, he continued to build bikes — not because he necessarily needs to personally pick up a tool anymore, but because he wants to.