• Michael Teutul is the younger son of Paul Sr and Paula Teutul and is currently working as a social media manager and spokesperson for Orange County Choppers.
• Orange County Choppers moved to Florida in 2020 and has since re-evaluated their business model and updated their name and logo.
• Michael has explored his artistic talents by selling his artworks on his website Wolfgang Gallery and in exhibitions throughout New York.
• Michael has worked on a handful of projects throughout his time on the show and has also opened businesses such as The Wolf Gang Gallery and FarQueue Products.
• Paul Sr and Jr have reconciled and have worked on a bike together in the "American Chopper" special "The Last Ride".
Years ago, the Teutuls were deemed one of the most scandal-prone families in the reality TV genre for a good reason. Their show – “American Chopper” – was able to capture them at their best professionally-speaking, but also let viewers see the family during their least attractive moments.
Though their scandalous life brought the Teutuls huge fame, their personal relationships were unfortunately on a downhill slope for years. Although this tense situation obviously affected every family member, Michael Teutul is known for staying away from the negative attention. While his father and older brother were in every headline for physically fighting on open TV, Michael got out of that terrible situation almost unscratched, reputation-wise.
So whatever happened to Michael Teutul? Is he still working with his father, or is he taking an independent route? Keep with us to discover which!
What Is Michael Teutul Up To Nowadays?
All “American Chopper” fans might be happy to know that Michael Teutul is still working at Orange County Choppers. Regardless of the many changes the business has gone through in the last couple of years, Michael’s work as a social media manager and spokesperson for the shop is well appreciated.
Besides his normal job, Mikey has also started several independent projects, such as an art gallery, the YouTube series “Bum Society” and other businesses but which unfortunately haven’t been as profitable as expected. Nonetheless, it seems that exploring his artistic talents has been the way to go for Mikey, successfully selling his artworks on his website Wolfgang Gallery, and in exhibitions throughout New York.
Regarding the personal side, Michael has never openly talked about his romantic life.
However, judging by the many Instagram pics of his nephews and friends on his account, it’s assumed that the family and social aspect of his life is better than ever.
What Happened To Orange County Choppers?
There’s actually a lot going on for Orange County Choppers as of late. In 2020, their original Montgomery garage was demolished for unknown reasons, leading them to move altogether to Pinellas Park in Florida, the new location meant to be a combination of the original shop and a chopper museum.
Though the move was unexpected by everyone, it answered the shop’s need to re-evaluate their business model, which had been deeply affected by the general public’s apparently diminished enthusiasm for choppers. As well, the COVID-19 contingency allegedly cut Orange County Choppers’ flow of international customers and retail, which had previously represented 75% of their business’ earnings.
— OrangeCountyChoppers (@OCChoppers) October 12, 2021
The OCC Roadhouse & Museum became a reality, following its opening in mid-2021 and it’s evident that very few things will be the same. For one, the new facility’s manager is Keith Overton, who’s not only Paul Sr’s friend, but also the one to convince him to move to Florida. As well, other details such as the name and logo were renewed.
All in all, it looks like Paul Sr is quite happy with the sense of freedom that the new location provides him, though only time will tell if this business move will play out well.
Does He Get Along With His Father?
Though Michael Teutul’s relationship with Paul Sr. wasn’t as bad if compared with the feud that his older brother Paul had with the family’s patriarch, any loyal “American Chopper” fan surely remembers that they didn’t get along quite well either.
As it seems, Michael’s role in Orange County Choppers as a manager was unpleasant for his father, who apparently wanted him to learn metal building instead of being stuck in the office, important as that might be. Staying mostly on the sidelines didn’t seem to bother Michael that much, but his apparent careless attitude added to his alcoholic tendencies didn’t sit well with his father, who fired him in 2009 after the argument of him not taking advantage of the chance to be successful in the business.
During the following years, Michael fortunately worked on himself, and besides overcoming his personal issues, patching up his relationship with his father resulted in him resuming his position in Orange County Choppers. However, in 2012 he stepped away from the show, affirming that he wanted ‘some peace of mind’, and to avoid ruining his newly-fixed relationship with his father. At the same time, he became an independent contractor for Discovery during the airings of “Senior vs Junior”.
Who Is Michael Teutul?
Also known as Mikey, Michael Teutul is the younger son of Paul Sr and Paula Teutul. Born in 1978 in New York City, at a young age Mikey was encouraged to take part in the family’s business Orange County Ironworks, just like his three older siblings.
That’s how 12-year-old Mikey came to work as his father’s shop’s errand boy until his high school matriculation, when he enrolled into community college, but without a positive outcome. After spending only a short time in University, Mikey returned to Orange County Ironworks to clean toilets, making barely enough money to move to Arizona.
Then in Tempe, and with no many means of living, Mikey’s first job was as a club bouncer, which he left as it apparently didn’t go well with his own night lifestyle. Afterwards, he had a stint as a busboy, which he changed in favor of selling cell phones, which also didn’t play out well.
Mikey was subsequently hired as a valet-parking employee, and in a movie-theater, so unsurprisingly after only six months in Arizona, Mikey returned home, but to take up another short-lived job as a carpenter, before finally rejoining the family business.
Debut and TV Career
After working for his father’s metal building business for years, Michael joined Orange County Choppers from its opening in 1999. That’s why it’s not surprising to see him in the earliest seasons of “American Chopper”, which clearly gave him the role of a comedic relief character from the start.
When it comes to chopper building, it’s made apparent that either Michael never had the chance to learn it, or simply wasn’t interested. Whatever it was, his lack of knowledge in the field relegated him to a humble position in the shop, where answered ‘phones and took out the trash for a while before becoming a manager.
Thanks to his brother Paul Jr, Mikey eventually attended exhibitions and other public events for the show, gaining the required experience which would serve him later as a public relations guy.
Although his skills with bikes were nothing special, “American Chopper”s fans saw him becoming involved in a handful of projects throughout the years. Although he never worked on these alone, it was still fantastic to see him in the spotlight from time to time.
As seen in “American Chopper”s first season, Michael’s first bike was the blues-themed “Mikey’s Bike”. The final result was a gorgeous chopper, painted with the image of music legends such as B.B. King and Tom Waits, but to get there Michael had a rough time dealing with his brother Paul’s lack of interest in the project. By utilizing all his management skills, Michael guided the Orange County Choppers’ staff into finishing it.
Mikey was also seen working with his father for the second season’s “Christmas Bike”, which despite not having a greatly intricate design, served its festive purpose in the end. Though the Orange County Choppers’ now-former workers Rick Petko and Mike Campo also worked on it, Sr and Mikey were evidently the project’s protagonists.
In a later episode of that season, Michael and Vincent DiMartino teamed up for the “Mikey/Vinnie Bike” while neither Paul Sr or Jr were in the shop. Though the chopper was gorgeous, and had a lovely painted memento of both men’s strong friendship, its several mechanical issues got in the way during its public premiere.
While Mikey’s projects in the show are not as many compared to his father’s or brother Paul’s, seeing him doing something different than his previous errand boy’s duties was always well appreciated by the audience.
Michael Teutul might not be deeply interested in choppers or in having his own garage, but seeing that business is in the family’s blood, it’s not surprising he gave entrepreneurship a try. That’s how in 2011 he partnered with the food brand FarQueue Products to produce a sauce line, although unfortunately the project wasn’t very successful.
It’s also less well known that art is Mikey’s big love. His likeness for painting and drawing started around 2012, when he was ‘aimlessly wondering’ what to do with his life after going to rehab for his alcoholic tendencies.
At first, art was his personal therapy, but ended up as his means to express his true self the best way possible. As Mikey described it, putting his ‘addictive behavior into something positive’ prevented him from returning to a negative path in life.
At some point his paintings stopped being just a simple hobby; wanting to reveal his works for the world to see, Mikey exhibited his artwork throughout New York, and even collaborated with the Graffiti Of War Project, founded by Doc and Melissa Parsons.
In 2013, he opened The Wolf Gang Gallery, though the location unfortunately closed only a year later. However, on the business’ website, many of his artworks as well as apparel were available for sale.
At this point, it’s usual for the Teutul family members to have some legal feud going on, and unfortunately, Michael is not the exception.
In 2019, Mikey was sued by the photographer Scott Gunnels for allegedly ripping off his work for commercial purposes. As it happens, Gunnels had taken professional photos of Mikey, which he copyrighted in 2013. Nonetheless, Mikey apparently posted the pictures without permission, and even used them to promote his gallery and merchandise for sale, without compensating Gunnels.
Although the lawsuit’s amount wasn’t publicly revealed, it also included Paul Sr’s business, Orange County Choppers.
Though the case is still ongoing, in mid-2020 a New York Court awarded Gunnels $258,484 in default judgment, after Michael and Sr failed to respond to the lawsuit. This is deeply unfortunate especially for Paul Sr, who had not only recently been sued for breach of contract, but had also already filed for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy back in 2018. How the pair managed to cover all of their Court costs and compensation payments is unknown, but their situation it’s a reminder of how to be more mindful while using other people’s work.
Did His Father And Brother Reconciliate?
Almost everyone knows what happened between Paul Sr and his oldest son Paul Jr back in 2008. The so-called ” chair-throwing scene” was in every headline when it happened in 2008, and to date is still a reference in pop culture, and even became an international meme.
However, as entertaining as it was from the outside, it’s known that the incident was the start of a long road filled with lawsuits and terribly broken family ties. It wasn’t only the relationship between Sr and Jr which was affected, but Michael and his two other siblings were affected by it too.
Though it’s said that time heals everything, what mended the situation between Mikey’s father and brother was talking through it, in addition to the very necessary mutual agreement of respecting each other’s space, and right to creativity. Of course, this process was made easier by the fact that Paul Jr no longer works in his father’s business, but it was still a hard job.
Nowadays, Paul Sr and Jr are on such very good terms that they even appeared in the “American Chopper”s special “The Last Ride” aired in 2020. In it, father and son worked alongside each other in building a bike for the first time in 10 years.
What Happened To “American Chopper”?
Everyone who has followed “American Chopper” knows that the show hasn’t had the most stable of airings, so to speak. Its longest uninterrupted TV time was from 2003 to 2009, when it was cancelled after Paul Jr and Sr’s argument.
Later the spin-off – “Senior vs Junior”- ran for two years until its cancellation in 2012. The next spin-off, “Orange County Choppers” premiered the following year, but ran for only one season. Some other special episodes aired afterwards, until “American Chopper” original concept was revived in 2018. However, although that show wasn’t officially cancelled, no new episodes have appeared since 2019.
Now that Orange County Choppers has moved to Florida, everyone’s curious about the series’ future. Although some media outlets have reported that new episodes are being filmed in the new location, no official statement has been released yet.
Will “American Chopper” return to TV? The possibility is high, but for now we can only wait for the best.