January 12, 2005 Mike Seate, author of the book "Choppers: Heavy Metal Art" describes choppers as "1,000 watt ghetto blasters for white people.'' For the last fifty years the art and science of chopping bikes has had a cult following, and an even smaller participation rate. But an unlikely alliance of testosterone, science and art in a reality TV show has seen the cult reach the mainstream audience and business is booming.
The film EasyRider struck a chord with many, and helped make the chopper culture become more mainstream, but the industry has never before seen pin-up boys of the ilk of the Paul, Paul and Mikey Teutel.
The boys from Orange County Choppers are the subject of an unlikely hit via Discovery Channel's American Chopper, a reality TV show based in the workshop of Orange County Choppers. Discovery Channel reaches 90 million American households each week, and the show has been a runaway success, driving merchandise sales, enabling chop shops around the country to boom and bestowing celebrity status on the family.
With healthy ratings and a devoted audience, the Teutels now have a profile several orders of magnitude greater than before the show and are in high demand.
There are already books, videos, beanies, jewellery, sweets, pyjamas, clothing, die-cast scale models, belts, wallets, sunglasses and baby clothes bearing the Orange County Chopper logos.
In the last fortnight alone, the company has twice hit the headlines, once for building a chopper for automotive manufacturer Lincoln "inspired by the all-new 2006 Lincoln Mark LT luxury truck" and also for announcing extensions to the company's merchandising lines.
The Fragrance known as FULL THROTTLE
The new addition to the range is a mens fragrance, to be called Full Throttle and it's distinctly male. The fragrance was developed for Orange County Choppers (OCC) by Michael Malcom who has previously developed fragrances for rodeo stars Ty Murray and Charmayne James and is currently working on a fragrance collection for the Professional Bullriders Association that will be called 8 Seconds.
Full Throttle apparently mixes the fragrances of anise, mint, black licorice, white pepper with hints of suede and cashmere. The Mark LT Chopper
The relationship between Lincoln and OCC is part of the auto company's development of its range, and the use of the Teutels, who build motorcycles in the US$100,000 price range, is designed to highlight the luxury features of the Mark LT to an audience with similar no-nonsense values.
The teutels were asked to build a chopper that captured the essence of the Lincoln on two wheels.
Discovery Channel's "American Chopper" Lincoln Bike episodes will take viewers behind the scenes of the design and development of this one-of-a-kind Mark LT chopper in February.
Paul Teutul, Jr., -a.k.a. Junior or Paulie, led the creative development for the bike. With sheet metal in his blood from the age of 12 on, he spent his summers at his father's steel business learning all the skills of fabrication that he would later use building motorcycles. In 1999, Paul Sr. recognized his son's design and fabrication talent, and with his blessing, Junior left the rail shop to help establish Orange County Choppers as a business.
That year, the father-and-son team debuted their bikes at Daytona Biketoberfest with overwhelming support from bike lovers, and they never looked back. With Paul Jr., as the chief designer and fabricator, and Paul Sr. lending his considerable business talents OCC has been unstoppable. The hit show "America Chopper" allows viewers to see this real-life dynamic duo in action on the Discovery Channel.
The Mark LT Truck
The Lincoln Mark LT is designed for customers who want equal amounts of luxury and capability. It has indisputable truck credentials with outstanding payload and towing capacity and adds an additional level of style and sophistication beyond high-end pickup trucks on the road today. The Mark LT offers four full doors, front captain's chairs and a full rear seat, all providing ample comfort for five adults.
Mark LTs exterior features a theme of chrome accents, asserting the vehicle's status and enhancing its appearance. Its dominant signature waterfall grille, wide taillamps and thick-spoked wheels give it an unmistakable family resemblance to today's Lincoln line-up. The Lincoln Mark LT uses contemporary finishes and warm colors that result in an environment that is both inviting and stimulating. The Mark LT delivers, with a standard 5.4-liter, 3-valve Triton V-8 engine that produces 300 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 365 foot-pounds of torque at 3,750 rpm.