Does OC Choppers still exist? Who owns the company?

June 24, 2024
5 mins read

The iconic custom motorcycle manufacturer Orange County Choppers, or OCC for short, has had a timeline as storied and dramatic as the builds it’s created. Perhaps more infamous than popular, the business stood out through the reality television series “American Chopper” on the Discovery Channel. The show, which chronicled the lives of the Teutul family and the operations of their booming bike-building business, became a cultural phenomenon, and brought the world of custom choppers into the living rooms of millions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZlOdIeWj7s

Their story is as much about the relationship between the founders, Paul Teutul Sr. and his son Paul Jr., as the bikes. Their dynamic was often marred by heated disagreements, serving as a central theme of the reality TV series and even sprouting one of the most popular memes in internet history. The father-son duo’s clashes were not just for the cameras – they reflected real tensions that eventually boiled over to cause a significant split in the company.

The friction between the Pauls was rooted in their differing visions for OCC – Sr. was a hard-nosed businessman with a clear idea of what he wanted OCC to be, but Jr. on the other hand, was a creative spirit, a designer who often butted heads with his father over various aspects of the business.

Advertisement

The animosity reached critical mass in 2008, when Jr. was late for work, which caused another argument. While the standoff was nothing out of the ordinary by that time, the mutual rage had apparently reached a new dimension, causing Sr. to fire his son from OCC. Most fans looked at this as the business’ breaking point, seeing as the show had been running for six years, actually thanks to their volatile chemistry and explosive end results.

It made all the sense that neither the show nor OCC itself would survive past the sixth season unless the Pauls made up, but their pride and rancor were apparently too great to allow it. Jr. started his own three-letter-abbreviated business by the name of Paul Jr. Designs, or PJD, while Sr. continued running OCC and tried his best to capitalize on the idea that his shop operated at maximum efficiency without Jr., promising even greater builds in record time.


This somewhat failed to materialize however, and to make matters worse, Discovery Channel started working with PJD in the seventh season and managed to retain viewership by pitting father against son for some of the most iconic builds ever suggested. The show ran consecutively only until the end of season nine in 2012, but reappeared for two more in 2017 and 2018, by which time things had become rather grim for OCC.

Paul Sr. faced significant financial challenges running his business, as the earnings from “American Chopper” fizzled out, so by 2011 resorting to leasing only two thirds of his business facilities from the owner of the property. His eventual solution was to relocate from New York to Pinellas Park, Florida in 2020, where OCC Road House & Museum would be established. Even though it has a motorcycle manufacturing shop, this multifaceted facility aimed to expand the OCC brand beyond their original expertise, incorporating a museum, restaurant, billiard hall and concert pavilion.

Advertisement

The museum area prominently features what OCC’s reputation was built on the back of – their unique and bold motorcycle designs, each one a monument to the creativity and craftsmanship of the team, of which Jr. was notably a part for most of the prominent builds. The company’s bikes became known for their distinctive style, often featuring outlandish themes and intricate details that captured the imagination of bike enthusiasts around the globe.

OCC remains in business today, although the core motorcycle-building business experienced significant difficulties in March 2020. The retail merchandising arm of the company has continued, suggesting that the OCC brand remains active, even if the scale of operations has changed over time. Their website no longer offers custom choppers, but instead glorifies the ones they created in the past. The main focus of what they offer is apparently the restaurant, with its diverse food and beverage prominently plastered all over the landing screen of OCC’s home page.


Some would argue that what pushed them to new lengths was that Sr. was still competing with his son, and fighting the ghosts that remained in their heads after the split. For example, PJD relocated to New York State only a year before Sr. had to abandon it, which must’ve been a very bitter pill to swallow. Perhaps even worse is the fact that PJD has done extremely well in the business since its inception, having been chosen by the video game giant Blizzard to create choppers for World of Warcraft, among many other high-profile projects. At the end of the day, maybe it’s for the better that their paths diverged, allowing them to utilize the full extent of their craftsmanship to best a worthy competitor and thereby growing immensely.

As for OCC ownership, Sr. is still the founder who holds all the reins, but the responsibility for the success of the business is distributed across two more beside him. A woman by the name of Joan Kay is the company’s CEO, who according to their website, grew a multi-million-dollar business through a revenue cycle management company, but eventually abandoned it all for OCC. The depth of her intimacy with Sr. has also been brought into question, seeing as they enjoy several side-activities in their spare time, such as caring for rescued animals ranging from cats to horses.


The COO is Jim Kerr, an E7 from the US Air Force, who has stuck with the brand for over 10 years, having ultimately even learned to create his own builds. Some have called him the younger and more disciplined version of Sr., as they partake in similar extracurriculars and boast a very enviable work ethic. In conclusion, the father Teutul’s formula of surrounding himself with like-minded people to ensure idea alignment across the board looks to have paid off, with the company facing no financial issues to speak of since 2020.

The legacy of OCC is not just in the motorcycles they’ve built, but also in the impact they’ve had on motorcycle culture. They’ve inspired countless builders and riders to pursue their own custom dreams, and the brand has become synonymous with the American chopper style. Their influence extends beyond the garage, with a range of merchandise and a presence in the media that continues to promote the OCC name.

Finally, while definitely not too big to fail, a brand like OCC is much more than just a manufacturer – they are flag-bearers of a style that values individuality and craftsmanship. The company’s enduring appeal among chopper enthusiasts comprises Sr.’s core values – strength and power on the open road with every new design. Whether OCC continues to exist in its current form or evolves into something new, its contribution to motorcycle culture will remain a significant chapter in the history of American motorcycling, though they look to be just fine for now.

Daniel Wanburg

As the Managing Editor at Net Worth Post, I lead a talented team in delivering compelling content on the lives and achievements of influential figures. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I oversee the production of insightful biographies that resonate with our audience. My role involves not only managing the editorial process but also conducting research, crafting engaging narratives, and ensuring the accuracy and quality of our publications.

At NetWorthPost, we strive to provide our readers with in-depth profiles that offer valuable insights into the worlds of business, entertainment, and beyond. Through meticulous research and captivating storytelling, we bring to light the remarkable journeys and successes of individuals who inspire and captivate us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

Where are the last 10 “AGT” winners now? How are they doing?

Next Story

Jesse James’ Life: worked as a bodyguard, received a $271,000 fine for illegal bikes, refused to paint any bike in yellow

Don't Miss