American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior: Muscle Car Special

26 Mar

March 26, 2012

Regular readers of The American Chopper Weekly Rundown know that if they show a special or a clip show I take the night off. But have no fear, The New York Daily News checked in with this great review of tonight’s show.

‘American Chopper’ goes to cars for one night as Paul Teutul Jr. hits another gear

Customizer hopes to widen show’s appeal by expanding his repertoire


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Fans of Discovery’s “American Chopper” tuning in Monday night will see something totally different.

For the first time ever, the show will focus totally on Paul Teutul Jr. And instead of he and his team building a custom motorcycle, they’ll customize a car.

“I think people love the idea of a car,” Teutul says. “Change is a little hard for people. It really just is the beginning.”

He had been toying with the idea of working on cars as part of his regular design business, he says. But the concept took off when Trans American Muscle, a Florida car customizer, called to ask him to build a motorcycle for the shop.

“I said, ‘We’ll do a car, we’ve got to change this up,’ ” he says. “And that’s what we did.”

So Monday’s hour will focus on the Paul Jr. Designs team going to Florida, customizing the car, and unveiling the creation.

The car episode is an effort to push Teutul’s business as well as add a new twist to the “American Chopper” franchise.

Now in its eighth season, “American Chopper” has had some struggles, starting with the series stars, the Teutuls.

The show launched in 2003 and followed Paul Teutul Sr. and his sons Paul Jr. and Mickey. The series took off and for a while was one of the hottest on cable TV. But there was family infighting, the two Pauls split, and the show was canceled in February 2010. In July of that year, it returned as a battle between the two Pauls, where it stands now, averaging 1.87 million viewers an episode.

The car episode, Teutel says, is the next step in the future for both his business and the show.

“We’re looking to open up the opportunities out there,” he says. “We want people to know we’re not limited to anything.”

The series looks at how the Paul Jr. Design team customizes a black Chevy Camaro over the course of a two-week period. The plan, he says, is for Trans American Muscle to duplicate the design he created on only 77 of its cars, which sell for upward of $84,500 apiece.

Though it’s not been discussed, Teutel says he’d love to have his own solo show.

“The way it stands now, you’ve got to keep moving forward creatively,” he says. “From our side, the show’s split. We’re going to really push the the envelope of design innovation. I think you’ll see things develop with us, way outside the box. We’ll keep doing motorcycles, and some real creative stuff.”

That said, working on cars can widen the appeal of the show. Custom choppers are good, but not everyone can relate to them, he concedes.

“A 16-year-old girl may not see herself on one of our stretched-out choppers,” Teutel says. “But she could get right in our car and drive it.”

That, he hopes, will bring viewers to Monday’s show.

“The ratings always have a lot to do with how things move forward,” he says. “It’s at least going to showcase us, and see if we can carry a rating as a stand-alone.”

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