Even after 15 years of whirlwind fame and clients like Bill Murray and Russell Crowe, Paul Teutul Jr, along with his wife and young son still live in the same New York town he grew up in. “This is where I grew up,” he says, “This is home.”
From Orange County Choppers to American Choppers to his own, thriving custom shop, Paul Jr Designs (PJD), Paul Jr made waves in the auto industry with his unconventional design methods and one-of-a-kind creations.
The oldest of four, Paul Teutul Jr was born and raised in the small New York suburb very near the current location of PJD, which is located in Rock Tavern, New York. At age 12, he began working in his father’s steel business as an apprentice and quickly found he possessed a talent for metal work. The apprenticeship turned into full-time job, which then turned into a wildly popular television series, and finally his own thriving motorcycle customization business.
What might be more impressive than his designs is the way Paul Jr works. “I build out of my head. No drawings,” he stated in an interview. Everything, from conceptualization to fabrication to production is completely within the confines of Paul Jr’s imagination.
With an endless client list that includes the likes of Billy Murray. Russell Crowe, Microsoft, Cadillac and most recently, Michael Bay of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, Paul Jr’s talent and notoriety reaches the top of the chain. His history creating bikes for corporations, charities, franchises and individuals alike attests to his ability to garner his clients’ trust and create exactly what they’re looking for.
“I try to create themed bikes that tell the stories of my clients or their companies.” One example is a custom motorcycle he created for a medical testing equipment company. The company used the bike for marketing and brought it to their trade shows. The bike won the company many marketing achievement awards for their “outside the box” marketing approach.
Another example is the bike he built for Bill Murray, which was inspired and created in the image of Caddy Shack. “That one was so fun,” Paul Jr recalls. He notes the bike he built for Bill Murray was one of his favorite projects.
His most recent creation will appear in the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:Out of the Shadows,” which is scheduled to appear in theaters this summer. Michael Bay and the TMNT production company reached out to Paul Jr to create one bike originally. They also wanted Paul Jr to come up with drawings before executing the project, which is something he’s never done before. Instead, Paul Jr convinced Bay and his team to trust his process. “They never do anything without drawings,” he talks of the exchange, “but they trusted me and my process.”
When Paul Jr unveiled the bike he created, Bay liked it so much he asked for a second bike. Both bikes will appear in the new movie and if you look closely, you might find a familiar face in the movie as well.
More than anything, Paul Jr loves nothing more than building bikes his clients will love. Famous or not, he puts the same amount of creativity and dedication into each creation. “I want people to know they don’t have to be famous to have me create something for them. I love working on a project no matter who it’s for.” And there you have it. Paul Jr wants to create your next bike. To learn more about Paul Jr and his company, PJD, check out his website or call (888) 379-6877.