A wild meeting of men, machismo and machine
American Chopper IV 7.30pm, Discovery
‘‘ I WANT it real long, low and nasty,’’ Paul ‘‘ Paulie’’ Teutul instructs his industrial designer Jason as they pore over a sketch. Paulie is talkin’ a seriously hotted- up hog, dude; the fiercest two- wheeler you ever did see. An ear- splittin’ thunderous roar, bro, not the metrosexual purr of a Vespa or 125cc. Think machismo, not macchiato.
At the custom bike- building factory of OCC ( Orange County Chopper) the Teutul boys ( that’s the heavily muscled, tattooed Paul Sr and his sons Paul Jr, Michael and Danny) are about to build one of their sleekest, fiercest bikes, to be unveiled at the Maxim Super Bowl party.
We’ve already seen them build superhero bikes for the Batman and Spider- Man movies, warrior bikes for corporates with too much money and, most movingly, for a ceremony to honour the firefighters who lost their lives in the September 11 attacks.
Depending on your taste, the Teutul bikes are either absurdly over the top or masterpieces of design and engineering.
You only have to check out the photo above to recognise that the American Chopper boys are in touch with their inner caveman. In tonight’s episode, Paul Sr chews out Paulie, and growls at his graphic designer, threatening to punch his face in. It’s all ratcheted up for the sake of the cameras, of course, but when Paul and his sons squabble over deadlines and designs and hurl insults at each another, you know they’re battling, like other fathers and sons across the planet, over independence and control. It’s just this mob is a little more testosterone- tarred than most.
Ever since a leather- clad Marlon Brando filled the screen in The Wild One in 1953, motorcycles have come to symbolise wind- in- the- hair freedom and chest- beating virility. So don’t expect to see a Queer Eye for the Motorcycle Guy any time soon.
American Chopper is part of a new wave of car- and- bike makeover shows that includes Top Gear , Monster Garage and Pimp My Ride .
But it’s not all super- sized road power and unreconstructed masculinity. Tonight, grease monkey Vinnie gets a back wax and foot massage.
‘‘ It’s just a dumb bike, man,’’ designer Jason sighs at one point in tonight’s show. But he’s not down for long. Not when you’re living to ride.
The whole hog: Orange County Choppers’ Paul Teutul Jr and Paul Teutul Sr of American Chopper