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The Ride of a Lifetime: Doing Business the Orange County Choppers Way Hardcover – March 9, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Tough, smart business advice on what it takes to run a successful business–from the star of the hit TLC show American Chopper

You could hardly blame someone for being intimidated if they ran into big Paul Teutul in a dark alley. Massive and mustachioed, frequently scowling, and decked out in a sleeveless tee with tattooed biceps bulging, he strikes an imposing figure. But as the millions of people who follow his family business on TLC's popular show American Chopper know, Paul Sr. is not only a nice guy, but a great businessman as well.

Since founding Orange County Choppers in Upstate New York in 1999, Teutul has grown the business from a hobby into a 70-person-plus operation that produces and sells 150 custom bikes a year at retail prices starting at $30,000 and quickly escalating to six figures. Teutul and his team not only sell their choppers from their world headquarters in Newburgh, New York, but throughout a multicountry dealership network in the US and abroad. Paul and his sons build the best one-of-a-kind choppers in the world with unrivaled passion, creativity, and honesty.

In The Ride of a Lifetime, Teutul elucidates the business principles that have made Orange County Choppers a household name. His smart, commonsense business wisdom works for businesses both big and small in any industry. Here, readers will learn firsthand how Teutul built a uniquely successful business by working hard and demanding it from others; encouraging and embracing unfettered creativity; establishing well-defined roles for every team member and demanding they support each other; and using honest conflict and confrontation to solve problems and constantly innovate. The Ride of a Lifetime is a smart, tough-as-nails guide to business success that every entrepreneur should read.

Paul Teutul, Sr (Montgomery, NY), is the founder of Orange County Choppers, one of the world's premier builders of custom motorcycles. He formerly ran a family-owned steel fabrication shop before he began building custom bikes as a hobby, eventually founding Orange County Choppers in 1999. Since 2002, he and his business have been the subject of the hit TLC show American Chopper.

Amazon Exclusive: Photos and Commentary from Paul Teutul

Triumph Flames Bike - This bike, called Triumph Flames, is a classic example of an old school bobber. This bike was inspired by the first bike that I ever owned, a 1971 Triumph, which is still in my garage today.

Pitchfork Bike - The Pitchfork bike is another classic ‘60s-style chopper with extended forks and elongated frame. I love the sissy bar on this, and how it contrasts with the simple, straight exhaust pipes. A great retro bike.

Orange Bobber Bike - The Orange Bobber is another bike in my Old School Series. The bike is true to the 1950s style bike. I built it with Rick for an exhibit at Sturgis Bike Week in 2006.

Greenie Bike - The Greenie is part of my Sr. Old School series. The green gas tank, spring seat, along with the straight up handlebars are classic old school.

Sunshine Bike - Sunshine was my first Harley, it’s a 1974 FX Superglide. It’s called Sunshine because of the sunny paint job. I changed this bike a dozen times over the years, but to this day, it’s still my favorite. Incidentally, I have a tattoo of the sun featured on the gas tank.

Review

"The Ride of a Lifetime is a smart, tough-as-nails guide to business success that every entrepreneur should read." (International Lifestyle Magazine, 2009)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (March 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470449977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470449974
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,092,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I first learned about Paul Teutel, his family, and his business several years ago through my son's fascination with everything motorized and "cool." We wached the reality TV series "American Chopper" together. My son liked the bikes and the characters, and I liked the characters and the bikes (some a lot more than others).

For the uininitiated, Orange County Choppers is a behemoth of a brand built by a unique man who has worked for himself almost his entire adult life. In fact, his biography is so fascinating that I found myself wishing to read more about him and his family; I had to remind myself that this book is a business philosophy book, not a biography.

Mr. Teutel credits his mega-success to relentless hard work and a passion for perfection. Most of his business principles are as well-known and as they are difficult to live by daily. Surround yourself with good people and reward them well, treat everyone with integrity, and embrace change while adhering to core values. The book is peppered with vignettes fo business decisions made, partners acquired and replaced, and descriptions fo situatinos that illustrate the points well. The book also includes a set of glossy photos of Teutel history and motorcycles.

Teutel posits that "everyone" expecte dhim to end up dead or in jail from an early age. His childhood in a very dysfunctional family included an addiction to alcohol and drugs at the age of 15 than lasted 20 years. His father and grandfather demanded relentless labor from young Paul. His father demanded, and Teutel paid, rent to his family during his adolescence. Merchant marine boot camp (at age 18) gave him his first opportunity to set a goal and achieve it.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Gary John on September 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book in great anticipation hoping to learn more about the success of this "family" business. This book is no more than a basic high school business study. There is no magic revelation as to the real reason this "family" business succeeded. The book makes NO mention of the relationship he has with the Discovery Channel and now TLC. Had it not been for the TV series I doubt most of us would know anything about OCC. He makes maybe a 3 paragraph mention of each Paulie and Mickey and gave no credit to either one for the success of OCC. Those two added personality to the show and the business and it now appears they are expendable. This man takes full credit for his masterful business plan and business acumen. He saw the bright white guiding light after he sobered up which he makes mention of in the book. But dumb luck played a major role for OCC success and again had it not been for the TV shows I am sure he would still be in his garage. I would have liked to have know how Discovery and OCC got together. I want to know what happened to Vince, Nubs and others. I am especially not happy with how little (if any) credit he gave to Pauli who is a class A fabricator and built some of most creative choppers in the world. About half way into this stupid book I really wanted to just can it. But I had the flu and nothing else to do but suffer through it. But I did leave it in the hotel trash bin. Don't waste your money on this self centered self proclaimed business expert. He did not write this, he can't even speak a complete sentence.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By E. Stivers on July 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Glad I checked this out at the library instead of buying...not a book I would care to have in my collection...I like the show and the family but I was happy when I finished this book...it was all about how great Senior thinks he is...yes he has done well and overcome many obstacles but he owes a great deal more to Junior than he is willing to admit...seems like the show and Seniors relationship with Junior and Mikey are taking a turn south...sad.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Frank Forrest on May 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For any OCC fan that has followed the exploits of the Teutel clan, it was pretty obvious that the friction between Paul Senior and Paul Junior would finally come to a head with both parties coming out more damaged than they could have possibly guessed. Paul Senior's book is an attempt to revise the Teutel family business history and put him in a place where he evidently always wanted to be--the guy totally in charge.

The book is written to help other business people in achieving their goals of success with Teutel's many anecdotes, personal philosophy, and honesty in talking about his personal demons while growing up. But the book doesn't ring true when it comes to the success of OCC as he tries to take credit for everything that made OCC a success. His obvious agenda is to rewrite history and take all the glory for himself, while marginalizing the contributions of his son, Paul Jr.

Paul Senior didn't mean this book to be a personal insight into his character, but that's what you get when you finish reading his book. You can't help but feel sorry for the man that had everything but couldn't share his fame and success with anyone else.

The book is an exercise in bragging, but more than this, it shows who Paul Senior really is and has little to do with business philosophy as much it is about what makes this man tick.
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