11: Jesse James – Motorcycle Mania, Monster Garage
James has been on a rollercoaster ride over the past 20 years. He got his start on-screen with the documentary Motorcycle Mania. He made his way to becoming a household name. James left the hustle and bustle of the L.A. scene and made a new life in Austin, Texas, where he currently resides. He’s the owner of the Austin Speed Shop which specializes in custom-designed hot rods and motorcycles.
On top of being a world-renowned fabricator, James has also gotten into the arms business. As the owner of Jesse James Firearms, he designs handguns as well. He’s also scheduled to return to Discovery Channel in an all-new season of “Monster Garage” 14 years later. James’ new ventures just go to show that a talented business person can always adapt.
Teutul Jr. was instrumental in growing the New York-based Orange County Choppers to extraordinary heights. It’s no mystery that Jr. and his dad Paul Sr. would fight a lot on the set of the TV show and eventually went their separate ways. Teutul has been out of the limelight in recent years and has been focusing on his personal custom bike design business. Paul Jr. Designs is based out of New York and he focuses on consulting work for choppers.
Teutul Jr. is one of the most well-respected custom fabricators in the world. This is large because of his eye for design and the stellar bikes he built on ‘American Chopper.’ It will be interesting to see what Teutul does in the coming future.
Leno wasn’t always in the spotlight of the automotive industry. He made his fame as one of the top comedians on screen. But thanks to a lifelong love affair with cars, Leno has become one of the most well-known faces in the auto world as well. Recently the comedian has been focused on his ‘Jay Leno’s Garage’ show. The popular web show has gained more viewers than ever before. Leno has also managed to expand on his hosting resume by appearing as a guest host on ‘Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.’
When it comes to being able to pivot his career from comedy to cars, Leno has been able to do it better than anyone else. The comedian and TV star have a passion for cars both classic and new that most people don’t generally share with the world.
Few people have a car collection that can match wrestling megastar Bill Goldberg’s. The professional wrestler has everything from a Boss 302 Mustang to the Judge. In recent years, Goldberg has gotten back into the squared circle and made a successful title run. When the professional wrestler isn’t making people squeal in the ring, he is participating in NHRA drag racing. Goldberg and his wife both share a love for cars that runs deep.
In addition to his hosting duties on multiple automotive TV shows, Goldberg also recently restored a Mercury pickup truck. With these interesting and unique vehicles, it will be amazing to see what Goldberg does in the car world in the future.
At its height, the Speed Channel was a popular destination for automotive enthusiasts. “Unique Whips” was a pioneering reality show that centered around a custom shop. Castro was the owner of Unique Autosports out of New York. The company was known for creating customized vehicles for celebrity clientele that included NBA players and more. Nowadays Will has taken a back seat to reality TV life, although his business is still thriving.
In 2020, Castro filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and many thought that his iconic run was over. However, he later released a novel titled “Unique Hustle” and continues to customize cars for clients such as DJ Khaled and more.
Another well-known face from the storied run of ‘Unique Whips’ is Keith “Reme” Rowland. After the show took a nosedive and went off of the air so did Reme. But don’t fret, because Rowland went on to start his automotive shop in New York. These days Reme is a regular in the auto show circuit such as the Sema show and more. His work can still be seen in various automotive publications. Rowland still specializes in total overhauls.
Interior fabrication is still Reme’s specialty and you can check out various YouTube videos where he illustrates how to do it. Few fabricators have managed to achieve the level of notoriety that Reme has been able to in this short amount of time.
Even after Paul Jr. hit the road, Sr. managed to keep the shop growing and the TV show ‘American Chopper’ on the air. He did a biker build-off against Jesse James on the Discovery Channel and has spent the recent years rebuilding his image. Teutul recently appeared in a commercial for an Arkansas Lawfirm and he spends the majority of his time on his ranch. American Chopper was a very profitable venture for the Teutuls. He also still owns an ironworks business.
There aren’t a lot of businessmen who could make it through all of the trials and tribulations that Teutul Sr. managed to. In the world of custom motorcycles, his creations are still among the best in the industry.
Mikey, as he was affectionately called on the show was never involved in the day-to-day operations with his family. But he has parlayed his involvement into some very successful business ventures. The first of which was his comic book series which has done very well.
Michael Teutul always had a knack for art and even designed his very own motorcycle in an episode of ‘American Chopper.’ Interestingly enough, Teutul also became the product manager of FarQueue Products LLC. Specializing in unique pasta sauces and more, cooking was always had a special place in the heart of the young Teutul.
Here we have another ‘American Chopper’ cast member who has managed to do quite well for himself. Vinny was one of the first to leave the staff during the show and he went on to his ventures. Originally starting a motorcycle shop with Cody who was also on the show. That partnership went sideways but Vinny still has a shop in Rock Tavern.
DiMartino Motorsports specializes in several unique offerings but the company centers around custom motorcycles. Vinny always managed to add a special touch to his bikes and they aren’t something you’ll find too often.
Perhaps no bike builder has had as tough of a run as Billy Lane did. He started with much fanfare and popularity only to be involved in a vehicular manslaughter case in 2006. The popular bike builder managed to build a custom bike for the U.S. military in 2014 during his incarceration. A lot of motorcycle fans have wondered what lane is up to these days. Recently, the chopper builder has relocated to Florida.
Lane is in the process of reopening his shop and looks to be still heavily involved in the bike scene. With a can-do personality and a winning spirit, Lane will undoubtedly continue to be a fixture in the custom chopper community for years to come.
“Diesel Dave,” as he’s called, is one of the most popular diesel truck builders in the country. His work was featured on the hit TV show ‘The Diesel Brothers’ alongside Dave Kiley. After the show was canceled, the two quietly moved on to other ventures. Most recently Sparks authored a line of custom diesel truck accessories. He was also part of a diesel truck giveaway with the Ford motor company and continues to be a fixture at automotive shows.
Throughout his success, he has always managed to give back in some sort of way. His company Diesel Power Gear offers a wide range of diesel truck parts to increase performance. So without being on reality TV anymore, Sparks manages to continue his legacy.