Few shows capture the early 2000s reality TV vibe as well as American Chopper. It was everything you wanted in a reality show — cool bikes, larger-than-life characters, and just the right amount of drama (but nothing too melodramatic). The show initially ran from 2002 to 2010, but spinoffs and specials have kept Senior and Junior on the air for most of the past two decades.
True OG fans will remember Vinnie DiMartino, who appeared on American Chopper until 2007 when he simultaneously left Orange County Choppers and the show. In the 13 years since, Vinnie has certainly kept busy. Here’s what he’s been up to since walking out of Orange County Choppers for the last time.
What happened to Vinnie from ‘American Chopper’?
Vinnie first joined the OCC team before American Chopper was officially a show. He had been high school friends with Paul Teutul Jr., so it was a pretty natural move for him to start working there in 2002. A month into his employment, he found out that he was also going to be on the reality TV show. He worked for the company for five years before finally deciding to move on.
Vinnie packed up his work station while filming an episode of American Chopper. Speaking to the camera, he expressed that he had been frustrated with the frenetic pace of the work, as well as the limited opportunities for growth within the company, and ultimately decided to put in his notice.
“I’ve been doing this for five years,” he said. “Build after build, deadline after deadline, and here I am — still in the same place. I think it’s just best for my whole family if we just get out and do a move.”
OCC founder Paul Teutul Sr. didn’t spend too much time mourning Vinnie’s departure. “I’ve been in business for 30-plus years and I’ve seen some good people come and go, and everybody’s replaceable,” he said. Kinda harsh!
Vinnie went on to start his own bike-building company called V-Force Customs. After a few months, Cody Connelly (his former OCC coworker), joined him at his new company. Several years later, Vinnie rejoined the American Chopper gang on the spinoff show Senior vs. Junior, this time working for Paul Teutul Jr. As part of the agreement to appear on the show, Vinnie insisted on being able to wear hats and shirts with the V-Force logo so no one would think his separate business had flopped.
In 2013, Vinnie revealed that V-Force Customs had been renamed to DiMartino Motorsport Automotive, his company that he still runs to this day. It seems as though Vinnie has moved away from fabricating custom bikes and toward automotive service and repairs.
And, of course, Vinnie is still quite the family man. Judging by his Instagram feed, he and his wife Melissa spend a lot of time with their four kids: Vanessa, twins Isabella and Ava, and Vincent. Even though we miss seeing Vinnie on our TV screens, we wish him and his family the best!
Don’t miss the all-new two-hour American Chopper special airing Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 9 p.m. EST on Discovery. You can also catch up on old episodes of the show on Discovery Go.