American Chopper March 12 “The Call”

This week on American Chopper Sr. finishes two bikes for a trucker and Jr. builds a bike for babies.

The episode starts off when Jr. and family travel to Michigan to visit Lamar Construction Company. According to their website, Lamar Construction Company is a nationwide building contractor offering steel and precast concrete erection (he he). They've been around since 1938 and have had a good couple years recently, so Lamar wants to do a bike to raise money and awareness for March of Dimes. Interestingly March of Dimes was also founded in 1938 and is headquartered in White Plains, NY. Why didn't Jr. use this great co-branding opportunity like Ford and Harley-Davidson (both founded in 1903)? President Franklin D. Roosevelt founded the March of Dimes to combat polio, but the mission has shifted to improve the health of mothers and babies.

To research his bike design, Jr. visits Sparrow hospital in Lansing, Michigan, to learn more about March of Dimes and meet with two parents of babies the organization has helped. Dawson was born 15 weeks premature at less than 2 pounds and a foot long. He's a little bit bigger now and didn't seem to like being on TV. He escaped past Vinnie to run wild around the pediatrics ward.

Back at OCC they're finishing work on the John Christner Trucking bikes. The old school bobber with Mexican style pinstripes is complemented by a "new-school" pro-street style that looks like a stealth bomber. If these bikes will be ridden by truckers, I really hope they include satellite radio, CB radios, air brakes, and running lights.

Rick and Mike finish up the exhaust like a pair of traditional blacksmiths using heat and a hammer to bend the metal into shape. Sr. decides to use a retro style Tin Type Primary from Baker Drivetrain. Bert Baker himself makes an appearance on the show to help with the install and challenge Sr. to an arm wrestling match. Seems like this is the Michigan episode because Baker Drivetrain is also located in Lansing, Michigan.

Finally, we get to the meaning behind this week's title. Paul Jr. decides to break the silence two months after Sr.'s mom's wake with a call to his dad. At the time he had his reasons for not calling, but Rachel wisely convinces him to do whatever he thought he should. It's his Call of Duty. . .Modern Warfare 4? An unexpected twist, but I thought it was annoying the show saved Sr.'s reaction until the very end.

Back in Montgomery, New York, it's time for Mikey's final weigh in with the mayor for the leukemia fund raiser. For the record I called it last week when I said he should shave his beard, which he did right before jumping on the scale. At final weigh in Mayor Steve Brescia lost 28 lbs. going from 222 to 194 lbs. and Mikey lost 13 lbs. going from 350 to 337 lbs. But what happened to Captain Carlos Slim from last week? Did Mikey eat him? All told Mikey raised $4,300.

When finishing up the bobber, OCC adds a split tank that holds a couple gallons of gas because this bike is actually meant to be ridden. Sr. then reminisces and laughs about Jessie James' comment to Jr. during the biker build off about a bike with a 1 gallon tank that can only go about 20 miles between fueling. I'm still laughing that Sr. didn't even build a bike. How many miles will that snow machine do?

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, at John Christner Trucking's 25th anniversary party, Rick (Free Rick!) and Skeeter Todd are there for the unveil because Sr. is still off doing the Celebrity Apprentice. The bikes are a surprise for John from his son Danny.

Speaking of father son relationships, Sr. finally listens to Jr.'s voicemail and gets choked up. Looks like next week Sr. is going to follow through on his idea to show up at Jr.'s house and knock on the door. I can't wait to find out how that plays out.