American Chopper May 21 "Change of Heart Part 1 and 2": Season Finale

On the final two weeks of American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior Season Three, OCC is asked to build an Italian sports car-themed chopper for a mysterious foreigner who wishes to remain anonymous (we’re thinking either Enzo Ferrari’s son, Piero, or maybe one of the Bond villains), and PJD attempts to build a saw-themed bike without using any saw blades.

At OCC we get our first glimpse of the Italian sports car bike in the design phase because Jason finally learned how to provide mechanical drawings with a proper three section view. Rick asks the question we and everyone else has come to expect. He wants to know if this a rideable bike? Is it? It is one of their more ambitious undertakings with extensive sheet metal and body styling, so despite working on the bike for an entire episode there is still a lot to complete.

At PJD, Dave Howard, director of brand management for Skil Power Tools wants an iconic American chopper for an iconic American brand. Apparently iconic is the word of the day, boys and girls. Skilsaw Inc. made a name for themselves in the 1920s when their saws became the standard. The chopper was commissioned to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the 77. The worm drive 77 is a type of drive that moves slowly but can produce a lot of torque.

Originally an iconic American brand, Skil was sold to Bosch in 1996, and their offices are now in Breda, Netherlands.

After getting the lowdown on the Skilsaw, the team at PJD gets working on the design, and Jr. actually does a sketch ahead of time! But while the audience is envisioning how awesome those saw blade motorcycle wheels are going to look, Jr. drops this bomb on us, “We don’t want to use saw blades.” He doesn’t want to be too “propy”. Excuse me, but isn’t this the same design team that put a big shovel and pickaxe on the side of the call-before-you-dig bike?

But they find other ways to make the bike exciting. The exhaust pipes wrap horizontally around the engine into a manifold between the notch of the V-twin. There are three outlet pipes angled up to collect rainwater when the bike is parked. Jr. says the the exhaust will be the “coolest ever.” We think the exhaust is literally going to be the hottest exhaust they've ever built.

The gas tank is positioned high on the Skilsaw bike is so that you have to lean on the tank to ride it (unlike the sports car bike). Jr. adds an inlay emblem into the fuel tank, which took 75 hours of machining, that the guys describe as "INSANE". It’s on the impressive side, we’re not going to lie.

A little later at Jr's house, Jr. is frustrated by Sr's reaction to their last off camera meeting. He feels that the "Sr. vs Jr. thing is totally played out". Jr. calls Sr. to setup a meeting, this time with cameras rolling.

Part 2 picks up where Part 1 left off (go figure). At OCC it’s Italian sports car bike day 14, yes 14, and the paint still hasn’t dried. Sr. gets into the act and helps a bit more than usual, but he might be out of practice because he accidentally burns off part of Mike’s mustache while doing some welding. Mike is later seen dancing with a tape measure. Are these events related? We like to think so.

After the 14 days Sr. still thinks the bike "got done in a short amount of time". considering all of the sheet metal work and intense fabrication involved. With this bike there is more fabrication than ever because of the intricate angular sheet metal. Beyond that and the red paint job, it is a clean design without a lot of extra ornamentation. Though the bike is meant to be ridden, the fuel tank will only hold 2 gallons of gas, so it’s not for long drives on the coast of Capri. I think a real Ferrari would burn through that much fuel just on the straightaway.

Sr. takes a test drive and looks a bit odd on the chopper. The bike is intentionally low, so it looks funny with a big guy like Sr. in an upright riding position. It looked almost like a cartoon bike, something out of Nintendo's Mario Kart.

Maybe Sr. and Jr. should swap frame designs.

At PJD the guys put the finishing touches on the Skilsaw bike. The chopper uses the saw housing as the air cleaner, and it blends with the engine cover nicely. And we finally see how they build a Skilsaw bike without using sawblades - they give it worm drive wheels. Jr. says they are his favorite wheels ever. A lot of superlatives for this bike.

We also get a sad goodbye from Mikey. Though it had been building for the last three episodes, it was still another sign of change to see him go. He packed up some books and an easel, threw them in his truck and was off to live a quiet life of painting with pasta sauce, or something.

Before the Skilsaw bike unveil in Las Vegas, they attempt to turn on the bike and get worried when the first two times it fails to start. As we’re about to start making jokes about how they should have spent fewer hours machining the badges and more building an engine that actually runs, it finally roars to life with a sound to send all area lawn mowers off to cower in their sheds.

After the unveil it’s finally time for Jr. and Sr. to have their on camera meeting to figure out if the “vs.” in the show’s title is still accurate.

Jr. meets Sr. at the OCC building and both are visibly nervous and make several awkward attempts at breaking the awkwardness, but after settling into the conference room, it takes a surprisingly short amount of time for them to start arguing and the awkwardness all melts away. They are able to carry out a conversation without throwing chairs or yelling at each other, but as I don’t have a psychology degree I’m not going to try to dissect the conversation too much except to say that Jr. accepted Sr.’s apology and they left the possibility open of doing things together in the future.

The scene cuts away and when we come back, the TV lets us know two days have passed. Sr. gives Jr. a call with a suggestion. Would he like to build a bike together for charity? Jr. ponders for about a minute, opens his mouth and... cut to black. Guess we’ll have to see what happens next season.