Prince Albert’s Don Wood is close to getting a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Wood is partway through the second Dream Chopper contest, an online fan voting competition where contestants compete for the chance to design and build a dream chopper with Paul Teutul Sr., the founder of Orange County Choppers.
Competitors are ranked by the number of votes they receive. There is a free daily vote for Facebook users and extra votes can be purchased at $1 USD per vote. A portion of the money raised in the competition will be donated to Hudson Valley SPCA Foundation, an animal shelter in New Windsor, New York.
Wood is in the running to win a grand prize which includes a custom-made motorcycle built by Teutul.
He said he’s a big fan of Teutul’s T.V show, Orange County Choppers (OCC).
“I have been an OCC fan right from the beginning and I have actually got a collection of all of there custom 1/10 scale die-cast choppers. I have had that since day one, so when the contest came it just seemed like a natural fit,” Wood said.
“Obviously it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I would very much appreciate anybody who takes the time to go on and vote. They can vote every 24 hours,” Wood said.
The grand prize chopper is valued at $100,000, according to the contest rules. The winner will appear in an episode of Orange County Choppers and will also be featured on the cover of Cycle Source Magazine.
Wood said his dream custom motorcycle would be dedicated to his father, also named Don, who drove a truck for more than four decades without an at fault accident. That’s something Don himself can’t even claim.
“My dad was a truck driver for 43 years—for all of his career—and never had an at fault accident in 43 years of driving,” Wood said.
The inspiration for potential models comes from trucks driven by Wood’s father, as well as those inspired by pop culture, like the movie Smokey and the Bandit. Wood said the design would be dedicated to all truckers, but most importantly his father.
“It really is a big deal to me because I’m a huge OCC fan but just the fact that if I could do this and dedicate it to my dad, it would just mean the world to me,” Wood said.
Wood is passionate about anything with wheels, and has been since riding his first Briggs and Stratton minibike almost 50 years ago.
He’s owned many motorcycles, including salvaged ones he rebuilt. His current motorcycle is a Honda Goldwing, a write off he has rebuilt
“I have been motorcycling for almost 40 years and I have been building custom bicycles for probably 15 years,” Wood said.
Wood’s passion also extends to bicycles. He rides a unicycle, and has always loved bikes, regardless of how they’re powered.
His own creations are mostly custom bicycle choppers as a hobby, with inspiration from OCC in their design. He has always hoped to build a custom motorcycle. For example the red bicycle in the photo he submitted to the contest was inspired by an OCC design.
“They are very similar even in the way they are built and terminology and stuff,” Wood saod.
Examples of similarities include what rake you are going to put on the front end of the bicycle.
Wood said that he enjoys the genre of customizing which is how he discovered OCC.
“I like custom stuff,” he explained. “I’m actually president of the Klassic Kruizers car club here in town, and always enjoyed building anything that had wheels and an engine, or even no engine and anything that had wheels. I build custom vehicles as well. I am just a fanatic for all of that stuff.”
Wood is currently in third place in his group and has had great momentum.
“I’m actually in the Top 10 now,” he said. “I have got a lot of good friends and family and friends of friends to thank for that because the voting is all done through Facebook. You have to have a Facebook account to vote and some of my close friends and friends of theirs are promoting it.”
“I am just eternally grateful,” he added. “Even to make it this far is just inspiring.”
Top 5 voting runs from July 29 to August 5 and closes at 10 p.m. If Wood advances, he will be in Group Finalists which runs from August 5 to August 12. The finals of the contest will begin August 27 and the winner will be announced Sept. 2.
Wood’s entry can be found at https://dreamchopper.com/2021/don-wood.