Bighouse Choppers

Discovery Channel's "American Chopper" may meet its match yet. The Nevada legislative Committee on Prison Industries gave the official OK to a group ...
by | August 2, 2005

Discovery Channel's "American Chopper" may meet its match yet. The Nevada legislative Committee on Prison Industries gave the official OK to a group of producers to bring reality TV to the Southern Desert Correctional Center's auto restoration shop. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the tagline of a promotional video shown to the committee proclaimed "inCARcerated. In this garage, they have nothing but time."

The committee also gave the Center's auto shop permission to go ahead with plans to create custom motorcycles. The prototype bike--a "chopper" built entirely at the shop and named "The Shank," a term for a homemade prison knife--has already received several offers from potential buyers. Howard Skolnik, assistant director of the state Department of Corrections, told the Nevada Appeal that the bikes will be marketed as made by "Bighouse Choppers" and bear the slogan "Built with Convictions."

Why the reality show? "We think this will actually be a really big money-maker for us," Skolnik told the committee. Oh, and the series will also show the inmates as productive and talented workers, he added. Producers are in initial talks with Court TV. The auto shop has already been doing restoration work on classic cars for private owners for several years.