IN THE NEWS
The Spirit of Liberty bike visited the Marine South Expo at Camp Lejeune. Visitors had the opportunity to sit on the motorcycle for photographs and to speak with the bike’s originator, Richard Stocks.
In a DRASH News article, DHS Systems marketing communications manager and former US Marine Brian Gallagher says that DHS Systems sponsored the Statue of Liberty chopper’s appearance at the event “for the men and women of our armed forces who constantly preserve, protect and defend liberty.”
The world got to see how Orange County Choppers built the Spirit of Liberty Bike across two episodes of the Discovery Channel television show American Choppers. In addition to theming the bike around Lady Liberty, the fabricators also received some artifacts from the Statue of Liberty to incorporate into the bike, including the copper that plated the bike and a lighting cable that became the bike’s shifter.
The episodes featured plenty of workshop drama, of course, but the team pulled it off in the end. The Spirit of Liberty bike features a carburetor shaped like the Statue of Liberty’s torch that actually lights up, as well as other Liberty symbols throughout the bike’s design.
The Copper Development Association’s Discover Copper Online newsletter featured the Spirit of Liberty bike in one of its issues. The newsletter, which highlights interest stories about the many ways copper is used, referenced the motorcycle’s television debut on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and the recording of its fabrication on the show American Chopper.
The Spirit of Liberty bike made a three-day stop at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee. Featuring design elements reminiscent of the Statue of Liberty, as well as actual materials from the statue itself, the bike’s appearance at the museum provided an opportunity for the public to connect with the statue’s message of freedom and liberty during the period following the September 11, 2001 attacks when the statue’s home, Liberty Island, was closed.
This marked the Spirit of Liberty bike’s first stop on a tour that continued at all of country music artist Tim McGraw’s summer concerts.
The Spirit of Liberty was the star at the Palms Yacht Club’s RiverFest in Speers, Pennsylvania. With the event held over Fourth of July Weekend, it was the perfect time to celebrate the bike’s message of freedom and its creation from actual materials gathered from the Statue of Liberty during its renovation.
The article quotes bike originator Richard Stocks as saying, “We’ve had offers of up to $1 million for the bike, but you really can’t put a price tag on her. There’s just too much symbolism of freedom and the American way of life represented here. It’s really more than just a motorcycle.”
Christa Statler, a visitor at the event, called the bike “part of our nation’s history on wheels” and added, “Just sitting here makes you feel as though you’re transcending time.”
The one-of-a-kind Gibson Les Paul guitar called “The Spirit of America” was on display at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. This trip to New York City was a homecoming of sorts for the custom guitar, which was built at Gibson’s Custom and Historic Division in Nashville, Tennessee, because it was crafted out of materials gathered from the Statue of Liberty during renovations.
The wood for the Spirit of America Guitar’s body comes from Lady Liberty’s stairs and doors, and the copper inlay and hardware is genuine Liberty copper. Even the display for the guitar is a piece of Liberty—it’s part of an armature bar from the statue’s torch handle.
The unveiling of the guitar included an appearance by Duane Eddy, a legendary guitarist, Grammy Award winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. Watch the guitar’s dedication ceremony:
RJ-Romain Jerome created the Liberty DNA watch not only with aesthetic elements that call back to the Statue of Liberty, but also with real Lady Liberty “DNA”—that is, the watchmaker incorporated actual materials from the statue into the verdigris colored dial of the watch. The bronze bezel features twelve spikes that represent Liberty’s crown and will develop a natural patina over time, much like the statue, and on the watch’s backplate is a depiction of Liberty’s torch.
RJ-Romain Jerome made the Liberty watch series in a limited edition of 125 pieces to mark the 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty and as a “tribute to the most iconic of all emblems of liberty.”
National Parks Traveler, a website dedicated to commentary, news, and life in America’s parks, spotlighted the Spirit of America guitar and its installation at Ellis Island.
In addition to detailing the guitar’s creation at Gibson’s Custom & Historic Division in Nashville and its unveiling ceremony with Grammy Award-winning guitarist Duane Eddy at Ellis Island, the article highlights the mission to create additional works of art, known as “Liberty Ambassadors,” from materials salvaged during the Statue of Liberty’s renovation. These works will serve to inspire hope and freedom while celebrating America’s diversity.
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ellis Island have deep historical ties. As the article notes, Ellis Island “was designated as the site of one of the first federal immigration stations by President Benjamin Harrison in 1890, and between 1892 and 1954, over twelve million immigrants entered the United States through its doors.” For many immigrants, Lady Liberty was a welcoming symbol, greeting them as they approached Ellis Island. Later, in 1965, Ellis Island would become an official part of Statue of Liberty National Monument.
Just in time for the Statue of Liberty’s 124th birthday, the Spirit of Liberty chopper arrived at Liberty Island. Crafted by Orange County Choppers (of American Choppers television show fame), the bike features materials taken from Lady Liberty herself during renovations, including original copper and part of an electrical cable that once helped light the statue’s torch.
In a report on the unveiling ceremony, DNAinfo.com quotes American Choppers star and chopper builder extraordinaire Paul Teutul Sr. as saying, “Presenting the Liberty Bike to display … near the Statue of Liberty is a huge honor for us. We couldn’t imagine a better place for the bike.”
The Spirit of Liberty Chopper is quite a machine, but it isn’t just for muscle-bound bike enthusiasts. Crafted from genuine materials taken from the Statue of Liberty during renovations, the Liberty Bike is also a great work of art and history for the whole family to visit, as noted by New York Family magazine.
And, in addition to being an ambassador for Lady Liberty, the bike has also raised funds for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, the American Red Cross, and the National Children’s Advocacy Center.
“The shiny, historically-significant chopper is sure to inspire kids about the meaning and importance of liberty and freedom!” writes New York Family.