Discover Copper Online

Spring 2005

Lady Liberty Provided Copper for Chopper

It was named "Spirit of Liberty" because all the copper on the showstopping "copper chopper" came from a small amount of scrap metal removed from the Statue of Liberty during the restoration for its centennial in 1986. The bike, which attracts so much attention at exhibitions throughout the country, was assembled by Orange County Choppers, Montgomery, New York, for the Gold Leaf Corporation, Fayetteville, Tennessee, which contributed to the restoration of the statue. Liberty has been seen by millions on the Discovery Channel program, American Chopper, and it was a featured segment on NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

All the copper on the "Spirit of Liberty" came from scraps left after the Statue of Liberty restoration in 1986.

Photo courtesy of Discovery Channel

Most parts of the bike, the largest of which is the frame, were plated. The copper plating was done by Chromemasters, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee. Because the bike's exhaust gases discolor the plating, the motor can't be turned on; the chopper can only be displayed not ridden, according to Mike Burkhouse, a spokesman for the fabricator. In addition to the copper for the plating, discarded wiring from the statue was used to make the bike's shift lever.

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