John McCaslin

Dueling choppers

Watergate figure and syndicated radio talk-show host G. Gordon Liddy owns four motorcycles, all nice ones. But he told Inside the Beltway yesterday that two of his most prized choppers have to be sold.

How come?

"On the 9th of November, I will have been married for 50 years to Mrs. Liddy," he replied.


"Word has come down from on high," Mr. Liddy continued. "I have four motorcycles [two are Harley-Davidsons, a Springer and a Fat Boy], and Mrs. Liddy says that is two too many. She who must be obeyed said two have to go."

Last year, at age 75, Mr. Liddy competed on the TV show "Celebrity Fear Factor" and he won the right to commission two choppers, built to his design and specifications by Metropolitan Choppers of Frederick, Md.

On a whim, Mr. Liddy, who is a licensed pilot, decided each of the 110-horse-power bikes would replicate World War II fighter planes, choosing aircraft he remembers as a 10-year-old boy when they dueled in the skies over England: the Bf 109E Messerschmitt of Germany's feared Luftwaffe, and the Supermarine Spitfire of Britain's Royal Air Force.

Apart from the detailed camouflage paint schemes, headlights of the choppers replicate propeller spinners, wheel spokes imitate propellers, and the windscreens are replicated to scale. Neither chopper has ever been ridden on asphalt, he says, and are housed where they were assembled in Frederick. Starting selling price: $30,000 per bike (inquire at Liddyspeaks, or 410/598-4284).

Oh, and as for the Spitfire, Mr. Liddy pointed out that the traditional British squadron markings have been replaced with his initials.

"I don't want anybody to think that I favor the Axis powers," he explained. "I have enough bad publicity as it is."

Only in Washington

A cab driver parked curbside during lunchtime in downtown Washington yesterday was poring over "War and Peace," the epic novel by Leo Tolstoy.

Parasite family?

To honor the multitude of lawyers in Washington, New York City neckwear designer Nick Hotchkiss is releasing a school of sharks in the nation's capital.

"I trust the lawyers will accept this design in the spirit in which it is intended," says Mr. Hotchkiss. The necktie design consists of great white sharks swarming colorful ocean waters for dollar signs. It's available in apple green and sandy brown ground colors, with additional red and blue versions coming out in autumn.

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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