Favored cars of Md.'s big wheels

As a result of incorrect information supplied by the state Motor Vehicle Administration, yesterday's Intrepid Commuter column erroneously reported that Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski has a Mercedes-Benz registered to her. In fact, Sen. Mikulski owns a 1993 Mercury Sable.

The Sun regrets the errors.


With all the talk of the '90s being a more practical and frugal decade than the oh-so-glitzy '80s, how refreshing it is to see Baltimore's best-known movers and shakers still spend big bucks on transportation.

Yes, Intrepid Commuter has searched Motor Vehicle Administration records to find out what kind of cars 26 celebrities from the worlds of television, business and sports have registered in their names.


Our conclusion? It looks like Mercedes-Benz continues to be the automobile manufacturer of choice for those who can afford expensive German engineering.

That value clearly is not lost on Baltimore Schools Superintendent Walter G. Amprey, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, local anchor Sally Thorner, Channel 13 anchor Denise Koch and Baltimore Magazine publisher Susan Souders Obrecht.

According to our handy "Edmund's Used Car Prices" guidebook, Ms. Obrecht's 1990 300E retails in the neighborhood of $40,000.

Dr. Amprey's 1986 300SDL, which was worth more than $43,000 when new, is priced at $18,000 today, a depreciation that critics might say rivals the failing fortunes of city schools.

It's comforting to see that former Baltimore County Executive Dennis F. Rasmussen, who received such criticism for driving a Lincoln Town Car at county expense, doesn't own one himself. He does, however, own a Jaguar XJ6 that's worth about three times as much as the Lincoln.

What make of car does Japan-bashing Rep. Helen D. Bentley have registered in her name? A couple of Fords, naturally.

Plain-talking state Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein drives a 1985 Chevy truck, no doubt de rigueur for those trips home to rural Southern Maryland.

State Sen. Gerald W. Winegrad, the General Assembly's outspoken environmentalist, drives two fuel-sipping compacts, a 1983 Honda Civic and a 1989 Toyota Corolla. Channel 2's Mary Beth Marsden demonstrates an equally thrifty sensibility with a 1988 Honda Accord.


On the opposite side of the financial spectrum, ex-boxer Sugar Ray Leonard owns a Porsche, a Mercedes, a Rolls-Royce and a Bentley. Retail value is somewhere in the neighborhood of a gazillion dollars.

The list below may not reflect all the cars these people drive, but it's the best the MVA can provide. There's always the possibility some may have company-owned cars, lease their vehicles or register their automobiles in relatives' names.

* Walter G. Amprey, city schools superintendent: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SDL, 1990 Chevrolet Beretta

* Sen. Mary Boergers, Montgomery County's gubernatorial wannabe: 1986 and 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cieras.

* Dennis F. Rasmussen, former Baltimore County executive: 1990 Dodge Caravan, 1991 Jeep Cherokee, 1987 Jaguar XJ6.

* State Sen. John A Pica Jr., chairman of Baltimore delegation: 1985 BMW 535i, 1992 Pontiac Bonneville.


* State Sen. Gerald W. Winegrad: 1983 Honda Civic, 1989 Toyota Corolla.

* Tom Clancy, author: 1991 Oldsmobile Bravada.

* R. Clayton Mitchell Jr., speaker of the House of Delegates: 1983 Chevrolet Caprice Classic, 1990 Lincoln Town Car.

* J. Joseph Curran, state attorney general and gubernatorial wannabe: 1991 Honda Prelude.

* Louis L. Goldstein, state comptroller: 1985 Chevrolet S10 Blazer.

* Kurt L. Schmoke, mayor of Baltimore and maybe gubernatorial wannabe: 1986 Ford Taurus, 1990 Chevrolet Lumina wagon.


* Cal Ripken Jr., Orioles shortstop: 1982 BMW 320i, 1987 Jeep Wagoneer.

* John Unitas, former Colts quarterback: 1985 Chevrolet GMC truck, 1987 Pontiac Safari.

* Sally Thorner, anchor-to-be on Channel 13: 1989 Mercedes-Benz Coupe Roadster, 1991 Jeep Cherokee.

* Mary Beth Marsden, Channel 2 anchor: 1988 Honda Accord.

* Henry A. Rosenberg Jr., CEO of Crown Central Petroleum, 1989 Lincoln Town Car.

* Helen Delich Bentley, 2nd District congresswoman: 1985 Ford Escort, 1992 Ford Taurus station wagon.


* Barbara A. Mikulski, U.S. Senator: 1993 Mercedes-Benz.

* Susan Souders Obrecht, magazine editor: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300E.

* Beverly Burke, Channel 2 anchor: 1981 Chevrolet Corvette, 1990 Jeep Cherokee.

* King T. Leatherbury, leading horse trainer: 1988 Chrysler LeBaron, 1988 Honda Prelude, 1985 Jaguar XJ6, 1989 Chevrolet S10 pick-up, 1991 Ford Taurus.

* Sugar Ray Leonard, former champion boxer: 1991 Porsche, 1992 Chevrolet truck, 1981 Mercedes-Benz 380SLC, 1988 Rolls-Royce, 1989 Bentley.

* Bruce Bereano, Annapolis lobbyist: 1976 Mercedes-Benz 240D, 1980 Mercedes-Benz 300SD, 1983 Porsche 911SC, 1990 Jeep, 1987 Mercedes 420SEL.


* Denise Koch, Channel 13 anchor: 1979 Mercedes-Benz 300CD, 1992 Volvo 240.

* Jim Palmer, underwear model: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SL, 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300SE.

* Boog Powell, underwear model's former teammate: 1992 Chevrolet S10 Blazer.


Write to the Intrepid Commuter, c/o The Baltimore Sun, P.O. Box 1377, Baltimore 21278. Please include your name and telephone number so we can reach you if we have any questions.

Or use your Touch-Tone phone to call Sundial, The Baltimore Sun's telephone information service, at 783-1800, and enter Ext. 4305. Call 268-7736 in Anne Arundel County.

For the record