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Women on Wheels: Liz Kitzul

Women on Wheels: Liz Kitzul
By
noderel: 

The Johnny Cash recording of “I’ve Been Everywhere” is playing as I began to write this article about Liz. I don’t remember the last time a 15 minute phone interview turned into an hour, we talked and laughed like girlfriends, and we have yet to meet each other. Liz lives in Winnipeg, Canada and while driving her T-bucket has visited 47 of our 50 States. Enjoy this amazing lady rodder’s story!

 

 

♪♫I’ve Been Everywhere ….almost♪♫

Liz became interested in old cars when a friend from highschool, Darwin, and she began dating and Darwin was working on his ’34 Ford 3-window Coupe. He would tell her, “I’m working on my car every night, if you want to see me come on over” and Liz would go over there and hang out. Darwin began asking her to do small things to help with the car and Liz enjoyed doing it.  Once Darwin’s car was running they started attending car shows in the area, and drove to the NSRA Nationals when it was held in St. Paul. There, Liz really got the old car bug.  She would look at the old cars and she fell in love with T Buckets.  When they got back home Darwin told her about a T Bucket  that was for sale and he said to her, “I’ll show it to you, but you can’t buy it.” They went to see it. It was a project, a puzzle of parts and pieces which had never been built.  Of course, being the independent Liz that she is, she purchased it!  Liz said Darwin looked at her and she could read his mind saying, “Oh Sh--, she really does want this!”  Liz drove an El Camino at the time and she literally threw the T Bucket parts and pieces into the El Camino and took her new project home. It’s 1977, and Liz now owned her first T-Bucket.. Liz had no clue where to begin and with Darwin’s help Liz had started to build it when Darwin received a job opportunity and moved away.  The Model T was still not finished and Liz was not sure what to do.  Some of Darwin’s friends whom she had met would call and suggest she sell it. She would tell the, No - she wanted to finish it. Then one day Jimbo, one of Darwins friends, told her “only if she would be hands-on” he would then help her.  Liz agreed and together they got it finished and running.

Liz drove her T Bucket to local events, to Minneapolis for Back To The 50’s,  and to Sioux Falls.  In 1985 Liz was in Fargo, ND, heading to Sioux Falls for the MidAmerican Nationals when, “I had just fueled up and the car started on fire. The fire department felt it was a hairline fracture from battery to gas tank. It didn’t blow up as the tank was full. The car was seriously damaged and it was towed home. Later I settled with insurance company but by then I had already bought another project T-Bucket and had started work on that.” Jimbo, Brent, and Bob once again offered to help Liz build her now second T Bucket as long as she was once again hands-on as it was her car, not theirs. With this car Liz put into it many design ideas she wanted. Liz said, “it turned out to be 10X better than what the other T Bucket had been.”  In learning from vendors during those years about all the improvements and new products available, Liz included in the T Bucket project many of those design ideas and upgrades.  “Without these guys I never would have hit the streets again. I can’t thank them enough. Eight months later I drove it out of the shop. I drove 800 miles around town to work the bugs out, and then I drove to the Louisville Nationals. My T Bucket has been on the road ever since. I have driven to every state except three, Florida, Alaska and Hawaii.”  

 

Manitoba Street Rod of the Year 1988

Stats on the T Bucket: Engine: 305 Chevy; Transmission: Turbo 350;Differential: Ford  9" with Carrera Shocks; Chassis  and Body: Horton Street Rods; Paint: PPG Wineberry by Cahill Auto Body, St. Pierre, MB; Interior: Omer’s Custom Upholstery ; Gauges: Classic Instruments Inc.;S teering Column: Brushed Aluminum Ididit, Tilt, Tele and Cruize; Chrome: House of Silver; Aluminum Firewall and Trinkets: Rick Cushnie; Mullins Trailer: Outlaw Performance K.O.A. on Wheels!


THE LIPSTICK RUN – The Girls Only International Hot Rod Tour

Did you know Liz is the creator of The Lipstick Run? Liz felt travelling with the guys was great yet thought there must be more. So, Liz sent letters to her female friends about a “girls only hotrod tour”. Liz received some replies and the next year, in 1995, the first “Lipstick Run” was held.  “We (6 girls) took our 3 cars to California, NSRA Bakersfield run. Snow, sleet and flooded roads was not what we expected. Every year we do a Lipstick Run, some shorter, some longer, depending on where we want to go and what event we choose as our destination. No shopping malls. We cook on our manifold, add salad and wine and enjoy fine dining.. We camp using a 3 man tent – no men. We always do some “shop tours” (and I am not talking mall shopping) and we enjoy wearing matching T-Shirts –  it gets the conversation started, no matter where we are.”  

 

And there are breakdowns (that’s Barb below working under her truck) and of course, dinner on the manifold.

        

2016 is the 23rd annual Lipstick Run.  Then ladies are heading to the Pueblo Nationals after Back To The 50’s. Liz said, “At Pueblo we volunteered to work the front gates on Friday. NSRA Director Tom Wilkerson said “you girls will really liven up the front gate!”  Driving, Camping, cooking on the manifold, shop tours and visiting friends are all a part of the annual run. As Liz said, “Let’s Go!” Liz is also very excited -she will be attending the Australia Street Rod Nationals in April 2017.

 

“Yard Art” – Liz’s grandmother’s Model A

Liz’s Aunt Helen still owned the Model A when at the young age of 102 she passed. Liz retrieved the car, took it home, laid out the bricks in her backyard and set the Model A on top. Then the neighbor behind her complained to the city, under the ByLaw Liveability Act, about having an old car on my property calling it “abandoned”. And yes, there’s more to this interesting story; however, the end result is Liz had appealed it, the committee supported her argument and repealed the order. Liz will never have to remove the Model A  “Yard Art” from her yard.

Liz works for the Winnipeg Police Service. She is single, really enjoys travelling - usually in her T Bucket, she loves photography, and is a contributor to NSRA Street Scene as well as other magazines. Liz loves the street rodding sport, “my passion for it will never go away – it just keeps getting stronger.”

Liz also said, “If you go anywhere once, it must be Bonneville. You’ll never be the same again once you’ve tasted the salt!” Liz also makes it a must-attend to the Street Rod Nationals in Louisville each year and said “most times I’m Registrant #1 or #2. Sometimes I’m as late as #3 or #4!”  At home Liz is a member of the Brandon Social Club, “The Strokers”, as well as a long time member of The Manitoba Street Rod Association and has been the Prize Patrol for the past 7 years for their annual Rodarama Car Show. “Being a member has given me many opportunities to stretch my wings and to kindle many new and lasting friendships.”

Liz is a Member of the Canadian Street Rod Hall of Fame 1994, Member of the Manitoba Motor Sports Hall of Fame 2007, Official NSRA Correspondent, and the driving force behind The Girls Only International Hot Rod Tour “The Lipstick Run” Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada