Never underestimate the power of a woman - or women f or that matter. Although guys & gals both clutch those purse strings, often the rod run events are e selected by the guy’s wants or inclinations. Next August long weekend will be different – the whole industry will be awakened when a f lock of she-riders descends upon the Kentucky Stair Fairgrounds in their street rods.
Next season Connecticut’s Total Performance, Inc. and The Lipstick Run will feature the ladies only Women of Spirit Nats Cruize-In. You too can be part of it. Bowling Green, KY will be the key location where gals with street rods from all across country will f lock to meet, greet and buckle up. Raging into the 33" Annual Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, KY will be a site to behold, and a site for sore eyes.
Now some news on our recent gals run. Manitoba Street Pod Association members Kathy Milne, 38 Chevy, Barb Balanyk, 34 Ford Pickup, and myself Hot Rod Liz, 23 Ford T-Bucket banded together to pull off our Annual Lipstick Run. Blowing town in a media blitz, our hotspot target was the Evansville Indiana Frog Follies.
Kick starting our trip, we spent the first weekend was spent in Crookston, Minnesota where we participated in the 6’" Annual Run to the Park event. The Fast to Chicago hitting assorted rod shops and flunking tollbooth etiquette en route to them. However, we did rendezvous with new pals Paula Bass of Lansing,(Northern Rodder Editor) and Denise Sheldon of Livonia, Michigan and had tons of fun. Denise recently bought a 47 Olds Convertible (Big Olds) and will be taking it on the Hot Rod Power Tour, Back to the 50’s, Syracuse Nats, Louisville Nats and other runs, next season.
The following day we tasted Chicago. The Miracle Mile, Ed Debevic’s 50’s restaurant/bar, The Billy Goat Tavern and a ride up the 96 stories of The Hancock Building. Next day we hit assorted rod shops. I conned Denise into riding topless with me (er, that’s car top down) while the others piled into their respective cars and we hit Midwest Hot Rods, Hopperstad Customs, The Roadster Shop, Rad Rides by Troy and more. Much jovial lie swapping and bench racing.
Besides their 22,000 Sq. Ft shop area Midwest Hot Rods has one fancy ass show room. The run to Plainfield, IL. is well worth it.
Chad & "big cheese" Bill O’Rourke of The Roadster Shop in Elgin, IL. Insisted we raid their T-shirt stock before they’d let us see their shop. OK!
We ran into The Minnesota Street Pod Association caravan of 12 cars, joined and led the group for a bit. (Because we had to) Then took our sweet time to Evansville Indiana, via many stops to engage in the true Froggies spirit. (Denise cooked us "Frog Dogs" at Runts Bar in Sullivan Indiana)
Arriving in our Evansville hotel parking lot, we were swarmed by many Missouri rodders recognizing us as The Lipstick Gals. Kicks. The Host Club " E’Ville Iron" had 4250 cars show up and Barb scooped Long Distance with 4350 miles. Their positive attitude and Southern hospitality made it a show worth going to once and worth returning to again and again.
Barb Balanyk of Brandon, picked up the Long Distance honours at Evansville Frog Follies with 4350 miles in her 34 Ford Pickup Truck.
Following the show we hit Hummelstown PA. Posies Rods & Customs was forewarned of our pending visit and forearmed. I cautioned Ken Fenical at the Nats that we’d be invading his shop and he doubted us! Imagine! He and Bill Weigard supplied a warm welcome, in-depth shop tour, a look at The Extremeliner, Edelbrocks 57 Chevy, a check-up of my T-Bucket and lunch. We complied with our keen sense of instinct by ripping Ken for shirts, and although he hesitated at first, did eventually give in, albeit with a struggle.
We felt a tad shy entering Posies Rods & Customs in Hummelstown, PA Bill Weigard, and Ken Fenical (Posie) supplied a warm welcome, hot coffee, thorough shop tour, a peek at The Extremeliner; and we left feeling we made new friends.
North America’s best car builder/customizer Posie (Ken Fenical); welcomed us at the door as we entered and took the time to share some of his expertise with us.
Moving on to Avonmore, PA, we found Outlaw Performance nestled in the mountains. We had an opportunity to schmooze with shrewd owner Barb Davison, following the shop & warehouse tour. Barb and all her staff; Patti Speranza, Jessie Dilascia and Tony Miller were congenial and accommodating.
We felt right at home with Outlaw Performance in Avonmore, PA. Tony was hospitable, friendly and supplied a thorough shop tour where they make those popular glass Outlaw 34 and Willys bodies.
Outlaw’s fabrication shop was well organized and set up with each staff member utilizing their own area of expertise. Customer orders are followed to a T and the end result is f lawless.
North to Ohio we lifted some eyebrows as we stepped into the one-day car show in Whitehouse. After some time at The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, we used the two lanes home, and made good time. Another year – another unbelievable good time was had by all. 4100 trouble free miles and thousands of winter smiles.
Rad Rides by Troy in Manteno, IL. (Troy Trepanier & crew) were thrashing on their 62 Cad Attack project car, which debuted at the recent SEMA Show in Vegas & picked up top honours.
Consequences of fun on the run are new friends, kool cars, and memories to last a lifetime. Barb Balanyk claims, "The Lipstick Run is small, but vital". Next year The Lipstick Run and Total Performance, Inc. from Connecticut will put the spotlight on the many active gals in the street rodding industry by hosting "The Women of Spirit" Ladies Nats Cruize-In to Louisville,
The 2001 Lipstick Run – still nothin’ but fun - L to R, Denise Sheldon, Kathy Milne, Barb Balanyk and myself Liz Kitzul.
Kentucky. Lets make it a date. Visit our new website, created by the infamous Mike Siewert of Calgary, at www.qeocities.com/lipstickrun or for those interested in joining or becoming a supporting sponsor you can contact us at lipstickrun@yahoo,corn don’t put off today’s fun till tomorrow.
Story and photos by Liz Kitzul 216 Dearborn Avenue Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada R2L OM3 Bus (204) 986-2603, Mon-Fri 8-3; Res 204-668-1343 hotrodliz@yahoo,com