Lietzke is consumed with cars ' classic cars. Hes an eBay nut, checking in on the website frequently to see whats come on the market that may interest him. It doesnt matter what condition its in or if its near his home in Dallas ' if its something he wants, hell go get it.
His latest jaunt was somewhere in the general direction of Minneapolis, about 65 miles from the end of Interstate 35, he said. Interstate 35 goes through from South Texas on one end to close to the Canada-U.S. border on the other.
Lietzke saw almost all of it in his pursuit of a rust-bucket 69 Dodge Super Bee. He covered a thousand miles or so of the concrete ribbon pulling a trailer into Wisconsin. He stopped into a restoration shop for a quick auto evaluation, then retraced the mileage back to Dallas.
It was a six-day road trip, he said.
But it was really much more than a six-day road trip. Lietzke, you see, had played in the Champions Tours 3M Championship in Minneapolis a month earlier and a local writer had penned a story about him, mentioning his interest in classic cars. The furor that followed was something to behold.
I started getting e-mails from people that week in Minneapolis, he said. I had people call the tournament trying to contact me. They all wanted to sell me their cars ' Come buy my 78 Z 28. It was pretty wild.
One guy said, Ive got a collection of 40 cars that Im trying to thin out. If you dont buy this Super Bee (that Lietzke would purchase the next month), come by my shop. I had people e-mailing me ' My son is too lazy to work on my Z 28, it youll give me $3,000 for it It was pretty crazy.
It all had started with Lietzke hunkered over eBay, as usual, poring over the hundreds of classic cars. He wasnt really interested in a rust-bucket, but the car he noticed was in the general vicinity of Minneapolis. And since he was going to be in Minneapolis the next week for the 3M, he said Hmm. and started bidding on the auto.
Bruce has bid on seven or eight cars on eBay, and actually had purchased one on the internet site. Its a habit of mine - one of my addictions is eBay, he said. And Im still looking for cars right now. I was on eBay this morning, still looking for other cars that I would like to have.
Lietzke mentions a couple that he has his heart set on acquiring ' an old Pontiac GTO, an Oldsmobile 442, maybe a Camaro.
I have such a passion for cars, he confessed. I would love to have a collection of 60 or 70. But Im trying to be realistic and keep it around 16 or 18. So - Im looking.
His car menagerie at home includes five family autos ' his wife drives one, his two children both have cars. But he has eight or nine classics, including a 66 Chevrolet El Camino that he uses as his personal ride. That was the other car that I bought on eBay about three years ago from a guy in California, he said.
He makes an effort to keep all his classics running and in street condition, but he confesses that since he began playing 25 or so tournaments a year on the Champions Tour three years ago, upkeep on the cars has suffered a little. During his latter days on the PGA Tour when he was only playing nine or 10 a year, he had plenty of time to putter around.
Theyre all still insured and everything, he hastily interjects. I still try to drive them around just to keep the brakes and everything in shape. But its hard to do now that Im playing a little more on the Champions Tour.
I really should have a fulltime mechanic that helps maintain these cars. But Im reluctant to do that, I like to do the work myself.
Sounds like golf is getting in the way of his life, huh?
Which is pretty much my life story, Lietzke said with a hearty laugh. If I had to write a book, that could be the title.
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