DECC Hosts Motorhead Madness Car Show March 23-24

Mike Busche

Motorhead Madness is the Northland’s Biggest Indoor Custom Car Show

Arena view from the 2023 Motorhead Madness. Photo by Katrina Jensen

For over fifty years, Motorhead Madness (previously known as the World of Wheels) has been taking place the third weekend in March, featuring all varieties of cars. This includes customs, street rods, trucks, cycles, race cars, rat rods, muscle cars, and antique vehicles.

For car geeks, grease monkeys, and gearheads everywhere, Motorhead Madness is the place to be to enjoy the hard work and vehicles from like-minded car aficionados. It’s decidedly “car central” for people who love to talk with others about their cars.

Long-time owner of Motorhead Madness Jack Dejoy’s Cadillac. Photo by Mike Busche


In 2021, long-time owner Jack DeJoy decided to sell Motorhead Madness. Around this time, a group of three friends - Mike Podgornik, Dean Birman, and Mike Busche - purchased the show. They renamed it Veit Automotive Foundation Motorhead Madness, presented by Hunt Electric, as an homage to two of the show’s top sponsors.

Sadly, in 2020 and 2021, due to Covid, the owners could not hold the show. In 2022, however, the new owners were thrilled to bring Motorhead Madness back, and it was better attended than ever, with over 6,000 spectators.

“The show has been great the last two years,” said Busche. “Bigger than we expected! Because of time off work due to Covid, many people had more time to work on their cars, allowing for the completion of many freshly-built vehicles that people have not seen before.”

Luke Merrill's 1940 Chevrolet (2023 best of show winner). Photo by Mike Busche 

Entertainment and Vendors

In addition to the vehicles on display, show attendees can enjoy a variety of entertainment for all ages.

For the kids, there are Lake Superior Radio Control Car Club Races, toys, “make and take” models, Modelmania (competition for model builders, kids, and adults), and a Dragster Reaction Simulator. A new addition this year will be competitions and demonstrations by Harbor City Robot Riot.

One of the weekend’s highly anticipated events is the Miss Motorhead Contest, sponsored by the Border Town Betties. This competition features women in attire from the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s. Contestants are judged on their hair/makeup/wardrobe, personalities, and thoughtful responses to questions.

For spectators, hourly door prizes, including tools, gift cards, and more, will be given out throughout the weekend. And, during the show, participants can watch a car being pin-striped by Dillon Aistrop, and two others being wrapped by Statt Wraps.

Various vendors will be on hand, selling memorabilia, car supplies, signs (metal and neon), tires, and more. Food options include all the DECC’s delicious concessions and other treats, such as mini-doughnuts, honey-roasted nuts, and more.

Generous Prizes

Entrants in the show are eligible for a variety of prizes. This includes:

  • Best of Show ($1,000)
  • Best Creative Display ($500)
  • Star of the North Award ($500) - Open to first-time participants
  • Rising Star, Outstanding Entry, and Best Paint, which are all open to exhibitors under age 30
  • Magnificent Seven – Awarded to the judges’ seven favorite entries
  • Plus, awards for several different categories of vehicles.

New in 2023, and continuing this year, is the Young Backyard Builders Award, presented by the Veit Automotive Foundation. “We wanted to make the show appealing to all ages,” said Busche. “So, we started the Young Backyard Builders Program.”

For the Young Backyard Builders’ Program, participants must:

  • Be 18-27 years of age.
  • Have built the majority of their car or truck themselves.
  • Be a registered entrant for the 2024 Motorhead Madness show, and be present with their car or truck during the show, in order to compete.

The winner will receive a full toolbox and $500.

Giving Back to the Community

A $3,000 check is presented to the Wounded Warriors last years show. Photo submitted.

Giving back to the community is important to Motorhead Madness. According to Busche, “In 2022, a portion of the proceeds were donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland. Last year, we chose the Wounded Warriors United - Minnesota as our recipient. This year, Wildwoods, a non-profit dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife, is our non-profit of choice.”

Wildwoods work to help orphaned, sick, and injured animals return to their natural lives. Submitted.

Some of the proceeds come from sales of show merchandise, including Motorhead Madness-branded shirts and hats. Wildwoods will also have a booth at the show.

Motorhead Madness will be held Saturday, March 23, from 10 am to 9 pm and Sunday, March 24, from 10 am to 5 pm at the DECC.

For more information, please visit

Tickets are available at the DECC Box Office the week of the show and online at Dollar-off coupons are available at all local RSC/Auto Value locations.


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