Motorhead Madness ready to cruise again

Motorhead Madness is revving up again.

A year after the more than 50-year-old custom car show in Duluth came to the end of the road, three Duluth men are pumping new life into the event.

“We couldn't let it die,” said Mike Busche. “It's too much of a staple up here.”

Busche, along with fellow car enthusiasts Mike Podgornik and Dean Birman, partnered to acquire the popular spring car show from former owner Jack DeJoy.

Since its inception, the show has been a rite of spring. But after being canceled in 2020 (due to the pandemic), DeJoy decided to end the show permanently.   

That's when Busche, Podgornik and Birman, stepped in. All three are members of the Midwest Mopars car club. “We're all car guys,” said Busche. “The show is a nice way to shorten the winter a bit, talk with your car buddies and talk cars.” 

A new, updated show is scheduled for March 19-20, 2022, at Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. Busche said the three men have an agreement with the DECC to host the show for several years. “We're trying to go off what Jack had done and make a few changes here and there,” he said. “We've all put on car shows before, but this one is bigger and more involved.”

For decades, the show featured classic cars, hot rods, customs, 4x4's, motorcycles, and antiques. Each year, the show attracted thousands of people from across the region.

Beginning next year, the three men plan to fill the DECC with vehicles from across the area along with non-regional entries.

But they also plan to do more than put on a car show. Part of the profits will go to yet-to-be-determined charities.

“My hope is that we can serve our car community, find people in need, and find a way to come up with some money to help them,” said Podgornik, a Duluth businessman. “We haven't ironed that out yet. I'd like it to stay with local charities within 100 miles of us.” 

Another major goal is to get more young people and families involved. 

“We want to keep it going, get young people involved and think of things to do to bring families down to the show,” said Podgornik. “We want to keep this car thing going and give young people something to do.”

Young car enthusiasts who enjoy sport import vehicles and pickup trucks will be among the groups to be contacted about the show, said Podgornik.  

Podgornik, Busche and Birman this summer will also consult with car clubs from across the region on how the new show should be shaped. The show will emphasize local vehicles, said Busche.

“Anything that's kind of cool,” said Busche. “We want it to be big like it was when it was World of Wheels, but we want to keep it local.”    

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