Sins of Steel is a car show for people who build and ride their own traditional hot rods and customs, as well as those who admire cars that are traditionally styled.
Sins of Steel is produced and operated by four auto clubs who joined forces to create a car show celebrating those rare individuals who have a passion for creating their own unique vehicles and the skills to revive that vision. It’s for running, driving cars that are built by the owner, on a budget. This show is a reaction to “checkbook sticks,” cars that cost a fortune and have a glow of miles, but without any heart. But more importantly, it acknowledges and respects the spirit of American ingenuity.
The show was originally called Billetproof, and held in Davisburg, Michigan, since its inception in 2004. The title Billetproof is a reference to expensive parts milled from billets of aluminum that adorned all of the high-dollar cars in the 80s and 90s (and still today). Billetproof was originally started in the San Francisco Bay area in 1997 as the brainchild of then-Poor-Boys-member Kirk Jones.
It had its humble beginnings in the parking lot of a bowling alley, but rapidly developed a cult following and became one of the most popular traditional cars shows on the West Coast. After having gone out to California several years for the show, members of the Detroit chapter of the Poor Boys wanted to bring it to Michigan. To tackle the task, they enlisted the help of their friends in another club, The Peckerheads. The Peckerheads on board, it was now possible to come up with the money to secure The Davisburg 4H Fairgrounds and insure the event, provide amenities, and promote the show.
The clubs handled registration, the swap meet, the vendors, parked the cars, etc. etc. etc., and Kirk came out with a new array of gorgeous Billetproof merch every year like t-shirts, limited edition silkscreened posters, patches, and you name it. Every year he would emcee the show, judge the cars, and present the handmade trophies which were created by members of the Poor Boys. Poor Boys from other chapters would make the trip out and meet up with the guys from Detroit. It was a weekend that everyone looked forward to all year long. Awesome.
Each year the show was better attended, and as it evolved several attractions were added. Members of the clubs talked the fairgrounds into letting them pour a purpose-built concrete burnout slab with special anchors. The anchors were hooked up to cars to keep them from flying out of control as they smoked their tires in displays of raw power.
It was the beginning of what would become a signature event at the show: The Burnout Contest. Eventually, Billetproof would include racing with figure eight, pinstriper panel jam, in-car car makers competition, live bands, artists and vendors, pinup-style competition, and more.
The Billetproof Motor City Mayhem (which is, as a rule, some 30 miles north of Detroit) continued to grow each year, and Kirk considered expanding the show to include to other states. However, he ended up selling the show instead. Billetproof was bought by an entrepreneur in 2007, and Kirk has embarked on other efforts.
The Poor Boys and Peckerheads, and later the Detroit Road Devils, and Nightmares car club as well continued to support the show under the new ownership and struck a handshake deal with the new owner to secure the fairgrounds for the next five years. The new owner shipped in merchandise and flew in the day of the show, emceed it, and flew out.
The Billetproof franchise was expanded to include Florida, Texas, and Washington. Somewhere along the way, the figure-eight races were dropped from Motor City. The sun didn’t shine quite as brightly, and the birds weren’t singing as loudly. Still, Billetproof Motor City Mayhem 2009 upped the bar for attendance once more. However, unbeknownst to almost everyone, it would be the last time Billetproof would ever be held in Davisburg.
In October of 2009, on a voice mail, the clubs were notified that Billetproof was moving. The new owner had struck a deal to move the event to another location, citing the appeal of grassy parking, rustic cafes, and proximity to good fishing.
So, what do you do if Billetproof breaks up with you on an answering machine, and you suddenly find yourself with a three-year lease on a fairgrounds that has no show? You knuckle down and have your OWN show! That’s what!
Poor Boys, Peckerheads, Detroit Road Devils, and Nightmares C.C. proudly present Sins of Steel! Yes, the Davisburg show is still on, it’s just better now. The burnout contest, minibike races, pinstriper’s panel jam, model car show, live bands, pinup girls, figure 8 races, and of course the trophies everyone goes nuts over. And most importantly, home built, owner-driven traditional hot rods and customs!