There is an annual automotive event with a tremendous following here in the East, that is just about as well known in the West. The 18th Annual NOPI Nationals has reached global proportions, attracting not only enthusiasts from around the country but also participants and magazine crews from around the world. Caravans arrived the day before the show from California, Maryland, Miami, and Ontario, Canada, with drivers adding a road trip to the fun, along with a ceremonial lap around the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
But, what led to this phenomenal growth over the years? It probably has to do with the show promoters, who squeeze so much fun into the weekend that it's bursting at theseams. Michael and Mark Myers, along with Bobby Evans, have seen their event grow from a small collection of 45 VWs behind their first store in Atlanta to a show that is now known around the globe. Keeping their finger on the pulse of the hobby seems to be their secret to success. Everything you could want or need is featured at this show.
The huge collection of vehicles is the biggest treat, and trying to see all 6,000-plus vehicles was a test of both your motivation and endurance. The best approach was to enjoy them during the brief intermissions between events that were scheduled almost hourly. Choose from multiple formats of stereo competition or visit the Xbox Tuner Lounge and preview yet-to-be-released games. Check out the screamin' RSR Drift Festival with professional drivers repealing several laws of physics and certainly a little gravity, just for you. The Fuzion Tire Burnout Competition, with three vehicles at a time, filled the air with tire smoke, noise, and most of all, excitement. Cheer on your favorite switchmen at the CCE-sponsored Hydro Hop Off where some vehicles went up, up, and over. Feel your temperature rise during the Club Wear Catwalk Competition, the Model Search, or the world-famous NOPI Swimsuit Finals, as you watch one of the largest collections of beautiful women you're likely to find at any car show. Just about the time you're thinking that it just doesn't get any better than this, you realize that there's more-much, much more-and it all happens again the next day.
On Sunday, check out the NOPI Super Store and its staggering collection of accessories. Testdrive a new Cavalier at the GM Ride and Drive Opportunity, listen to Kudzu, Jin from Ruff Ryders, 11 Standing, and other popular musical groups on the main stage. Then, use the Booty Shake competition and women's Jell-O Wrestling as an appetizer for the huge Sunday afternoon Swimsuit Finals that saw beautiful Charity Hodges win the $5,000 prize. Get ready for the equally huge NOPI Awards ceremony, where in addition to an amazing fun weekend, almost a thousand participants went home with a NOPI trophy to remind them about next year's show dates.
NOPI Motorsports, in partnership with the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, established dozens of designated donation sites to provide relief for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Spectators and vendors alike contributed tothe fund, helping those thousands of victims in the Gulf Coast states of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Put NOPI, in big letters, on your September 2006 calendar and check www.nopi.com for more details.