The roots of the NOPI car show first started back in 1988 in a store parking lot as a Volkswagen show. A few years passed and NOPI began evolving into the early 90’S with the addition of Mini Trucks. By 1992, things got serious with the addition of imports. Continuing to grow, by 1993 NOPI began to expand yet again and opened up to domestic cars. It was at this time that what we call “NOPI Nationals” was born. This once small car show in a store parking lot was now a signature event in Atlanta. Growing to feature over 7000 rides, not including over 300+ vendors, with sometimes up to 100,000 people in attendance.
As this scene grew over the coming years it began to have features such as “Drag Racing” in 1997 and “ID Drag Wars” in 1998. It was at this point that NOPI’s events hit the open road. Shortly after the release of the first “Fast & Furious” movie in 2001, the scene blew up! Formed in 2002, NOPI’s very own drag racing series in partnership with “Universal Studios” began the “Fast and Furious Drag Racing Series”. By 2004, it there was the “XBOX Cup Series” and in 2008, the “NOPI/NHRA Drag Series began”.
Later as the movies and events gained extreme popularity NOPI added Drifting exhibitions in 2003 This resulted in “The NOPI Drift series” in 2007. NOPI held the final round at the Nationals event. A spinoff from this growing popularity was NOPIs TV show – “NOPI TUNERVISION”. The show ran from 2002-2007 originally on spike Tv then moving to Speed. Several shows featuring all of NOPI’s events were played dozens of times in an attempt to keep NOPI dream alive. Then almost immediately in 2008, the events were stopped half way through the season. Claims of cancelation due to “a string of bad weather dates and the economic downturn” were said to have been the reason. However Later reports told a different story of Hierarchy money squander and poor decision making to keep the dream alive.
In the 2009-11 years to follow the bankrupt NOPI landed a deal with “REDLINE TIME ATTACK, HIN, and NSCRA. This was an attempt to do a series of combined events. Now in 2012 “NOPI NATIONALS Supershow” is attempting to make a return. The event was held at Atlanta Drag-way September 22-23. The show was sadly a dismal reminder of the event that once was, and hosted an estimated 1000 cars, 25 vendors, and 15,000 spectators. The scene of the Import tuner that once brought a flourishing crowd was virtually nonexistent.
However all is not lost. When visiting other similar car shows of this size the turnouts are rather large. Are these shows a spinoff of the NOPI that once was? Or has the scene changed to a slightly cleaner look of BMW, VOLKSWAGEN, and Euro tuner’s? This seems to be the case. Unfortunately the turnout for NOPI Nationals was nothing close to the days of old but maybe just maybe we will see a new group emerging from the ashes to sport a slightly different car craze!