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The Biggest Gets Bigger - NOPI Nationals

2000 GR8RIDE.Com NOPI Nationals

Evan Griffey
Apr 6, 2007 SHARE
0101_turp_01_z+nopi_nationals+gr8rides Photo 1/1   |   The Biggest Gets Bigger - NOPI Nationals

Log Book NotesFriday, Day OneLunch is served on Delta Air Lines Flight 850 and I go for the chicken dish. Could have used a Dremel rotary tool to cut the food; and that's just the veggies. For the chicken we're talking die grinder or plasma cutter. On the bright side I didn't get sick.

In Hotlanta, there is something going on at Mako's, a popular nightspot in Buckhead-the party section of town.

Note: In Atlanta if anyone says get off on Peachtree better have them be more specific. There are so many Peachtree streets, avenues, boulevards, ways, circles, courts, roads and drives in greater Atlanta that it has to be Guinness record of some kind. We guess wrong and end up on the seedy side of town. Desperate, we pull into a convenience store for directions. A helpful gentleman gives us directions and comments on how photographer Robert Hallstrom looks like Chris Elliot (he is not even close) but Rob doesn't miss a beat asking the guy if he is Chris Rock. After a 2$ "tip" our Buick Le Sabre is once again slicing through the night. A bit cynical, we call some friends and get real directions.

After a few hours of partying at Mako's we are rewarded with a spontaneous display of lesbian affection at about 1AM. Digging it, the action evolves from a PG rating to R as tonsil tickling graduates to a disappearing up the skirt trick. Now this is a nightlife.

2 A.M. -Cat Fight Ends All Chance Of Another "Side Show."We close the bar at 4:30AM and since I am the designated driver, I chauffeur Rob, Turbo tech editor Gary Castillo and Import Tuner staffer Jason Mulroney back to the Embassy Suites. After the two-hour-plus adventure getting to the bar we make the hotel in less than 20 minutes.

Day 2: SaturdayOn With The ShowIt's 9 a.m.: Jason and Gary are feeling the effects of Buckhead. After five minutes of continuous knocking on the door and window of their room, Gary emerges. I return the Buick keys and tell him Rob and I will check them after breakfast. Upon return, the only movement has been the curtains; which are now fully closed. Not a sign of eminent action. Rob and I head to Atlanta Motor Speedway-Show is huge: 5,000 cars and 20,000 to 40,000 people.

The Trends:-Everything is big-Hondas, the new Celica and Neons top the depth chart -Body kits, paint, interior, few engine details seem to be the style-A lot of Euro Lowrider style vehicles-Chrome wheels are in, not many over 17-inches though-Color shifting paint is popular-High-watt stereos on the rise-Flames are in-Lots of air brushing-Graphics are hit or miss-Ford, GM and TRD had big displays, GM seems lost-Hydraulic competition, not a big part of Turbo's content but a flat-out blast to watch.-Burnout contest was also cool, the number of cars in the competition-a staggering 30.

Weather has been excellent, NOPI's Mark Myers takes full credit for ordering it up from the man upstairs. Sunburned and running on empty, Rob and I hit the highway.

White Mustang 5.0 is doing big burnouts on stop-and-go Highway 54. His last tire-shredding display is in front of two State Troopers. The 5.0 bones out down side road, two cherry-topped Crown Vics in close pursuit.

Note to self-watch "COPS" for next two months.

Day 3: SundayLast Day At NopiGot 12 hours of sleep and am firing live ammo today.

Gary and Jason are back online full-tilt and we hit the Waffle House for nourishment. Waffle Houses are big in the South. Like Peachtree streets, there are high concentrations in the Atlanta area. It is not surprising to see two "Houses" on the same highway exit. So if you are told to hook up at the Waffle House on Peachtree, you're royally screwed. With 408,165,000 waffles sold, the House lays claim to the world's leading seller of waffles. It is also the world's leader in omelets, offers world famous hash browns and the 'freshest' Coca-Cola (Coke is headquartered in Atlanta). At least that is what the menu said. After a cheese steak omelet and smothered, sprinkled and topped hash browns, it was back to the show.

Armed with golf cart, we are able to reach all of the show. At the Import Tuner Dyno Challenge, we see a turbo 240SX lay down 301 hp. Owner tells us he's on low boost, we line up future feature. The North American Bikini Championships were also part of the mix at Nopi-who needs the Olympics.

For more on the styles and sights of the 2000 Nopi Nats check out the accompanying photos.

NOPI NATIONALSELITE SHOW WINNERS
ASIAN
Best of Show Daniel Demling
Hottest Engine Tony Waldrup
Best Interior Earl Young
Best Paint Kim Martin
HONDA
Best of Show Richard Jones
Hottest Engine Phillip Sheek
Best Interior Eric Etayo
Best Paint Josh Henning
AMERICAN
Best of Show James Boitnott
Hottest Engine Johnny Johnson
Best Interior Chad Hamm
Best Paint Steve Church
EUROPEAN
Best of Show n/a
Hottest Engine Edward Blackburn
Best Interior Ben Hinton
Best Paint Joey Easterland
BURNOUT
Saturday Matt Hall
Sunday Jason Scholtz

Paisley's Supra has never looked better.

Vivid Video star Devon was in the Echo booth signing autographs and hamming it up with the camerax

Nopi played host to the North American Bikini Championships

Adam plays the teaser with the rear of his full-race NSX tantalizingly protruding from the Nitto transport.

The Streamline Motorsports Civic is owned and piloted by Donny Stefani of Pompano Beach, Fla. The Civic is force fed by a Jackson Racing supercharger outfitted with a special pulley to up the boost. Stand-alone fuel injection and substantial chassis rigidity tricks make this blown Honda one to keep an eye on.

The IS 300 is one car that has universal appeal as evidenced by this slammed, wheeled and exhausted example. Aaron Vuu was the driver representing Nalley Lexus in Roswell, Georgia.

Lambo doors and shape-shifting paint make this Diamond Star hard to miss. Color-shifting paint was a common sight at the Nats.

Gary Gardella and his brother are building this car out of New Jersey, with backing from Echo Unlimited clothing. The engine needs a fuel system and the proposed Speed Pro engine management needs to be dialed in. We are looking forward to seeing more of this car on the strip in 2001.

Not used to seeing wheelie bars on East Coast cars I tripped over the jungle gym on HP Motorsports' clean Civic racer. That'll teach me. This is another interesting quarter-mile Honda prospect that we hope to see more of in the future.

Ms. Skunk2, Corinne Kendall stopped traffic with ease. Skunk2 was on hand promoting its lineup of Honda go-fast parts. The deck extension plate allows the use of longer rods without whacking out bottom end geometry. Skunk2 also offers a compete race engine program.

This Z-Car had bright paint and a sweet interior.

Venom was in the house with its super quick Civic coupe piloted by Jimmy O'Connor. We got a rise out of the company's trick cam gears that add a little stylistic impact while upping the power.

Still a star of the show scene, the Meguiar's/Nuformz tube-frame Focus got lots of looks. The RC model was built by a fan of the Focus. The stickers were cut out and colored by hand.

The Nats had a Presidential flair thanks to these four Commander In Chief's.

This battered del Sol met the challenge in the burnout contest. The Honda spewed smoke until a tire failed.

Drag slicks at the nose, race-prepped interior and a detailed, seemingly stout engine caught our attention. The Sunfire is supercharged-unfortunately, the Quick Class is dominated by turbo-powered vehicles.

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By Evan Griffey
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