MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - What started as a car show for the Volkswagen community in the 1980s has grown into one of the largest car and truck shows in the country.
In its fifth year at Myrtle Beach Speedway, the NOPI Nationals welcomes in a new generation of car enthusiasts.
Most are drawn to the glitz under the hood, however the stories behind each car lies with the driver.
“This car in my opinion lights up kids eyes, you can see their eyes get as big as 50 cent pieces,” said Darlene June-Heitchew.
June-Heitchew got involved with NOPI in 2005, showing off her cars and inspiring more women to get involved with NOPI.
“Anyone can get involved. Kids can get involved, you got to start out the kids young because that’s the next generation,” said June-Heitchew.
Which is one of NOPI’s missions: teaching the next generation.
It’s something NOPI car show manager John Callahan takes time to share.
“Some of these kids that are with their parents might not know some of these things, so we’ll stop to educate them,” said Callahan.
Last year‘s show hosted more than 1,100 trucks to the half-mile race track, which not only allows drivers to show off what’s under the hood, but also test their car is on the open track.
“I think if you’re going to go see a show you want to see a show with that many cars,” said Steve Zacharias.
From best in show competitions, to drifting shows, NOPI and the Myrtle Beach Speedway continue to find new ways to pander to the next generation of motorsport fans.
“Every show we had one up the last one,” said Callahan.
“We’re trying to get to that point where there’s no reason you don’t know we’re here,” said Zacharias.
It’s pretty tough to not know NOPI is at the Myrtle Beach Speedway all weekend with more than a thousand engines revving and tires burning rubber.
The show continues Saturday at 8 a.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. with events running until 6 p.m. both days.