Take one lifted Nissan Titan, two Nissan Skylines, four hot NICO models and the NICOclub Staff.Put them on the starting line of the world-famous Atlanta Motor Speedway.Add security and police perimeter control with Skid Row playing LIVE in the background, and you have NICOclub’s exclusive photoshoot for the 2007 NICO poster.
If there was one phrase to describe NICOclub’s presence at the 2006 NOPI Nationals, that was it.
The sheer numbers put up by NICO were astounding:
Over 120 cars registered with NICO.Another 100 Nissans joined us.Over 400 burgers, 300 hot dogs, 600 cans of soda, and 300 bottles of water provided free for NICO members and friends of NICO.1,000 NICO posters were signed for admirers (and future NICOnauts) and given away for free.
Staff started rolling in Thursday to set up and prepare for the festivities.
The pre-meet dinner at the Roadhouse Grill was spectacular, and well-attended, with 80 people on hand.Being able to finally put faces to all the people you’ve become fast friends with was amazing. Even though it was the first time meeting each other for many of us, there wasn’t a dull moment.As NICO’s own Repoman would explain, “When we roll, we roll deep”.
Saturday morning started before dawn for the Admins and Mods.With a total of 1600 square feet of tent space, NICOclub dominated the AMS infield and required large amounts of setup for each day.With NICO’s multimedia guru Chopp providing a bigscreen TV showing a DVD of NICO rides and past events along with a PA system used for constant music and announcements, it wasn’t hard getting attention to the NICO booth. By mid-day, NICO members had already taken over the TV in order to playGTA on a PS2!We would like to believe all of the crowds were around to see the showcased vehicles, but alas, the NICO models may have had a slight hand in it as well.
The NICO models were, as expected, a constant attraction wherever they went.Mix in the addition of1000 NICO posters, a dozen Sharpies, a covered table, and joint effort of Chopp and James co-hosting a microphone and bullhorn, the autographed poster sessions drew a monster crowd all day long.At times, the crowd wasso thick you would have assumed we were giving away free lottery tickets or money!The girls wereup to the task and worked the whole weekend signing and smiling away even when the constant photo requests by admirers kept pulling them away from the task at hand.
And of course, no mention of the Nissan Invasion would be complete without our own male model: Torry, aka EZcheese15. He was phenomenally popular, particularly with the dudes.Weird.
In addition to the posters, countless numbers of NICO stickers, tattoos, and tagging cards were given away. NICO t-shirts were flying off the shelves, with NICOMom heading up the sales.It was pretty impressive to see over 300 people sporting NICOclub shirts while watching the drift event.
The enthusiasm throughout the event was phenomenal.Everyone walking through the Nissan are awarded by the NICO tent and commented on how well everything was organized and what a great event we were putting on.We even had potential new members ask if they could register online within the tent itself.The enthusiasm of our members was highlighted by NICO’s own Alisha (Nismochick240) who was a huge hit with everyone who attended the event and visited the NICO area as her friendliness and charm won over even the most shy of attendees. Her popularity was so great she couldn’t walk around without being swamped with photo requests.
NICOclub even converted some of the domestic crowd – The Chevrolet models stopped by for some free food! Turns out the Chevy promoters will not let their models eat while they are “on the job”. 12 hour days being what they are, NICO came to the rescue!During the lunch-time cookout, we hid them behind our NICO Support Vehicles and NICO Featured Rides while they were eating. No good turn goes unanswered as they proceeded to do a round of photos with our very own NICO models.This made for some great photo ops and made many a NOPI fan very happy to be surrounded by six gorgeous models!
You know you’re putting on a great show when the NOPI crew yells out “NICO rocks!” as they drive by on a golf cart.
One of the most interesting parts of NICOclub’s Nissan Invasion was the sheer diversity of cars and trucks in attendance. Everything from a supercharged Xterra laying frame in the booth, to a monster lifted Titan, to a pristine classic Skyline, a supercharged KA24DE-powered 240sx, several boosted 350Z’s and G35’s, an RB26DET-powered 280ZX, a Sentra SE-R with a VQ35 swap, and everything in between.
Sunday’s festivities began a little later, with people rolling in after a long night partying. NICOclub held a HUGE raffle for its members.Yokohama graciously provided TWO sets of FREE tires, pit crew jackets, t-shirts, and even some MP3 players! Sparkplugs.com donated a bunch of in-car fire extinguishers in NICO colors, and Motorsports Authentics contributed several die-cast cars. The winners never thought they’d be leaving the show with such cool loot.
NICOclub also awarded its most prestigious award at this meet:The Paul Souder Spirit Award is named in honor of one of NICO’s moderators who passed away in 2005.Last year’s recipient, Dan Vogelsberg (240sx2nr95) was on hand to pass the torch.Our very own Matt Moody (audtatious) was selected to receive this honor, based on his tireless efforts behind the scenes at NICO and helping members whenever the need arises.
Following the raffle was the award ceremony for Nissans and Infiniti’s, and the NICO staff had a ridiculously difficult task this year. There were tons of solid competitors in each category, and narrowing it down to just two was tough. Unfortunately, one of the nicest 240s there had to be disqualified. Sean (MagikDragon) was promoted to Moderator, half an hour before the awards. Sorry Sean, but welcome to the team!
For the second year in a row, NICOclub took home the Club Participation trophy, an occurrence that is sure to repeat itself for countless years to come.
All in all, attempting to describe the 2006 NICOclub.com Nissan Invasion is pretty much impossible. It’s something you truly have to experience to believe. If you didn’t make it this year, start planning NOW for next year. You do NOT want to miss this party!