The NCHWA is back! After 6 years of watching the NCHWA.com URL being improperly used by its new owner, I saw that it finally became available again for purchase. And, yeah...I jumped right on it! It needs to go back to where it belongs...in the Hot Wheels community. So, I'm the new owner of an old friend that I started back in 1998.
A brief history of the North Carolina Hot Wheels Association: Back in 1998, a humble website called Giordano's Hot Wheels was started. It was a meager collaboration of pics, articles...whatever was on my mind. Then, it caught interest...enough to where 7 of us met in a K-Mart parking lot on a frigid February afternoon. It was the first-ever NCHWA Tailgater. The website itself soon expanded into a HUGE database of pictures, price guides, articles, forums and several other features that have long since slipped my mind. When the site went over a million hits, I was astounded.
Long story short...those 7 collectors soon turned into a hundred or more, from all over the United States. We started the dot com URL in 2000, and membership swelled. We introduced downhill racing, custom contests and a lot of other interesting events. It was about Hot Wheels....but, also about the fellowship of collectors. Many friendships were forged back in those days. Soon, a meager wooden track that we built became an electronic wonder when some members pitched in to build what I believed to be the best track in the country, and the show crowds got bigger. After several successful shows, the NCHWA hit its peak on August 2, 2003, when it hosted Summerfest 2003. We enjoyed the company of Hot Wheels designers that we flew in from California, limited editions directly from Mattel, club cars, races, contests, hotel trading, dinner with the designers...you name it. It was the biggest show on the East Coast at that time by a non-Mattel-sanctioned Hot Wheels club. We rented out the ENTIRE WING of a mall in Morrisville, NC just to host the event!
Well, when anything grows, it has differing opinions on the direction it should take. I was admittedly overwhelmed by events in my life at that time, and made some poor decisions for the club. It was directly after that show in 2003 that I decided the NCHWA had run its course, and made the very difficult decision to walk away. It was a helluva 5-year run, and I enjoyed every second of it. How something so big could be born from a tiny website on Geocities was baffling to me...yet, I felt an extreme sense of accomplishment when it was all said and done. I sat back and just watched the big crowds at that last show, and I knew that while I'd made many mistakes...that this was a GOOD thing. And, I was ok to walk away at that point. It was then that I made the gut-wrenching decision to shut down the NCHWA. The nchwa.com URL was sold to someone else, and it became some kinda insurance portal, or something stupid like that. I'd type it in over the years, just to see it...and decided a long time ago that if it ever became available, I'd snatch it up. And, I did. On March 27, 2009...almost exactly 9 years since the first tailgater, the NCHWA was brought up from the ashes.
As of right now, I have no intention of running the "club" route. Maybe down the road, but I think there are enough clubs of that nature in this area. No, right now, the goal is to enjoy the hobby by sharing photo galleries, opinions, articles, collections...you name it. I just want to have a website devoted to the hobby...just like it was back in 1998.
I feel like I've got an old friend back. Enjoy the changes to come...and thanks for visiting.