Turkey Run painting by artist Wayne Mauro

There was no sign of an economic downturn at the 36th Annual Turkey Run. Record crowds, record number of cars, record swap meet sales, record car corral sales, and a very successful auction all added up to a great weekend of motorhead mayhem.

A few years back the host club, the Daytona Beach Street Rods, elected to remove the word "Rod" from the Turkey Rod Run slogan. The reason was custom cars, classic cars, trucks, etc...were also a big part of the biggest car show in the Southeast. This year the cutoff year was removed and any classic, custom, street rod, antique or specialty car or truck was welcome. This made a really big event even bigger and better.

Held in the massive infield of the Daytona International Speedway, in addition to the biggest car show in the Southeast, the Turkey Run features the biggest swap meet and vendor area in the Southeast. If you could not find it here you probably didn't need it. Parts movers are available to carry your purchases to your vehicle and they were very busy shuttling parts all four days.

Dan Kruse Classics in conjunction with Vicari Motorsports produced a classic car auction that ran from mid morning to late afternoon Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. A host of rods, customs, and classics rolled across the auction block all day long. The call of the auctioneer, along with the calls of the bidders just added to the atmosphere.

Throw in 1,500 car corral spots, a craft sales area, and a giant food court and you had a full four-day weekend of fun.

If spending the day perusing the swap meet, checking out the car corral or eyeing the nearly 5,000 show entrants wasn't enough, nighttime activities were everywhere. The sanctioned activities were held each evening just outside of turn four of the speedway. Music, food, slow drags, tricycle races, a car teeter-totter, and more made up those activities.

Other evening activities are located throughout the area, including the highly popular Bel Air Plaza "Outlaw" Cruise. So named because it is not planned, it is not sanctioned, and it is not advertised, yet every year hundreds of rods and customs invade the Bel Air Plaza Shopping Center parking lot for the nightly cruise.

Throw in the tourist attractions and the miles of drivable, wide, flat, sandy, beaches, and there was something for everyone. This explains why the four-day event is beginning to become a week long or even longer for many participants.

As we walked the show grounds we noticed an increase in the number of fat fendered rods, especially '39 and '40 Fords, plus a good number of drop tops from the same years. Rubber running boards, cowl lights, door handles, and bumpers appear to be continuing to make a comeback, as are full fendered, unmolested Fords, Chevys, and few Mopars of all years.

As in the past, all profits generated from swap meet spaces, car corral spaces and spectator ticket sales are handled by the Daytona Beach Racing and Recreational Facilities District and are used for parks and recreation in the Daytona Beach area. The profits from the car show entry fees and the raffle car are handled by the Daytona Beach Street Rods and are donated to various area charities with an emphasis on the Volusia County Special Olympics.

If you are looking for a really exciting Thanksgiving weekend check out the 37th Annual Turkey Run. For information contact www.turkeyrun.com

  • «
  • |
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • View Full Article