It's Thanksgiving weekend in Daytona Beach, Florida, you're in the infield of the Daytona International Speedway, there are over 4,000 hot rods, over 4,000 vendor/swap meet spaces, and over 2,500 cars in the car corral-it must by the 37th Annual Daytona Turkey Run.
No awards, no TV personalities, just thousand of cars and parts to look at and enjoy coupled with a carnival-style food court and numerous door prizes given away daily. Add what is arguably the "World's Most Famous Beach"-an array of nighttime activities, plus all the amenities of a tourist town-and the Turkey Run is the place to be.
Sue and Jim Kraus of Bourg,...
Sue and Jim Kraus of Bourg, LA, are the proud owners of this really fine '39 Ford coupe. The metallic maroon paint, along with the tan wheels, baby moon caps, and wide whites gives a classy look.
The Daytona Beach Street Rods handle the show car portion of the event and a majority of the proceeds go to the Volusia County Special Olympics. The Daytona Beach Racing & Recreational Facilities District oversees the swap meet, car corral, and the gate admissions. Those proceeds are reinvested in local recreation facilities and activities. Unlike corporate-produced car shows, the Turkey Run is unique, in that it directly supports the local community.
After 37 years the Turkey Run is run like a well-oiled machine. In addition to plenty of show car parking areas, there are special reserved "club parking areas." These areas are marked with the club names and the club member's cars have specific stickers that indicate their club parking area, thus allowing the traffic directing crew to get you to your area. There are notaries available in the car corral area should you buy or sell a vehicle. There are traffic-directing personnel at all infield intersections. There are "parts haulers" available to carry your swap meet/vendor finds to the parking area, and there are motorized carts available for rent. The Turkey Run is participant/spectator friendly.
For a slight fee, the host...
For a slight fee, the host club will furnish dedicated club parking. No need to arrive early to get a good spot and you can be sure that you can park with all of your friends.
As we walked the spacious speedway infield we came to the conclusion that our hobby/sport appears to be weathering the economic storm quite well. In addition to the largest crowd ever, the array of cars ran from budget-built rods to high-end national award winners; rods, customs, muscle cars, antiques, and everything in between.
Vendors we spoke with were doing a brisk business as were the swap meet crowd. We witnessed a lot of parts being hauled out to the parking areas all weekend long.
If you are looking for a laid back, fun event, packed with a variety of day and night activities, reserve the 2011 Thanksgiving week for the 38th Annual Turkey Run, for more information: www.turkeyrun.com.
"Ed" came down the East Coast...
"Ed" came down the East Coast from Delaware in his beautiful Purple '40 Ford drop-top.
Mary Ann and Eldon Smith of...
Mary Ann and Eldon Smith of Duluth, GA, brought their beautiful black over silver contemporary Dearborn Deuce. The interior features tan leather with snake skin inserts.
Red metalflake, white rolls...
Red metalflake, white rolls and pleats, cheater slicks, narrow whitewalls on chrome reversed wheels, with spiders; this '60s style T-bucket was in the swap meet area with an asking price of $16,500.