While there are literally hundreds of car and truck shows throughout the year in the Sunshine State, there is one Florida favorite that's always on everyone's list. Enthusiasts from around the country and around the world come to enjoy the legendary Daytona Turkey Run. Held during the four-day Thanksgiving weekend, the event is the largest car show and swap meet in Florida, with vehicles displayed inside the Daytona International Speedway.
This year, more than 4,800 created a rainbow of color for the thousands of spectators to admire. While the sheer number of vehicles would be enough to put this event in a class by itself, it's only part of the story. The Turkey Run is equally famous for its huge collection of vehicles in the Car Corral, making it the perfect opportunity to trade in the old ride and come home with something new. With well over 1,000 to choose from, the odds were good that you could find the perfect ride.
But that's still only part of the story. The collection of almost 3,000 vendors who set up shop every year makes it a Mecca for car and truck restorers hunting down parts. From items as small as light bulbs and wire ties to crate motors and turnkey kit cars, the selection was amazing. Food vendors kept your energy reserves up and scooter rentals simplified sightseeing.
Thousands of dollars worth of door prizes were given away Friday and Saturday and the winner of the raffle car was announced Saturday night. The Daytona Beach Street Rods have been supporting Daytona area charities for decades with the proceeds from their raffle vehicles. Jim Smalley from Orlando, Florida, was glad he contributed to the cause, since he is now the proud owner of the 1971 Chevelle SS. If you'd like to learn more about this Florida favorite event, check out www.turkeyrun.com for details on the Fall Turkey Run or the new Spring Turkey Run, March 23 and 24, 2013.
01, 02 Thirty-nine years and still going strong, the Daytona Beach Street Rods host club is coming up on their 40th anniversary. Well over 1,000 vehicles were on display in the Car Corral, making it the largest "weekend custom car lot" in Florida! The selection of both cars and trucks was amazing.
03 Gene Wood's beautiful AmberGlow '51 Chevy truck was vintage on the outside, but runs a complete S-10 chassis and 4.3L V-6 underneath.
04 Turkey Run Event Chairman and charter member of the Daytona Beach Street Rods, Rick Finzer, owns this 1945 (yes, 1945!) Chevy pickup, modified with a subtle 6-inch extension in the cab for a little extra legroom.
05 Rolling in from Churchton, Maryland, Bernard Bickerton displayed his high-performance 1966 Chevy panel, complete with tilt front end, big-block, and supercharger.
06, 07 There was no name on this vintage Dodge pickup, but the combination of dual four barrels and supercharger tells us it's not yer daddy's old farm truck.
08 Wayne Schumacher, a body shop owner in Haines City, Florida, transformed his neglected 1949 Chevy, called "Truck in a Bucket" into a July, 2011 feature in our sister publication, CUSTOM CLASSIC TRUCKS.
09 This colorfully painted 1955 Ford pickup was displayed in the Car Corral and could have been yours for a mere $25,000.
10 Some old favorites showed up at the Turkey Run. Matt Majeski's beautiful 1950 Chevrolet pickup truck was on the CLASSIC TRUCKS cover in the September, 2012 issue.
12, 13 At an event like this, food takes on a charm of its own especially when it's served from the back of a beautifully restored vintage truck. And as you might imagine, the warm Florida weather ensured brisk ice cream sales as well.
14, 15 With more than 3,000 vendors in attendance, the selection of both new and pre-owned parts was unequaled.
16 From Melbourne, Florida, Jeff Clester displayed his beautifully restored 1950 Chevy.
17 The flawless paintjob on Glenn Lockhart's 1956 F-100 attracted admiring glances throughout the weekend.
18 "Big Herb" owns this 1959 Chevrolet Apache Pro Street, modernized with a 468-cube big-block Chevy, Turbo 400 transmission, and Art Morrison-suspended 9-inch Ford rear.
19 Each year, the Daytona Beach Street Rods raffle off a car to support area charities. This year, the '71 Chevelle SS went home with Orlando's Jim Smalley.
20 This bright yellow 1972 Chevy pickup with a late-model bed belongs to Donald and Brenda Daniel from Richmond Hill, Georgia.