The Daytona Turkey Run is always looked forward to with much anticipation by auto enthusiasts from not only Florida, but the Southeast...as a pretty hefty percentage of participants are not Florida residents. However, this year some of that anticipation certainly revolved around seeing the completed renovations to the Speedways Infield area at the 32nd Annual Turkey Run over Thanksgiving weekend on November 24-27, 2005. While the renovations obviously came about for the NASCAR races held inside the world famous facility, the changes would also affect us car show goers for the Turkey Run and the Spring Daytona Beach Car Show & Swap Meet.
At the Turkey Run in 2004 things were pretty torn up, and caused some minor congestion issues - not that everyone didnt still have a good time. Well, having everything done for this Turkey Run was great! All the improvements not only looked good to the eye, but there were also areas that they can now put to use that were previously not available. It might take another event or two for everyone to get completely used to the new layout, but it will certainly be better than the old one in the end.
Probably the most noticeable improvement was the layout of the car corral. Now it is all in a row, making it easy to negotiate. Before, when it was in the garages area and the adjacent grass fields, there was a maze of fences to negotiate and you always had this vague sense of where things were and where you should go next. Not a problem now - just follow LONG, straight rows of vehicles for sale.
The weather this year was the best I can remember, with comfortable temperatures, no wind, and no rain. Add to that more than 5,000 show cars, the packed swap meet area, and lots of cars for sale and it was a real pleasure. The combination also seemed to bring out tons of spectators as well, and I wouldnt doubt it was a new record in that area.
When the sun went down the official activities were just outside the Speedway at the corner of Midway and International Speedway Boulevard. There you could watch or participate in the Slow Drags, Flame Thrower and Teeter Totter contests, with cash prizes going to the respective winners each night. Or you could just hang out with your fellow enthusiasts and admire all the cool cars on hand. This was also the location for the Giveaway Car drawing at 9:00pm on Saturday night, with Mark Chadsey from Cromwell, Connecticut left holding the winning ticket for the red 1963 Chevy Nova. I dont know how the out of state participants have managed to win so often recently, but I wish some of that luck would rub off on me come next year, as Id love to drive home the 1962 Chevy Impala at the 2006 edition of the Turkey Run.
Of course unofficial nighttime activities were taking place over by the beach, with lots of cruising and hanging out along A1A. This is where our hotel was, and where we spent the majority of our evenings this particular year.
The Daytona Beach Street Rods host club and the Daytona Beach Racing & Recreational Facilities District did another great job making the Turkey Run an awesome way to spend Thanksgiving weekend! Were already looking forward to the 17th Annual Spring Daytona Beach Car Show & Swap Meet, just around the corner now on March 24-26, 2006. We hope to see you all there. For more info on either the Spring Daytona show or the Turkey Run you can visit www.daytonabeachcarshows.com. CN