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34th Annual Daytona Turkey Run • 2007

Mention the word “Daytona” to the average citizen and many images are likely brought to mind. Perhaps the sunny beaches, NASCAR racing, Spring Break, or possibly even Bike Week. But if you also add the term “Thanksgiving Weekend”, any auto enthusiast worth his salt will know you’re talking about the Daytona Turkey Run held inside the world famous Daytona International Speedway. This year marked the 34th Anniversary, with November 22-25 being the 2007 dates for what has long been the largest car show and swap meet in the Southeast. While some of your other relatives may be thinking about turkey, parades and football over Thanksgiving weekend, the real die-hard car folks will be packing their sunscreen and comfortable walking shoes because there is only one place to be that time of year.....the Daytona Turkey Run!

As big as the expansive infield section of the Speedway is, the amazing thing is that it still has problems holding the entire show these days. Literally every available space is utilized, which is in part due to the 5,195 show vehicles that attended. The entire east half of the infield, and even the grassy flats along the Speedway’s banked turns 3 and 4, contain so many great show cars and trucks to look at it can be almost mind boggling at times. Everywhere you look there is another gleaming masterpiece pulling you in for a closer look - which is a nice dilemma to have! The only downside for us while taking photos to cover the event is that only a small percentage of the vehicles display their rear view mirror ID cards - and if we can’t get the owners name we move on. In fact, here is a tip: If you want to get your car pictured in the magazine (for this show or any other), the number one thing you can do to increase your odds is to simply display an ID card.

Anyone who has attended the Turkey Run also knows that the swap meet area is phenomenal. The entire west side of the infield is packed with vendors selling new and used parts, and if you can’t find it in Daytona, good luck scouring the internet next because it must be a totally obscure item! We weren’t looking for anything specific in the swap meet this year, but still managed to discover a few things we just had to have - we just didn’t know it until we saw them!

The car corral was revamped in 2005 with an easier to understand layout after renovations were made to the infield, and now it is a real pleasure wading through isle after linear isle of vehicles for sale. If you want a new ride, the Turkey Run is a good place to start (or possibly end) your search.

Luckily the weather held up for the most part this year, with only a few sprinkles and light showers during show hours all weekend. The nightly activities just outside the Speedway and along A1A were as fun as ever, and made the evenings just as entertaining as the days.

The Daytona Beach Street Rods host the Turkey Run, and along with help from others, do a great job of making such a big event run so smoothly. It really is amazing how relatively trouble-free everything remains. Even the traffic congestion in the mornings isn’t too bad when you think of the sheer volume of vehicles and people they deal with.

Next up at the Speedway is the 19th Annual Spring Daytona Beach Car Show & Swap Meet on March 28-30, 2008. Though it is the younger and smaller of the two Daytona shows, even at half the size of the Turkey Run it is tons of fun, and we certainly hope to see you there. You should also start making your plans now for the 35th Annual Turkey Run on November 27-30, 2008, as it will be here before you know it. For more info on either event you can visit when cyber-surfing. CN