Daytona Beach Spring Auto Show Draws 50,000 Spectators to Speedway

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Patricio G. Balona

The 32nd Daytona Turkey Race in the Spring at International Speedway was a good one for Jim Burke.

Burke sold his 1958 Ford Fairlane Skyliner, a retractable hardtop convertible, on Sunday, the last day of the annual three-day spring auto show.

“I have a buyer and we are close to closing the sale,” Burke, of Viera, said as onlookers gathered to watch the car with the top up. “I was asking $54,900 for it.”

Selling and exhibiting classic cars is part of the Turkey Run, said Zac Celesti, the event’s marketing and public relations manager.

Ron Skinner sits in the 1958 Ford Fairlane Skyliner pull-up convertible he purchased at the 32nd annual Spring Daytona Turkey Run on Sunday, March 27, 2022.

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“At Turkey Run, we have the car corral where people can bring their cars and put them up for sale, and make a deal with any of the spectators who come to see them,” Celesti said.

Ron Skinner of Jacksonville was pleased with his purchase – Burke’s 1958 Ford Fairlane Skyliner.

“It’s a convertible and I like the body style,” Skinner said as he walked around admiring the classic vehicle.

Of the hundreds of classic cars on display at the auto show, Ron Skinner and his son, Wesley, said they preferred the Ford Fairlane.

The Skinners already own two classic cars, a 1960 Chevy Impala and a 1950 Oldsmobile.

“It will be number 3,” said Wesley Skinner.

“You must have something to play with, don’t you?” Wesley Skinner said when asked why he chose the 1958 Fairlane convertible.

Hundreds of classic cars are on display during the 32nd annual Spring Daytona Turkey Run at International Speedway on Sunday, March 27, 2022.

The Skinners weren’t the only happy customers to strike a deal at the Turkey Run.

Organizers declared the event a success.

At least 50,000 people attended the three-day motor show. Saturday was the busiest day with at least 30,000 visitors, Celesti said.

“It’s been awesome. It was a packed event,” Celesti said.

The auto show kicked off on Friday and featured show cars; the car corral with cars for sale; a swap meet where vendors sold auto parts and tools; and a craft alley where people made jewelry and other souvenirs to sell to visitors, Celesti said.

“We have Model T cars from the early 1900s, a lot of Fords and Chevys from the 50s, 60s, 70s,” Celesti said. “But most of them are classics, and some are bespoke vehicles built from the ground up.”

Visitors from local communities, as well as cold countries and states, said Sunday’s warm spring weather made the auto show an enjoyable outdoor event. Melbourne’s National Weather Service said the Daytona Beach area saw plenty of sunshine on Sunday with a high of 75 degrees.

“The sun,” said Glenn Lloyd of Ontario, Canada, when asked what brought him to the Daytona Turkey Run a third time. “My father loved cars and I inherited some from him, but the sun, we have a lot of it here.”

Jimmy Johnson, of New Smyrna Beach, his wife and grandchildren enjoy the 32nd Annual Spring Daytona Turkey Run at International Speedway on Sunday, March 27, 2022.

And for Jimmy Johnson of New Smyrna Beach, he said it was good to take a break from his pest control business and spend time outdoors at the car show with his grandchildren.

“My grandfather had like a 1972 Super Nova, and I like old cars,” Johnson said, standing next to a classic red SS Camaro.

“I like the Camaro. I think it’s hot,” Johnson said with a laugh.

Others, like Bob Krakosky and his Daytona Mustang Club pals, said they were proud to display their classic Ford Mustangs in the show car section of the Turkey Run.

Daytona Mustang Club members sit around their classic Mustangs at the 32nd Annual Spring Daytona Turley Race on Sunday, March 27, 2022.

According to the group’s website, the club is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the most popular automobile of “our time, the Ford Mustang, as well as classic car enthusiasts genuinely proud of the rich history American car”.

The group enjoys club cars and the company of its members, but it also supports charities in Volusia County, Krakosky said.

On Sunday, club members sat in a circle in lawn chairs basking in the sun, their colorful classic Ford Mustangs around them.

“The show was great and the weather was nice,” Krakosky said.

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