Contrary to popular belief, the distinction of “The Birthplace of Speed” is no marketing tagline. Instead, the phrase heralds back to the very beginnings of Ormond Beach history. In the early 1900s, people from all over would flock to Ormond’s pristine beach sand to witness history in the making.
Home to some of the earliest car races (and the site of plans that would later become NASCAR), Ormond Beach and automotive history go hand in hand. While racing is off-beach today, this dynamic city still retains its deep roots, warm charm, and exciting love affair with interesting and aesthetic automobiles. Read on to discover your chance to step back in time and get a glimpse of Ormond Beach’s storied past.
Antique Cars on Parade
Now in its 62nd year, Ormond Beach carries on a favorite tradition every November (during Thanksgiving weekend) with the Gaslight Parade and Antique Car Show. Here, you’ll see working classic vehicles drive by, decorated for the season.
All cars, trucks, and motorcycles are pre-1988, and modifications aren’t allowed. That means you won’t see any hot rods, customized (sometimes called souped-up) rides, or non-authentic selections. Instead, the whole family will enjoy classic vehicles in excellent condition, some with their original paint.
In past years, along with cars and trucks from the 1950s and 60s, there have even been Model T vehicles on display. Plus, several of the drivers dress up in period costume that matches their cars. It’s a great opportunity to educate children and grandchildren on the history of how life was lived not too long ago.
On the Saturday following Thanksgiving, you can get a close-up look at all the vehicles, which will be parked in and along Fortunado Park in Ormond Beach. The event is free and open to all ages.
Car Show with Broad Appeal
Once you’ve been bitten by the classic car bug, it’s easy to head down the road to Daytona Beach for the 45th annual Daytona Turkey Run. This family-friendly event features a car show, swap meet, plus arts and crafts on display and available for purchase. In fact, it’s the largest combined car show/swap meet in the country.
Here, you’ll see thousands of classic and unique vehicles (including hot rods). You can also meet and chat with the drivers. If you’re in the market for a classic car, there’s a good chance you might find just what you’re looking for at the event. There is an admission for adults to view the cars. Children 11 and under get in free.
Other Classic Car Events
Florida is officially known as the “Sunshine State” for the nearly 365 bright and picturesque days we enjoy here. Residents and visitors alike especially appreciate Central Florida for the wealth of exciting activities and programs held throughout the year.
That includes smaller shows and historical displays. Many area churches and organizations hold regular classic car events. For example, the Dairy Queen Classic Car and Truck Show is a recurring event in Ormond Beach. So is New Smyrna Beach’s Lost Lagoon Castaway Cruise. Each month, the Daytona Flea Market hosts a classic car event. There’s also a monthly cruise-in held in downtown DeLand.
These programs are just one more reason why Central Florida and Ormond Beach have remained a family-friendly destination for decades. In fact, many people who visit the area come back to live for all or part of the year.
Year Round Cruising Enjoyment
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