While drivers in the northern states are still held hostage by snowdrifts piled high in front of their garage doors, folks in the Sunshine State are enjoying one of the first big shows of the season. Held in mid March, the Daytona Spring Car Show and Swap Meet is the second largest show in Florida, just behind the Thanksgiving Weekend Turkey Run. While the Turkey Run is vintage hot rod-oriented, the Spring Show attracts show cars, motorcycles, customs, antiques, car clubs, and always has a great collection of cool, classic trucks.

Held in the infield of the Daytona International Speedway, the event is unique since judging and trophies only apply to a select few of the participants. If a trophy is your goal, you can line up on Sunday morning for the judges to inspect your vehicle, but for most of the attendees, the event is not about elaborate displays and polished undercarriages. The emphasis has always been on fun, so give your truck a quick wipe, pull in, park, and head out to meet old friends. This year, more than a thousand drivers did just that, along with many thousands of spectators who descended on Daytona to enjoy the multicolored vehicle display. The show was also a perfect opportunity for some parts shopping, thanks to the 900 vendors on hand selling shiny and new along with rusty and dusty. If it was time to trade in the family ride, the car corral saw lots of vehicles changing hands, thanks to the huge selection of more than 650 vehicles on display. A craft show with dozens of vendors added even more variety while the food concessions made sure your energy levels were high enough to enjoy the three-day weekend. If you’d like to learn more about this first big event of the Southeast season, check out the website www.daytonabeachcarshows.com. CCT