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Daytona Beach Racing

This is where it all started in Daytona. Before there was the Daytona International Super Speedway there was racing on the beach. This is the original north corner where the first race was held.

This doesn’t involve the Talladega or Spoiler cars directly but it does deal with racing. Before there was a big super speedway to race on in Daytona there was the beach. The first race ran 2 miles north up the beach and then transitioned to a 2 mile run south on asphalt. There were some pretty wild races and spectacular wrecks. Although I have attended the Daytona 500 and the “Firecracker” 400 I have always wished I could have been there for a beach race.

In an attempt to escape some of the cold and ice of the current unusually wicked Tennessee winter we made a short but warm and fun trip to Central Florida recently. It was the week before the Daytona 500 and the area was a buzz with racing activities. We took in some terrific dirt track Outlaw racing a Volusia Speedway and will certainly do that again on a future trip.

This 1956 Mercury is owned by its original owner, Russ Truelove. He bought the car new, drove to Daytona after making only two payments on it. He added a roll bar and an engine kit and qualified 5th. He out qualified some of the factory teams. Unfortunately, Going into the north turn he flipped violently and totaled the car. He walked away and Ford sent him a complete new body he installed on the rebuilt frame and went on to race the car for many more years!

Other than the typical amusement park attractions we wanted to find some original Daytona Beach race activities. We were fortunate enough to attend one of several events and shows that were being held but had to miss the parade on the beach of the vintage cars due to our own mechanical breakdown.

Junior Johnson 1959 Chevy.

We did manage to have lunch at the North Turn Restaurant which we highly recommend and also take in the display of race cars at the Light House at Pounce Inlet.

I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I did taking them. If you are ever in Florida the week before the 500 make sure you take in some of these pre-race day activities. The crowds are light but the cars are great.

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This Mercury was purchased new, had two payment made on it and then went racing on the beach. The owner/driver had a horrific accident in the North Turn and totaled the car but walked away. Ford sent him a new 56 Mercury body which he installed on the rebuilt frame and contiued to race for many more years.
This Mercury was purchased new, had two payment made on it and then went racing on the beach. The owner/driver had a horrific accident in the North Turn and totaled the car but walked away. Ford sent him a new 56 Mercury body which he installed on the rebuilt frame and continued to race for many more years.


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David did not always drive a Ford.
David did not always drive a Ford.
Don't know how to mount your expensive race seat? Weld two steel wheels together and then weld the seat frame to that.
Don’t know how to mount your expensive race seat? Weld two steel wheels together and then weld the seat frame to that.
A "zipper top", this old Ford had a convertible zipper top that could be removed to race in the convertible division or re-attached and race as a hardtop!
A “zipper top”, this old Ford had a convertible zipper top that could be removed to race in the convertible division or re-attached and race as a hardtop!

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Richard

Some of my first and strongest memories from my childhood relate to cars. I still remember when things happened based on what car I was driving at the time. I grew up and lived in Iowa for nearly 40 years before moving to Southern California and now live in Tennessee. I was a Corvette fanatic for years but then re-discovered vintage American Muscle. My wife, Katrina, and I decided we wanted to focus on unique and rare muscle cars. After a lot of research we fell in love with the Ford Blue Oval Aero Cars. These were only built in 1969 and and aerodynamics became an important part of winning races. The only purpose of these limited production cars was to win NASCAR races using the Boss 429 and 427 power plants complimented with a special, wind cheating, aerodynamic body. The Ford Talladega and Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II are terrific and historic cars. This site is devoted to these car and their owners past and present. We provide an Online Registry for recording the long term history and ownership of every remaining Talladega, Spoiler and Spoiler II.

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