PONCE INLET — Dozens of vintage race cars rumbled over the beach at Ponce Inlet on Saturday morning during the 10th annual Historic North Turn Legends Beach Parade.
But before the cars got moving on the sand, airplanes from the Whiskey Group out of Spruce Creek flew overhead followed by the national anthem. The 50 classic cars on hand then revved their engines to energize the crowd of about 150 people.
At 10:30 a.m. the cars made their way north from the beach to South Atlantic Avenue. They traveled south, accessed the beach via the Beach Street ramp and headed north on the sand to complete their lap and exited at the North Turn beach approach.
Car owners stood proudly next to their vehicles before the parade kicked off.
“This is a 1937 Ford Coupe,” said William Bossa, a race participant. “It has a flathead Ford engine. It was built by (retired American race car driver) Tighe Scott as a tribute car to his uncle Vic Caesar.”
Bossa said he enjoys coming to the event every year.
“The weather’s beautiful and I love the fellowship,” he said. “I also enjoy letting people get inside the car. I like helping them understand a little bit more about the history of racing on the beach.”
People came from near and far to get a glimpse of the action.
“I come out every year to see the classic cars,” said Terry Roberts, Ponce Inlet resident and snowbird. “I live close so I just walk down.
“The nostalgia and the fact that they’re so dedicated to doing this every year is what I appreciate about it. And the weather’s always nice. I just came down from New York a few days ago. So this is a pleasure.”
For some the parade has sentimental value.
“It’s nice to see all the old cars and to know that they actually raced right here on the beach,” said Betty Edwards, a Ponce Inlet resident since 1994. “And to see some of the diehard race fans. It’s really great that the North Turn and the town get together and do this event every year. To have the flyover was magnificent.”
Edwards added that this year’s event didn’t compare to last year. She said it was just a small fraction of what it was like over the last three years.
Rhonda Glasnak, owner of Racing’s North Turn Beach Bar and president of the Historic North Turn Legend’s Beach Parade, said the coronavirus pandemic had an impact on the event.
“It’s a little bit different this year because we normally don’t stage on the beach,” said Glasnak. “We normally stage in our parking lot.
“So to try to help with the pandemic we put them on the beach to spread them out more and I think it worked out really well.”
She said the parade features a variety of cars and participants come from all over.
“We had the Roaring Relic which was brought out of the museum Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. The Pace car that Linda Vaughn is in that was brought out of the museum as well,” Glasnak said. “I have people that come from South Carolina, North Carolina, New Mexico. I’ve had people come from Arizona. They haul these cars from everywhere to be able to participate.”
She said a lot of work is done well in advance and with the pandemic organizers weren’t even sure it would happen this year. Volusia County and the town of Ponce Inlet have been very instrumental in making sure it’s a successful event, she said.
This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Vintage cars draw crowd to sands of Ponce Inlet for annual North Turn Legends Beach Parade