A December Day in Daytona Beach 12/11/2013

  With much of the country in a deep freeze, we are enjoying amazing 80 plus degree temps and abundant sunshine in December.
It appears to me our fellow “scootourists” who may be in a deep freeze might enjoy a little encouragement for the hope of Spring.
Colette and I took a ride today around Daytona. The area has so much history dating back to the early 1900’s. Obviously it was in the late 40’s when Big Bill France truly made history. Auto racing was in disarray. Promoters would run out with the ticket sales cash in hand in the middle of the race never to be seen again, drivers argued post-race about finishing order and rules and assorted other problems. Bill decided there needed to be an organization of promoters in order to solve these problems. He invited other promoters from the Southeast to Daytona Beach for a meeting to attempt to form a new group with common rules and enforceable policies. They met at a very cool local upscale, at the time, hotel on A1A near the beach.

1F

The Streamliner Hotel…where NASCAR was formed on a December afternoon in 1947

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Not so glamorous today but was very cool in the 40’s and 50’s

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Bill France Jr’s Pure Oil Station when it was a going concern in the 40’s.

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The Pure Oil station is now called Main Street Station where they serve up your favorite adult beverage and rock and roll music. It is a thriving hangout for motorcyclists. Glad to see the building being utilized. It would be even better if International Speedway Corporation would buy it and restore it to its former glory.

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After meeting drinks were had at the rooftop bar of the Streamliner

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The proverbial smoked filled room provided the perfect setting to organize stock car racing in America. What a pivotal moment in history this picture captures.

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It is in fact…The World’s Most Famous Beach

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The North Turn located at…where else? The North Turn of the old beach track. That track not only held stock car racing but was the home of the Daytona 200 motorcycle race held annually until racing was moved to the new Daytona International Speedway.

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A photo of motorcycle racing on “The Beach”

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On the far side of this picture is turns 3 and 4 located at Ponce Inlet

2A

Main Street in the off season! Park those scooters anywhere you’d like!

2B

You just have to love the coastal highway (A1A) along the Northeast Florida Coast. Bring those scooters and come on down!

There are only a couple of pictures from that December meeting at the Streamliner where NASCAR was formed. I found them!
The pictures hang on the wall at The North Turn restaurant located on the beach at the location of turns 1 and 2 of the old beach track South of Daytona on A1A the coastal highway.
A little known true story is that Bill France was having problems with people jumping the temporary fencing that surrounded the beach course therefore avoiding paying for a ticket to the event. Bill, ever the promoter, had his guys put up signs in that area warning out of town race fans to “Watch for Poisonous Snakes!) The signs worked.
After an enjoyable lunch on the beach at The North Turn we decided to return to the famous Main Street in Daytona Beach. That is the central nervous system of Daytona Bike Week. Everyone has seen pictures of Main Street taken during bike week. We locals however see a different picture. It is a ghost town when 500,000 of our closest motorcycle friends are not here.
There are many places in the Daytona Beach area that most visitors never see. Over the next several weeks I am in hopes of bringing you an inside look at many of them. Gotta go! The scooter is calling and I am headed out for a ride!
Barry
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