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Spring Break Tuner Bash

Rollin’ A1A in a rented 4.6

Douglas R. Glad
Apr 1, 2001
Photographer: Peter MacGillivray

Looking for the Tuner Bash 2004 Coverage? Hold your hunger off with last year's TB.

It didn't matter that we were in an Emerald-Green Mustang rental car, the babes flashed us anyway. All it took was a handful of beads, New Orleans-style, to get a look at what they wanted us to see. But we’re cheapskates and preferred to park on a corner and get our looks for free.

We were at the Spring Break Tuner bash in Daytona Beach, a brand new event that was hatched as an excuse to party in Florida during spring break. It’s a car show, yes, but not like the local Southern California parking lots and convention centers we're accustomed to. Florida's whole scene is different, and because of that, people behave in a way that isn’t normal. Maybe it’s because everyone is far from home (the residents of Daytona Beach don’t really understand the import scene) or maybe it’s the endless street of bars and beachside coolers of barley pop. We don’t know. What we do know is that the Spring Break Tuner bash is destined to be the best car show of the year, every year.

We drifted in on a Friday night to kick back before the happenings on Saturday got going. Not to be. A wave of buzzin’ tuners had already swooped in and driven the Bike Week leftovers out of town. The party had just begun.

A1A, also known as Atlantic Avenue in Daytona had quickly turned into the largest cruise scenes we’ve seen. Hoards of gapers bunched in front of the strip-side hotels and motels to watch the asphalt circus. We chilled on the corner of A1A and Seabreeze Ave. to notice the latest hardware and talent. They had us at "hello."

We had to stagger away from the increasingly rowdy street scene to get to the Super Street and MAX Power magazine party at the Plaza Resort. It wasn’t far; the hotel is between the strip and the beach. We walked to the digs and were greeted by an elevator full of beach-hardened Betties fresh from the spring break tanning scene. The floor was like a sandbox and the girls were in the mood to be friendly. The tanning oil and fuzzy navels jettisoned our girlfriends’ names. Bang! Right out of the brain pan. We hadn’t even gotten to the party yet.

That night, the sales-types arranged a special appearance by Paul Oakenfold to mix the tunes at the party which was held at what we were told was the largest pool deck in Daytona Beach. Total darkness followed by blasts of an intense spectrum of laser-light defeated the camera equipment so we settled for some stage diving and bird watching.

Saturday, tuners began arriving at dawn to bag a spot on the midway, 250 cars were expected but plenty more arrived. Those who didn’t get into the show parked on the beach to watch. In typical car-show fashion, there was a bikini contest, judging of the car show and a free chassis-dyno for any willing participant. Next year is going be huge, really huge. We’re trying to move it up one weekend to get more room to play, so plan on taking a week in March 2002 to check it out.

By Douglas R. Glad
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