RADWood is An Event That All Car Enthusiasts Should Experience
Are you sure the 80s and 90s are over?
There’s nothing quite like RADWood. The way the cars, outfits, and music all blend together into a massive nostalgia trip makes you question if what you’re seeing is some kind of Surge-fueled dream. I was fortunate enough to attend the Northern California event this past weekend and the cars I witnessed there just blew my socks off. And I was wearing sandals!
Owner: @michaelcrocaig on Instagram
Even before going in, the parking lot is a car show in and of itself. A Tercel there, a pair of 86s there, and some JDM vans serve as a small taste of the automotive wonders you’re about to experience. Step through the gates and that small taste is turned into an entire meal of boxes, rotaries, and everything you could possibly imagine in between. Every row is filled to the brim with cars that would make your dad question your tastes. Over in that corner is a 1980s Chevy Cavalier RS and oh look over there! Is that a mint Buick Regal GS?!
That’s not to say that the only cars there were ones that weren’t loved in their prime. Among the masses, I got glimpses of cars I’d never seen before. An S14 Silvia, an RX-7 FD straight out of Gran Turismo, a DR30 Skyline, and bro what? A Nissan Sentra Coupe? I didn’t even know they made those! Personally, the absolute gem of the entire show was a bright red Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Edition. I couldn’t stop myself from smiling the entire time I was in its presence. I had never seen a Countach prior to this and for those of you who haven’t either, yes. It’s as magnificent and RAD as it looks in pictures.
The entire time, your ears are being filled with synth goodness from the likes of Depeche Mode, Kim Wilde, and all your 80s and 90s favorites. Oh man and shoutout to that DJ. He was getting down to every song and you could tell he was super into everything he was hearing.
As if things weren’t incredible enough, I stumbled upon my YouTuber friend Ethan Tufts, who you might recognize from the YouTube channel Hello Road! His entire channel focuses on rad, unloved cars so it made sense that he’d show up in his fifth-generation Chevy Nova with a dying driver’s side wheel bearing.
Owner: @mrethantufts on Instagram
Wrapping up the experience was the awards show and I was ecstatic to see two of my favorite cars in the show win an award. The best import was a Fiat Ritmo Cabriolet that brought me back to my younger days in Romania. The owner imported this Italian beauty straight from Rome and is now his wife’s favorite car. The best in show was, get this, a 1990 Daihatsu Fire Truck named Kiri. Kiri was imported during the pandemic from Kirigamine, a tiny mountain town in Nagano, Japan. Only at RADWood folks!
There aren’t enough words in the English language to explain just how amazing the entire experience was. Everything was so well put together that it was clear the organizers poured their heart and soul into making sure it all ran well. What can I say other than a heartfelt thank you to the organizers for keeping RADWood alive even after the terrible pandemic that canceled it last year. It’s shows like these that help us preserve automotive history and create meaningful friendships with fellow car enthusiasts. If you get the opportunity to attend RADWood, anywhere in the country, do it. It’s an experience you won’t regret or forget anytime soon.
Owner: @vorpalwrench on Instagram
These are just a fraction of the 131 pictures I took on Saturday so if you're looking for more RADWood action from yours truly, check out the full album on my Google Drive! I’m also working on a few articles about some of my favorite RAD rides from the show that will be published in the coming weeks. The first one is actually LIVE right now and features a rather unusual Porsche. Hmmm.
UPDATE: All of my RADWood highlight articles are up! There’s an unusual Porsche, an incredibly rare and beautiful DR30 Skyline, a charming Suzuki Swift, an off-road Subaru SVX warrior, the heartwarming story of a 1982 Honda Accord that was saved from the crusher, and the Fiat Ritmo that stole our hearts!