Every so often we get this gnawing feeling in the back of our heads: “What if only the most UN-cool, the most NON-rad cars show up to Radwood Philadelphia? Just Chevy Luminas, as far as the eye can see.” Rest assured, just these three cars alone will knock your goddamn socks off.
In case you missed the original announcement post AND the voting post, you monster, we’ve been holding a contest to determine the most totally righteous rides headed to Radwood Philly, the latest and greatest East Coast celebration of all the cars from the 1980s and 1990s.
“Where’s the (car) beef,” you ask? We’ve got it. Here are the winners.
We had a ton of excellent entrants for the Best Livery category, with everything from stripes to a baby-puke green Plymouth – truly, what should be the last word in excellence.
But the winner, with a crushing 41 percent of the vote, is this drop-dead gorgeous Alfa Romeo 155 V6 Limited Edition. It didn’t just come factory-prepped with traditional Alfa red paint and a gigantic Alfa logo slapped on its rear quarters, with a Zender body kit giving it that wide muscle stance. Here’s its owner, Colin, with the full lowdown:
I own a 1997 Alfa Romeo 155 2.5 V6 Ltd Edition, a special LHD limited run of the car made for Japan. I wanted this car since I was a kid watching BTCC on a VHS brought over from England by a friend in 1996 or so. Seeing Tarquini on two wheels trying to pass at Donnington in 1994 got me hooked, I remember that “wow” moment vividly. I just had to have that car. I had to wait a long...long time. Over 15 years. But I finally got one.
I bought it from RightDrive in Toronto in 2012. It is a very rare edition, of a super rare car that was never sold in North America. Only a few hundred are left on the road worldwide, and maybe 3-4 are left of my limited edition...most still in Japan.
It also has one of the best sounding V6 engines ever put into mass production, the Busso V6. The 155 V6 was the last of the 12v iteration of the engine, after that it went all 24v with the 156. The Busso really makes driving this homologation touring car / family sedan a lot of fun to drive on a back road. It is not a powerhouse, but pulls strong with its 165hp...mine has more thanks to its Glenwood racing cams ( the ones they used in touring car racing down there in the 90s) and other goodies.
The car has a fantastic story behind it in motorsport. Like Ford in the late 60s, Alfa had something to prove in the early 90s in touring cars. They did it with the 155, but it was not without a lot of drama! It raced in DTM - where it made history by beating the Germans on their home turf for the first time in the series - using the same engine that is in my car (2.5 V6) screaming to 11,000PRM, ITCC - where it dominated against M3s, BTCC - where famously Alfa dodged the rules with homologation using aero, and also had two of the most aggressive drivers in the championship to win in 1994, and other championships and won most of them. Davide Cironi Youtube has some good videos on the 155s story.
The car runs perfect and has been very good to me. Never left me stranded and gets driven to meets all over and driven all summer. Never missed a beat.
The Alfa 155 is still unable to be registered in the United States, but Canada is all cool, so when Colin brings it down to Philly it’ll be a rare American shot at seeing such an awesome ride in person.
The “Most Obscure” category faced a tougher fight, with a nasty three-sided fight between a Chrysler Conquest TSI, a Nissan S-Cargo, and a Lancia Beta Zagato. With cars as good as these it’s a bit like choosing between your own children.
But as any parent in their darkest hours will tell you, there is always One True Favorite. In this case, it’s Joey’s red-painted stepchild, the Chrysler Conquest TSI, with 34 percent of the vote. Let Joey explain one more time why it was so deserving:
- Rare in the fact it survived the aftermath of the ‘Fast and the Furious’ apocalypse that destroyed most of the Starion/Conquests that were still on the road in the early 2000's.
- Weird in that I take it to local car shows on the weekends, its still gets a lot of “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!?!”
- And c’mon, theres few cars designs that are so 80s...ALL the angles, ALL the box flares, ALL the pop up headlights ;)
Best part, it just turned over 50K miles. At 30 years old, Its just a baby.
With its gutsy turbocharged four-cylinder, the Conquest was quite the performer for the time. A captive Mitsubishi sold as a Chrysler in America, these things are super rare these days. When you see one, consider it a blessing.
Best Period Modifications
A 1970s Corvette with a modern-day LT1 engine in it? Gag me with a spoon. Radwood is for 1980s and 1990s cars, with special honors given to those who have made any modifications in the period-correct style.
Doug, the big winner in this category, really went for it in his 1991 Eagle Talon TSi:
This car has a LOT of period correct modifications from the 90s. I’ll note a few of them here.
- Mille Miglia MMII wheels
- HKS VPC Fuel Computer
- HKS GCC Fuel Computer (needs to be adjusted via eyeglass screwdriver!)
- HKS EVC Boost Controller
- VDO Boost Gauge
- Aircraft style EGT gauge
- ATR Exhaust
- Buschur Racing CAI
- Buschur Racing FMIC
- RC Engineering Fuel Injectors
- Trust Strut Bar
- Fluidyne Radiator
- Pioneer Speakers from the 90s
- Old School Forced Performance Green Model Turbocharger
- Old School TiAl 40mm wastegate
- 1st generation Magnus Motorsports intake manifold
- Vintage Alarm from 1992. Protected by Viper. Stand back!
The name of the game for this car was “if it doesn’t make it go faster, it doesn’t belong”. The wheels were purchased only to run wider tires.
The car is a fantastic survivor in a sea of flogged cars that were put away wet.
It has factory functioning A/C still on the original charge. The vacuum actuated cruise control still works. It has original paint, original motor, original interior. The car was modified in the 90s, and the setup remains untouched since then. In essence, it is a time capsule. A relic I still drive. It is very clean, presents very well, and is very period correct. I ESTIMATE 400whp on the current setup, though it hasn’t been on a dyno in current form. It hasn’t been drag raced in current form. I hit the gas, it blows the tires off, and I smile. That’s enough for me!
This thing shouldn’t just rip for a 1990s car, it should rip by any standard. There’s fast, and then there’s radically fast.
Congratulations to all the winners! As promised, they will receive a whole slew of FABULOUS PRIZES, not limited to but including VIP spots at the show, a trophy, and whatever branded merch we have lying around our office that we’re trying desperately to get rid of.
Want to join us all at the show? Be at the Philadelphia Navy Yard at 11 AM on Sunday, October 14th.
SEE YOU THERE.