Holidays can be stressful. Visiting family, preparing food, dealing with the one weird uncle who never quite knows when to stop talking. I get it, sometimes you just need a break. Something else to draw your attention, to keep you occupied for a few minutes. Maybe even some comfortable nostalgia to drown out the discussion that’s getting a bit too heated in the background. Never fear: I present to you fifty photos from Radwood SoCal. Thank me later.
The Relentless Pursuit Of Perfection
I’ve been on a big Lexus LS kick recently. I can’t really explain why, there’s no good reason, but it’s gotten to the point where I’m watching the Balance ad a couple of times per week. Someday I’ll have to actually drive one.
What’s more American than Thanksgiving? How about an IROC Z/28 parked next to an F-250, complete with dirt bike and American flag. All that’s missing is a grill.
Get It In The Good Color
Radwood had a lot of very good paint, but this widebody FB RX-7 really stuck out. It was surrounded with grays, silvers, and more muted blues (including the Viper through which this shot was taken). I really liked the idea of spying one bright car amongst the drab surroundings.
You Can’t Beat The Up Doors
At a normal Cars and Coffee, an immaculate yellow FD RX-7 would draw crowds. But, at a normal Cars and Coffee, it won’t have an Autozam AZ-1 to compete with. You simply cannot draw more attention than up doors can.
This particular Radwood show was sponsored by Acura, so it makes sense to see NSXs afoot. This blue one, however, was one of my absolute favorite cars of the show. Widened with track-ready fenders, huge aero, and a supercharger bumping up the factory 290 horsepower. I love it.
Meet The New Boss
Acura also brought out the new Integra for its first public appearance. The verdict? I still like it! It looks good, it’s a stick-shift five-door liftback, and I imagine it’ll be a blast to drive.
The New Boss, Reprise
I am so glad Acura kept the little moulded logos. More cars should have these. In fact, every car should have these.
Check Your Rear View
When I saw the modern time attack-styled NSX sitting this close to Ja Rule’s Integra, I spent a solid twenty minutes trying to capture both in one good shot. I don’t know that it worked, but I just loved the idea of how street cars styled after contemporary race cars have changed in the past couple decades. The Integra is literally in the NSX’s mirror, but I can already see that style starting to creep back into popularity. Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.
There was someone walking around the show in a full Jazz Cup sweatsuit. I didn’t get a photo of them, but this Sidekick came in a pretty close second for rad-era liveries.
Two Wheels Good
Radwood isn’t just a car show, they welcome bikes too. This event had a few, though cars still far outnumbered their two-wheeled cousins. Maybe everyone’s bikes were already winterized. Do people do that in SoCal?
Don’t Forget The Accessories
If you’ve ever wanted to cosplay a Miami Vice villain, or just have your car look like it should’ve appeared in the show, Radwood is your chance. Get your antique cell phone, your wads of (presumably) fake hundreds, and go wild. Bonus points for gullwing doors.
Six Spoke Stunner
I don’t normally love multi-piece wheels, Work Meisters excepted, but these are incredible. I enjoy your taste and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
Bro, Is That A Supra?
It is! Very good. Gold star.
The VW Corrado Soprano is on my Cars To Drive bucket list. Something about that shape always appealed to me, even if they’re no supercar out on the road. I know a modern GTI would take it in the quarter, but would it feel as fun?
Something For Everyone
The biggest thing you’ll notice about Radwood, truly, is the variety. Cars aren’t really partitioned off into little sections by purpose or country of manufacture, they mix and mingle in the jingling beat. Everyone’s equal here.
The LS Stands For Long Suspension
For those of you not obsessively rewatching a decades-old TV ad, here’s an LS that may still pique your interest. Lifted, widened, and wearing period TRD stripes. Even the CB whip is color coded, which is the attention to detail that I appreciate.
I Too Watched Fast And Furious At A Formative Age
I know Mia had an NSX-R, which was a fun callback to her Integra from the first F&F, but a black NSX with the late-model headlights will always evoke that one scene. You know the one.
(There) Are Many German (Cars)
That’s what AMG stands for, right? Don’t correct me. That definition is purely based on the SoCal show, which had no shortage of three-pointed stars scattered throughout the parking lot — or, in some cases, squadded up like this.
It’s Time To Do A Sibling Dance
Do you think the A80 Supra is the protective older child, watching out for its AW11 kid sibling? Or is the MR2 just an absolute brat of a last-born, that the Supra wants nothing to do with, but they had to pose together here for the Christmas card because it’s going to come out on time this year, it’s not gonna end up being a New Years card like last year, we talked about this.
Drive Your Damn Cars
When you grow up around Boomer Car Culture, you know that the car at the show that’s full of original paperwork has never been driven hard and lives in isolation to preserve its resale value. Radwood is different: This MR2, with its owner’s manual and harness bar and Bride seat, looks like it’s actually seen pavement in its life. It’s better for it.
I Promise There Aren’t Many More NSX Pictures After This One
This one is white! With red Recaros! And a targa! C’mon, give me some slack here, there are a lot of NSXes that didn’t make it into the slides. I’m allowed to showcase an exceptionally clean build.
Boomboxes And Booming Exhausts
Do you think they got the boombox first, then had to find a black car to color-match with it? I really want to imagine that’s the case. Either way, this Grand National was immaculate. The radio also probably worked.
You Decided Purple Just Was For You
These certainly weren’t all the purple cars at Radwood, but they were a good percentage of them. Dear automakers: If your cars aren’t available in purple, why not? Can you fix that please?
Itasha And Tri Spokes, Forza Horizon Come to Life
I understand that itasha almost directly translates to “cringe,” but I have a soft spot for these builds. I love this S13. It’s so dumb, it wraps back around to being incredible. Best in show.
Nostalgia I Can Taste
I remember owning this rug as a kid. I’m not sure if that was the late 90s or the early 2000s, but either way I want this in my own car. Or my apartment. Or both.
Toyota used to make a factory Tacoma Prerunner. I think this one, while older, is still the cooler option. I’m not sure if this is an actual prerunner, or just designed to look like one, but either way I want it.
You Can Never Have Enough Bass
The one thing The Fast And The Furious was missing: a miniature Suzuki absolutely filled with speakers. I expect this car is absolutely never a nuisance, to anyone. I certainly wouldn’t be if I owned it, blasting BLACKPINK constantly.
A Rad Ride Indeed
As a former #wagonmafia member (though never a made man), this speaks to me. Add in the burgundy paint and the gold four-spoke wheels and you’ve got yourself a winner.
The Little Pickup That Could
I used to have a rotary dialer app for my old cell phone. It turned out to be pretty useless, since I never really called anyone that wasn’t in my contacts, but maybe that wasn’t the issue. Maybe the UI just didn’t look enough like these wheels.
A Moment To Relax
After all, what’s the point of a hatchback if you can’t lie down in the back and soak up some sun? Matching jeans and shoes with your significant other not mandatory, but highly encouraged.
Color Coordination Forever
Matching your windshield banner to your brakes? Good. Adding in your roll bar? Even better. Making sure that all that matches your license plate and the sticker on your front lip? That’s a magazine cover car right there.
Wild Horses Couldn’t Drag Me Away
I mean, realistically, they probably could. Horses don’t have leg muscles, they’re affronts and are rightly feared. But, for another chance to shoot these wheels, I’d at least try to fight them off.
Rawr! x3 nuzzles pounces on you uwu u so warm
As far as I can tell, this car’s entire livery is to promote a song. It took me about five separate Google searches to even get close to that, let alone actually tracking down the video. This car’s license plate was “OWO UWU”, a move I greatly respect.
Thee Oh Zees
Never stop driving indeed. This Escort Cosworth is still kicking, and after all these years its paint is still in perfect condition. Fantastic shade of purple-blue, too.
Pick Your Poison
Front drive or rear drive? V6 or I4? White or red? The choice is yours, but you’re getting two doors and a manual either way.
BMW has made some excellent engines in its history. The best, however, always seem to have these three words (or, two words and a character) on the valve covers.
Not All Full Car Graphics Are Anime
Sometimes they’re just a lizard. This Fox Body had the license plate “RPTLWINS”, though I’m not sure what the reptile is supposed to be beating. He looks pretty chill to me.
Tri Spokes Till I Die Spokes (x3)
I’m convinced this spoke arrangement would make for an extremely effective ceiling fan. If any aeronautics or fluid dynamics engineers are waiting to tell me I’m wrong in the comments, consider this: half the purpose of a ceiling fan is looking extremely cool.
Parking In Pastel
I can’t picture any modern automaker selling a pastel-yellow truck in the US. To be clear, this is a moral failing — picture a Ram TRX in this faded shade. How great would that be? Can someone do this with a wrap?
The Last NSX Photo, I Promise
I spent a solid half hour trying to shoot this specific car for my phone wallpaper. This was the best one — not a bad thing to look at every time you close Twitter, if I do say so myself.
The Raddest Truck
Sometimes it’s not just about who you are, but what you bring to the party. A three-wheeler in the bed tipped this Toyota over the edge, and won it an award at the end of the show.
The Center Of Attention
Say what you will about five-door Integras, but this one seemed to steal everyone’s attention at one time or another. Was it a ploy to show off how the new Integra falls in line with the old ones? Probably. Did it work? I’d have to say yes.
Raddest In Show
It’s not ever day you see a Ferrari 308 GTS. Even less often do you see one with rally wheels, off-road tires, and a rack of camping supplies up the back. Still rarer is this: a 308 GTS that’s been to the Arctic Circle and back.
The Best Integra
This Integra won the Acura-backed Raddest Integra award, a nice cap to years of modifications from previous owners. It’s been through multiple front-end redesigns, multiple engines, and an unknowable number of paint jobs — but here it stands, victorious.
The Old Boss Meets The New Boss
What does one Integra say to another? My guess is a warning about what happens when prices fall too low, and newbie mechanics start eyeing k-swaps. I’d bet the car never feels quite right after that.
The Best Domestic
How much tire do you need to fit under your Fox Body? If you’re the owner of a rare Dominator, the answer just seems to be “more.” That enormous wing out back might provide downforce, or maybe it’s just there for looks. Either way, Dominators look off-balanced without it.
The Best Import
According to the owner, this Maserati is one of three ever brought in to the United States. Unlike most of the Radwood cars, this one is a true show piece — that is, it’s imported under Show And Display laws.
Thankful For Ground Clearance
The past year and a half have been, in a word, rough for probably everyone. So, take all the time you need to regroup this Thanksgiving — it’s probably a better approach than snapping at your weird uncle over dinner. Hopefully a few warm-toned retro cars can soothe the vibes, relax the tension, and let you get back to Thanksgiving in peace.