Don’t call it a comeback, we’ve been here for years. The successful reintroduction of Radwood into society continues apace with the third such show in six weeks after a spicy NorCal, and a too-hot-to-handle Chicago event. With two years separating PNW shows, the folks of the greater Seattle region were ready for a good time, in spite of the rainy season kicking off last week and weather that threatened but never threw a punch all day. It was a total throwback with a totally rad venue, ride-alongs in a real period-correct rally car with a skate legend turned rally ace, and some four wheeled super stars.
[Disclaimer: In case you don’t already know, I am one of the co-founders of Radwood. I will directly materially benefit if you buy a ticket or some merch. I am absolutely biased in favor of this show continuing to be a roaring success. It’s important to me, Radwood, and Jalopnik that you know this information.]
This time the PNW show was held on the grounds of DirtFish rally school. Not only is the venue totally era-appropriate as the set for the bonkers 90s television program Twin Peaks [The DirtFish office shown below is the Sheriff’s office from the show, and the Bronco used on the show can be seen on the far left of the parking lot], but the owner of the place has an exquisite Group B collection and promised to bring along a few gems.
And because we had a rally course on hand for the event, we invited 13-time X Games gold medalist and rallyist Bucky Lasek to give ridealongs for charity. This might have been the raddest that Radwood has ever been.
It’s always fun to see what types of automotive subculture come out of the woodwork in different regions. For the PNW it was very JDM van, a whole lot of Saab/Volvo, and an overwhelming number of Subarus. I totally dig the vibe, honestly. Everyone was just out to have a good time, and I don’t think I heard much negative from anyone. It was truly a rad time.
One of my personal favorites was this absolutely gorgeous Honda Accord Aerodeck. Not only are these incredibly rare here in the U.S. market, in large part because we never got them, but this one was an even more rare mainland Europe model, which means it was shipped in left-hand drive. What’s cooler than that? Anything? I don’t even know anymore.
There was so much at this show that just went to a higher level. Not only was there a ton of import stuff, but the rally contingent was heavily represented with actual current ARA rally competitors bringing out their street-legal machines. And as race cars go, there was a guy who drove his Ferrari Challenge out and was totally happy to park it in the mud. I love to see that. Just drive your car like it’s a car. So cool.
So who won?
Well, there are five trophies to present at each Radwood event; Raddest In Show, Raddest Domestic, Raddest Import, Raddest Truck, and Raddest Motorcycle. Here’s how it went down.
As Radwood’s resident bike guy, I rode my 1996 BMW R1100GS up to the show. I can’t give myself an award, obviously, but there were very few bikes to choose from. There were only four bikes to choose from, a Honda Magna and this trio of used-and-abused dual sports. I asked the bike folks which of their bikes deserved the trophy most, which one had the best story. The teal KLR250 here was apparently purchased for $300 and a cheap bottle of tequila, and has been thrashed with minimal maintenance for several years since. For that reason, it got the nod.
The weather kept away most of the bikes this time, but hopefully people will realize they need to brave the storm in order to get a good chance of getting a piece of Radwood glory. And it stayed dry most of the day anyway, so consider this one a lost opportunity.
Obviously the Raddest Truck award has to go to the biggest and baddest pickup with the most towing capacity and a giant lift kit and big knobbies and a roof top tent and tons of LED off road lights, right? Nah. Reject modernity, embrace Suzuki Mighty Boy.
According to the person who brought this totally rad Mk1 Jetta Coupe, the guy who built it was forced to sell because of Coronavirus-induced financial hardships, which is totally unfortunate and we hate to see it. The guy went all-out with this machine, equipping it with a full catalog of Kamei, Hella, ATS, BBS, and Foha parts. It literally looked like it stepped out of an early 1990s Hot VW magazine, and that’s exactly the look we want to see at Radwood. Hopefully the builder of this car can bounce back and find a way to buy back his pride and joy.
The Isuzone folks were out in heavy force at this show, bringing some impressively preserved machinery from their favorite manufacturer. While this is technically a captive import, and maybe not a domestic at all, we always consider Geo badged vehicles to be domestics. And in any case, this thing was as cherry as cherry comes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Storm this nice before. Hell, I don’t thing Storms were this nice on the dealer showroom floor. Well deserving of an award.
Okay, I’m not sure it gets much more rad than this. BMW’s 8 series is already incredibly rad with an available V12, pop-up headlights, and autobahn-ready driving dynamics. Add in some Alpina B12 5.7 flair, and it’s going to be incredible. With 410 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, this one has to be a riot to drive, and only 57 of these were ever built. When one shows up, it’s going to be royalty.
There was a ton to appreciate at this show, but way too much to talk about. Here are a bunch more photos, hopefully they’ll give you an idea what it was like out there. Definitely don’t miss it next time.