Photo: Joey Moon

Radwood Philadelphia is coming up this weekend, and we want YOU to be there. We even want your CARS to be there. And because we want you and your cars, we’re going to seed the mix with some of the best. This is part II of the Radwood Philly Contest, and we’re going to need you guys to vote on some things. Update: Contest is closed and winners will be announced soon!

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In case you missed the announcement post, it works like this. There are three categories:

  • Best Period Modifications
  • Best Period Livery/Graphics
  • Most Obscure (rarity/weird)

And we’re to present to you 30, yes THIRTY, nominations, for you to vote on, and the winner in each category is to receive trophies from Radwood, VIP passes to the show, a special space of honor at both the show and on this very website, and even more FABULOUS PRIZES.

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Only one, single, slight issue with all that. The VIP passes, trophies, the places of honor, and the FABULOUS (okay, it’s mostly stuff we’re trying to throw out, but still, FABULOUS) PRIZES are all still good to go. But on the whole “30 nominations” front, we maybe only got 23 entrants. Total.

But no matter! Y’all are gonna vote on them anyway, because there are still some sweet, sweet rides.

Best Livery

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John’s 1993 Corvette Convertible

It’s not covered in graphics, but it is the ultimate Radwood-era color combo, turquoise and white. Here’s John describing it:

This car is the epitome of early 90's with it’s Bright Aqua Metallic paint and white leather interior.

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John ain’t wrong.

Charles’ 1986 Ford Econoline Centurion

Charles originally wanted his Ford Econoline Centurion (it’s the one on the left) in the Most Obscure category, but since MY CONTEST MY RULES, I’m bumping this one over to the Best Livery. Mostly because Charles already has a sweet, sweet Delica coming up in Most Obscure, but also because check out this gorgeous van! As Charles puts it:

Regular Car Reviews certified brown. This thing speaks for itself.

Brown is the loveliest color that you’ll ever know.

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Ryan’s Plymouth Voyager

We said “best livery,” not best factory paint job. Ryan did all the work himself, which you can probably tell and which you can see in his build thread, and we respect that kind of gumption. There’s no greater love than one you do yourself, as Ryan notes:

It’s been a labor of love that the whole family has been involved in, now it’s our fun daily/off-road toy/tow vehicle

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Nothing radder than DIY.

Nate’s Plymouth 1981 Reliant K

This paintjob isn’t DIY, but frankly I’m just amazed at how pretty it is after all these years. Just look how clean it is! Only 30,000 miles, too, Nate says:

Here is my 1981 Plymouth Reliant K that I am taking to Radwood Philly. It’s an original California car in (almost) show car condition. 30,000 miles, original vinyl/ velour interior, fixed rear door windows with “wing window” vents on the rear doors. Only ‘81’s had that.

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Survivors are rad as hell.

Chey’s 1989 Honda Prelude Si 4WS

This car is so pretty it’s got a name. Chey calls it “Atreyu,” and like the Plymouth it’s another survivor. And not only is it just surviving, it’s a star. Atreyu, with its pop-up headlights, black paint, and pin stripe, has not only been featured by Regular Car Reviews, you’ve also seen it right here on Jalopnik. Chey loves it, too:

I have been working hard to restore this car to showroom condition, but even in its current “survivor” state, it still gets a lot of attention everywhere I take it. The pure 80s nostalgia it evokes is something I enjoy sharing with others. People’s first-time reactions to experiencing the four wheel steering system never gets old, either. I always get a kick out of driving it, whether it’s just to the grocery store, or to Cars and Coffee. It truly is a car built for the enthusiast.

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A good dark paint job is always pretty.

Ben’s 1983 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI

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This one is very much a work-in-progress, but look at that stripe. I want the stripe. Give me the stripe. Ben’s desperately trying to get it to Radwood, and I know that feeling:

This is my 83 Vw rabbit gti race car. It is my first car. Just got it running yesterday, and hoping to make it with or without the car to radwood.

Godspeed, Ben.

Colin’s 1997 Alfa Romeo 155 2.5 V6 Limited Edition

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Yes, this is a factory race livery. Yes, you want it. Yes, you need to go ahead and eat your heart out. Colin sent along a ton of info, and wanted it in the Most Obscure category, but frankly this car deserves to be in every category. Here’s the lowdown you need to know on the looks:

I think it has great period livery (the graphics were factory), good period modifications (the body kit is Zender - stalwart of the 90s, and the camshafts are the same ones Glenwood Motors out of South Africa used in their 155 touring cars), and it is one of the rarest cars I can think of that went into mass production. 7,000 Alfa Romeo 155 V6s were made, 200 or so Limited Editions were made for the Japanese market, and of those maybe 3-4 still exist (rest were probably crashed in racing - the Japanese race Alfas all the time).

This one’s got my vote, but don’t let that sway you.

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Charles’ 1988 Toyota MR2 with a Celica engine

Technically the mods here aren’t period-appropriate, so we’re going to put this one in the Best Livery category. Why? The answer is simple. Radwood is a celebration of the 1980s and 1990s, and frankly, we’d be doing a disservice if we didn’t get any Cocaine White in here. Nothing more period appropriate than this. Let Charles explain his love for his MR2:

The MR2 is rarely the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to iconic Japanese sports cars of the rad period, but the more you think about it, the more it deserves to be up there. It beats the Europeans and Americans at their own game (bye X1/9 and Fiero) with something willfully parts-bin, but in a way where the sum really makes the most of its parts. 

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I’ve driven a first-gen MR2, and they are glorious.


Most Obscure


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Neil’s Lancia Beta Zagato

A Lancia is weird enough. A Lancia Beta is even more specific. A Lancia Beta Zagato? Now you’re talking. But what makes it even weirder? Neil knows:

It’s weird because it actually runs.

How is that even possible?


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Neo’s Subaru Justy

Never heard of a Subaru Justy? Think of it as one step above a kei car, and it was one of the first cars in the American market available with a CVT. And now the Subaru WRX has one.

All Neo has to say about it is:

ill be at radwood philly

See you there, bud!

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Mike’s 1989 Peugeot 405 Mi16

Maybe everyone over in Europe is just swimming in Peugeot 405s, but not us, not here in the Land of the Free. Even though Peugeot 405s were technically sold over here in the States, they’re a rare breed nowadays, as Mike points out:

I used to spend my childhood summers in France with my grandfather and clearly its done irreversible damage to my brain, otherwise why on earth would I ship a car all the way across the country that I can’t even find parts for??!! Clearly the amount of time spent and sheer tenacity needed to track down parts and keep the little Lion running in prime condition is worthy of a win.

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What normal American even sees a Peugeot on a daily basis?

Charles’ Mitsubishi Delica

Charles not only owns the Ford Econoline Centurion up above, he’s also got this awesome Mitsubishi Delica:

USDM version of the international Mitsubishi Delica and L300. Less than 10,000 sold between 1987 and 1990 (to my knowledge). Also-ran in the 80s Minivan Wars with Toyota (most common, next to become horrifyingly overpriced like the Vanagon) and Nissan (caught fire often and recalled in the 90s, even rarer - I’ll be damned if one shows up)

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Who doesn’t love an also-ran in the 1980s Minivan Wars.

Tyler’s 1989 Nissan S-Cargo

I don’t like the Nissan S-Cargo. I absolutely LOVE the Nissan S-Cargo. They are the best, greatest little vans of all time. This is indisputable. Tyler knows this, too:

How many of these do you see in the U.S.? I bought this car in Virginia and have driven it to countless car shows in my first half-year of ownership. It has been a treat to own, and it’s almost fully original...apart from the sound system me and my dad put in. Driving in this thing playing Megadeth is always a good time.

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It isn’t just a van that looks like a snail. It’s better than that.

Spencer’s 1993 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham

Why the hell would this thing be considered “obscure,” you ask? I dunno, but that’s what Spencer wanted. Let him explain his reasoning:

I drove this 1993 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham across county to Radwood NorCal during a 10,000 mile round trip around the country from Virginia. The car did great, shes tired but shes still Rad and shes ready for Philadelphia. I feel that my car best fits in as “most obscure” since it is rare to see one of these Cadillac’s that’s not either rusted out or cruising around as a low-rider. This car represents the end of an era when large american sedans once ruled American Highways.

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You know, you really don’t see tons of these on the road anymore.

Michael’s 1986 Saab 900T Convertible

One of only 379 made, Michael says:

Story: My first car was a 1989 Saab 900 base model. I had to start it with a screwdriver, and it was inoperable more than not, but I still fell in love with those temperamental Swedes. I then had a 1986 SPG that was more bondo than car, a 1987 SPG that was even worse, and a 1986 9000 that I traded a real nice 1985 Scirocco for. All of that was over a decade ago. Flash to a few months ago when we moved office buildings at work. I pointed out a ratty looking 1986 SPG behind the neighbor’s garage and I told my boss “that’s my dream car over there.” Well, unbeknownst to me, he and my wife began scheming, and the 1986 SPG was bought and brought to a shop. The shop refused to work on it due to massive rust issues, so my boss found another 1986 Saab for me—essentially, my holy grail, the 1986 Saab 900 convertible with a five-speed manual transmission. He and my wife were unaware of the rarity, but I sure wasn’t. In August of this year, on my birthday, my wife surprised me by taking me to the car, where my boss met us. Upon realizing what was happening, I exclaimed “what the fuck!” forgetting my toddler was in the back seat. She dropped her first f-bomb that day. Anyway, now she refuses to ride in anything else besides her first Saaby!

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You may think you’ve seen one just like this, but you almost certainly haven’t.

Isaac’s 2000 BMW Z3 Coupe

These were derided as the silliest Z3, but that notion is incorrect. Z3 (and M) coupes are the best Z3s. Isaac says that his is actually more rare than an M Coupe, and seeing as it was built in 1999, it should still qualify:

I submit my 2000 Z3 Coupe (Built in 1999) for the most obscure category. The car is oxford green over tan and is the more rare 2.8 version with the 5 speed manual. The M’s were actually more common for this car. I bought this car when I was 20, in 2016 as a new daily to replace my corvair I had just sold. Since then its taken me 20k miles and has been one of the best and most unique daily drivers you could ask for. I think the looks are timeless and even though its not as quick as some newer cars its always fun. The car also has a Dinan Stage 2 Tune and CAI that were installed by BMW for the first owner (I’m the third).

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But is it obscure enough?

Joey’s 1988 Chrysler Conquest TSI

Joey’s right, it does check all the 1980s boxes, and man is it pretty:

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.

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Give it to me.


Period Modification

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Joe’s 1982 DeLorean DMC-12

It’s a common misconception that all DeLorean DMC-12s are simply unsullied stainless steel, like in Back to the Future, but some of them were painted. And some of them were painted in the most 1980s color combos of all, BLACK GOLD!!!!!!!! Normally the paint job would be under the “livery” category, but those colors aren’t just period appropriate, they weren’t done by the factory, as Joe points out:

To tell you about the car itself. It is a 1982 DeLorean DMC-12, that was originally sold at the DeLorean Cadillac dealership in Lakewood Ohio. Prior to being sold it was custom painted by the dealership in black and gold. This dealership was known for painting a number of cars, all different colors combinations and stripes. Many of which have been stripped of their paint by enthusiasts.

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So I’m calling it a period modification. And it’s gorgeous.

Greg’s 1990 Ford Probe

This ain’t your normal Ford Probe, as Greg notes:

It’s a bit mild, perhaps, but is absolutely authentic, as all the modifications were done BACK IN THE DAY, YO! I’ve had this car since I was a wee 17 year old in 1995 when it replaced my equally-rad 1987 Mazda 626. This is the car that got me through high school, the car that I learned to wrench on, learned how cars work with, learned electronics with, leaned LIFE with. I’ve been fortunate enough that it’s survived by virtue of living in my parents’ garage for the many years between my leaving home and having recently bought a house with my own garage. Ownership of this Probe led to my owning other Probes and Mazda MX-6's, forming up clubs with others saddled with ownership of the same, making life long friendships and heck, peripherally introducing me to my wife!

The period modifications to the car are mainly electronic and stereo related: 1990's Pioneer Premier CD player and in-dash EQ, Adcom and Precision Power amplifiers, Boston Acoustics speakers. I did a totally awesome auto-to-manual conversion back in ‘99. I adapted the built-in Radar Detector from a 90's Benz into the Probe! (who even HAS a radar detector anymore??) My car is a perfectly 90's shade of metallic red, but that didn’t stop me from painting a bunch of bits in gag-me-with-a-spoon Sunburst Yellow, the low-key 90's-est color of them all. It rocks a set of big-for-the-era 17" Borbet Type-C wheels, the grand prize of all those old black and white Tire Rack ads. Best part of this is, like I said before, this stuff wasn’t “period modded” to be like it was in the 90's.

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Is there a “mod” more period-appropriate than a bangin’ sound system?

Justin’s 1986 Porsche 911 “Slantnose”

It’s an old joke about a lot of cars, but I’ll give it a shot for this one. You know how it goes.

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“How do you tell if it’s an original slantnose?”

And the answer is:

“It’s not!”

Because the originals are so valuable these days, a ton of people have modded their old Porsche 911s to the “slantnose” style. And Radwood wouldn’t be complete without one, Justin says:

This 86' Slant Nose Porsche started out as a narrow body 3.2 Carrera. A metal wide body and slant nose kit were adapted to the car at some point in it’s life. The Black dashboard was revinyled in white and white face gauges were added. This car lived most of it’s life in Florida and, judging by the photos and modifications, was possibly owned by Tony Montana. Keep in mind that this is a NA 911 with the 3.2 motor and not the turbo 930 version. 

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I’ll take it.

Matt’s 1987 Chevrolet El Camino

It maybe looks stock to you, but Matt has modified the El Camino where it matters – the seats:

It’s a 1987 El Camino and it’s a bad bitch. Second lowest production level for the car in it’s 28 year production run. So it’s rare. Super rare. It’s not stock at all. The seats? Glad you asked. They are from a 1998 Volvo V70 and are electric and heated. The center console is from a Chevy Blazer. The steering wheel is a 1980's wood Grant GT that wouldn’t look out of place in a car driven by Jerry Butler, the porn star. Surely you’ve heard of him.

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A 1987 El Camino with 1998 Volvo seats? That’s weird as hell. I’m into it.

Spencer’s Honda Civic Del Sol

Look, we didn’t say that the “period modifications” need to be “good” in any way, or that they had to make the car better, just as long as they were period-appropriate. And there’s nothing more appropriate than the, uh, “modifications” on Spencer’s Civic Del Sol:

Hold up, is that a removable targa top? God damn right it is

Wait, are those pry marks because someone tried to break into it while I was being swell and taking my girlfriend shopping for her Bday weekend, god damn right they are.

Oh and is the trunk closed cuz I dont want to hold it up because the lil struts are broken and its heavy? God damn right it is.

Oh....OHHHH those foglight?!...Yeah they dont work.

This is the period standard.

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John’s 1991 Pontiac Firebird Formula

I don’t know if those wheels are from the factory or not, and John didn’t specify which category he thought his Firebird Formula should compete in, so I’m just going to go ahead and call it all a “period modification.” Vote for another car if you don’t like it.

I go to all the local shows where I live near the ADK mountains and I get no respect. I still go any way because I Love my car. I love third generation Firebirds so much I’ve owned 5 of them starting from when I was 18 to now (40) I’m hoping that my car might get some love at Radwood. I know Firebirds of that era have a certain stigmata about them, but I just don’t care. Perhaps I watched to much Knight Rider as a child.

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I think John meant “stigma,” and not “stigmata,” but the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ would certainly be an interesting modification, if not period-appropriate.

Marshall’s 1989 Toyota MR2 Supercharged

Hell yes, another MR2! Not only are the mods period-appropriate, Marshall’s tunes are period-appropriate, too:

Why: I will be making the long trip from Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Where it’s currently stored) to show off a rare little gem, a 1989 Toyota MR2 Supercharged. The Supercharged was only made for 2 years, with only an estimated 600 produced for the USA in 1989 (Final year of production). There is only a few left in black, and we are the second owners, breaking 50,000 original miles this year. We are making up for the little miles the first owner put on it, believe me.

The car will be making the nearly 900 mile trip equipped with all the HKS components for the MR2 Supercharged. We are talking about:

HKS Oversized Crankshaft Pulley (157mm vs 145mm)

HKS Camshafts

HKS Supercharged Exhaust

HKS Supercharged Intake

HKS Supercharged Catalytic Converter

The car is also equipped with a period-correct Boston acoustics sound system, installed by the original owner, and plays exclusively songs that use a synthesizer.

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That’s just dedication.

Doug’s 1991 Eagle Talon TSi

There’s some little mods here and there, and then there’s Doug’s Eagle Talon. It should all be period-correct, and it should move like hell, as Doug notes:

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!

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That’s enough for us, too. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Talon this clean.

Anthony’s 1990 BMW 325iX

I’m not sure what exactly Anthony’s done to his car, but you can probably figure it out just by looking at it. Yes, those are Alpina wheels.

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Now that you’ve seen all the entrants, go vote! The polls will close at 3 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Oct. 10, and we’ll announce winners shortly after, so make sure your selections are in.