RADwood LA: Acceptable In The ’80s & ’90s, Celebrated Today

Over the last while, we’ve seen coverage of different RADwood events that have taken place all around the world. I’ve covered Sonoma, Trevor’s covered San Francisco, and even Jordan had a go during Goodwood in the UK.

But despite being a crazy rad era moving circus, the ethos of the show has shown no remorse or compromise, only growing larger with each lap around the globe. This time, we’re back in Los Angeles.


I find LA the perfect venue for such an era-centric show. It’s kind of hard to describe, as it’s one of those ‘you have to be there to understand’ things, but in essence, Los Angeles has always had a sort of rad-era-esque type vibe to it.

When you think about it, it makes sense, since this is where most trends started in the ’80s and ’90s thanks to Hollywood. MC Hammer-inspired parachute pants, wild neon-colored Spandex, and even the popularity of various rad era sports cars making their debuts in childhood favorites on the silver screen.

So I figured I’d make the trip down this time in hopes of catching some of those LA-inspired flashbacks.


Unfortunately, nature had other plans on deck for us. With overcast and precipitation following us down from the Bay Area, my hopes of a solid turnout were a bit crushed if I’m honest, because rain and LA typically don’t go well together. But come this past Saturday morning, and the show proved otherwise.


We started out the morning anticipating anything and everything from the rad era. As you’d expect, the majority of what turned up seemed to be of European or Japanese origin, but that’s not to say there weren’t a modest amount of domestics in attendance as well.

This begs the question that Trevor brought up in his RADwood NorCal coverage last year: Why was the American market so lackluster compared to the rest of the world during this period? The answer, as he explained, is complex and varies depending on who answers. But regardless, it’s quite a shame, because it would’ve been nice to see a bit more representation from Detroit at Oak Canyon Park.


Wishes aside, I did happen to come across a couple of cars that I immediately fell in love with.

This 300ZX Turbo couldn’t have been more perfect, boasting an aggressive yet functional stance. It seemed to be wearing its original two-tone paint and pin-striping as well, which just added to its already colorful character.


Speaking of colorful character, it wouldn’t be a proper RADwood show without a ’90s West LA-styled Suzuki Samurai on display. Again, one of my favorites from the show for simply being so appropriate, even down to the little man jamming out to the beats banging in the trunk in his era-appropriate attire.


Overall, the show was a success in my book even with the downturn in forecast, which just goes to prove how important creating such an inclusive segment in the automotive industry is. Only here will you find preserved econo-boxes parked next to multi million-dollar race cars. And only here will you see an enthusiastic group of people appreciating both sides of that spectrum, equally and lovingly, for what they are.

This all hones down to what the RADwood founders call ‘sense of occasion’, and it’s truly what differentiates RADwood from the rest of the shows we explore.


RADwood has easily become the must-attend show for me, so expect to see more coming up in the near future.

Naveed Yousufzai
Instagram: eatwithnaveed



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Anyone knows what type of toyota is the offroad wheels toyota?? Thanks


Toyota Celsior/Lexus LS400


Can we have more infos on the white/black mid engine thing ? Looks like an NSX made by GM. The styling screams 90's Pontiac but I've never seen it anywhere.


Found it by myself. It's indeed based on GM's part bin. It's called the Torgerson EXP and is basically a mid engined Corvette, quite interesting. Front fascia inspired by the C4 Corvette, rear end looks like a Fiero, dashboard and interior looks like they come from a Lotus Esprit Turbo. It's apparently the only one of it's kind.


If I recall call correctly it was owner built too right?


There's certain aspects of US car culture that I absolutely love, one of them is the Suzuki SJ/Samurai lowrider scene. It's so random but so cool lol


Nice HSV Maloo from Australia


Wouldnt look twice at one here in Aus but it's pretty cool to see one in the states.


It is just a normal Commodore Ute, done up to look like a Maloo. We just imported it a few days ago.


WE as in TOPRANK? how? where was it sourced from? what do you plan to do with it? what are you doing for parts? and most importantly will there be burnouts? proper chuffed to see one stateside! i wish you guys luck!!


It came from Australia. We bought it to sell it, that is the business we are in. Lots of people don't know things like this exist. Parts are never really that hard, similar to any car that is over 25 years old. Burnouts....hmmm.


Hey mate, didn't mean to come across condescending. I'm from Aus and just thought it was cool to see one stateside and was wondering what the story was. I know what business you're in which is the reason why I took notice. Good luck on the sale.


No worries, didn't come across like that at all. The truth is that I already talked to some guys from Hoonigan about it. I had my R32 GT-R at the yard a couple years ago. But it is a car for sale, so I really dont want to burn it down...too much.


Was it a Maloo replica when you imported it? I bet it wasn’t cheap either way


Yes. Only came in a few days ago.


first one i've ever seen stateside.


Having never cast my eyes upon the feast that is the Consulier - I really wish I hadn't. By God, that is an ugly thing that fell out the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. Image Googling it doesn't help. Especially the prototype that shows up with what looks like Saab 900 Turbo wheels...

The blue R5 Turbo2 OTOH.. *Dear Santa......*


... you saw the green Mercedes in the article, right? How does anything here look ugly after that abomination?


Actually, I think it might be an E30 3-series. Still...


They used to run full-page adds in the popular magazines. I remember one time closing a magazine and on the back page there was a Consulier hiding to scare the bajeebus out of me.


the ugliness is what makes it pretty!


While I agree that that is sometimes the case, you know, form over function and all that jazz (say an A10 Warthog), in this case, I beg to differ ;)


Those Volvo engines are beautiful.
Don't just tease us with the bays - Give us at least a few shots of the whole cars!


totally would have, but i saw the suzuki samurai after i took those two photos and got very sidetracked, very fast lol


Haha! You know I love you, Naveed, for posting the 50th AE Z31 as the cover photo with Watanabe's! I hope Radwood makes it the mid-atlantic sometime! My Z31 was just painted last night too!



when i saw it, i immediately thought of you =)


What car at 48 picture?


The white mid-engined thing is a one off car. it was built on top of a 1969 Corvette, and was made with hand laid fiberglass around 1991. Hard to get any further info as the man who built is about 90 years old now and doesn't remember much of the build. - based on the internet.


Naveed Yousufzai,
The original builder has passed away and I am the next caretaker. The 69 Vette rumor is false


Glad to see a McLaren Capri getting some love!! Especially the turbo. shout out to foureyedpride(dot)com


Is there any more information on the Z31 300ZX? That car is absolutely perfect and needs more attention. Perhaps an instagram?


That's my AE. My instagram is @danbarryman but don't expect a whole lot of content on the Z. I rarely post and most of my immediate friends ridicule me for excessive Z pics.


Nice build man, the fitment is spot on - just curious what profile are you running on those watanabes?


Indeed, I am curious who owns that Z31 as well. Very rare to see another one on Watanabe's. Gotta love the 50th AE flares too! Matt, if you like the Z31 chassis check out the one I have been building for the last 2 years! IG @RVAE38



Oh I’ve been following your build on Zilvia for a while. The original Datsun color choice is perfect. Definitely a fan.


I heard that the green Powell Homer is a one-off that pretty much bankrupt the company.


Can you do a full feature on the Homer please?






Thanks for taking such great pictures of my Z! I'm overjoyed with the response I've been getting.


more like DADwood



that,s really nice car,s like that 80-90s cars <3


any details on the polished om617 motor sitting in the back of the benz wagon!!!!? next to impossible to recreate that sheen with the stock coating on the fuel lines, hardware etc NEED DETAILS!!!