I don’t know about you all, but I honestly feel like I haven’t stepped foot into a car show in over a decade. The summers and springs of 2020 and 2021 were supposed to be bright and eventful, but instead were the other side of that spectrum. The days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and eventually a year passed.
But we’re finally here. It’s the middle of the US summer, and the majority of the country is reviving and thriving towards a full calendar of automotive events – most of which I plan to attend and cover for our loyal patrons. Needless to say, normality is just on the horizon, and RADwood NorCal was my first taste of it.
RADwood as we’ve come to know it takes everything from the 1980s and 1990s and bundles it up into a celebration of some of the most iconic, eclectic and outlandish cars, people, and music from the rad-era.
They’ve earned the reputation of being the go-to show to live out your nostalgic ’80s and ’90s automotive dreams, and rightfully so judging by the roster in attendance – which I’ll add is always quite collective and impressive. So here’s a walk through of some of my favorites from the recent NorCal show.
The day started out reminiscence of good times from years prior as we all waited in line for the roll in and staging session prior to the show starting. You could sense the ecstatic vibes through the air as familiar faces strolled by and made small talk. ‘Dude, I haven’t seen you in so long! How’ve you been?’ seemed to be the script for the day. And it was so welcomed for us all.
I must say, however, that seeing new cars and meeting new people is quite refreshing as well, especially after taking a year-long hiatus from the automotive event calendar.
As I made my passes through the rows of cars, I realized just how many new cars and builds people brought out that I hadn’t seen before. Perhaps I’m out of the loop and maybe not looking in the right places? Something tells me that the additional free time society managed to snag in all of this world chaos allowed for many projects to finally see their completion, while others may have also finally saved up for that dream Daihatsu Charade they were eyeing on Craigslist all those months before. Either way, the people showed up with their A-game on and it was impressive.
One newcomer was this gorgeous grandpa brown E24 sitting classy on a nice set of BBS Style 5s. I’ve always been a sucker for shark-nose BMWs as you all know, but something about that brown-on-brown scheme just oozes rad-era, so to say it was spot-on period correct would be an understatement. Oh, and bonus points for rocking the Michael Scott air freshener.
Another standout was this MkIV Supra, which looked to be kitted with a Ridox front bumper and side skirts. Some might call it cookie-cutter, but I like to refrain from that sort of negativity and focus on the timeless aspect of it. It’s subtle, but does its part in enhancing the appearance of the car in a tasteful manor. And let’s not forget the best part about the car – those gorgeous BBS E88s.
Needless to say, RADwood NorCal 2021 was packed with all sorts of interesting approaches from what some might call the best era in automotive appeal. From unorthodox 2JZ-swapped W124 Mercedes, to preserved, mint-condition Shelby GLHSs – you got to see it all here. This is to be expected of pretty much any RADwood I’ve attended at this point, hence why these events are always worth checking out.