RADwood at HooptieCon 2019: Still Fresh
I’ve done a couple of stories on this thing called RADwood over the last couple of years, and I’m not afraid to say that in a short period of time, RADwood has become one of my favorite things. Not just one of my favorite automotive happenings, but one of my favorite things, period.
I like RADwood so much, I defied prudence and common sense to drive an hour to the event despite a 100% probability of rain and otherwise crap weather. On top of the bad weather, I had my two kids in tow (which can usually go either way), but also on board was TLP friend “Steve,” with whom I share a love of RADwood, and who I trust with ability to reign in the potential terror of my kids. Everything was looking good for most of the drive to Sonoma Raceway, but then it began to rain. Steve and I decided that we’d make a judgement as to whether or not plunk down the cost of admission at the gate. Honestly, it was 50/50 when we drove up but we were already there, we’d had some power doughnuts for fuel and most of all, we just needed some RAD in our lives.
RAD was what we needed and RAD was what we got!
If this had been any other type of event, nobody with any good sense would have shown up. Most “car guy” types would scoff at even the thought of inclement weather. Thank the gods RADwood folk, like us, lack the good sense to stay out of the rain. Just as we got out of the car, the rain lessened and we crested the hill to see the carnival of all things 80s and 90s that we craved….plus a lot of mud. The turnout appeared to be good, certainly better than we’d anticipated, the music was playing and spirits were high.
Just as we got down in to the heart of the show, the rain began to pick up and our hearts sunk a little as we considered how un-fun a car show would be in a real downpour. At that point we decided to deploy countermeasures, and the rain gear was a go #blueponchos! Come to think of it, what could be more authentically 80s and 90s than colorful and flammable plastic based clothing? We were officially “in-it-to-win-it.” And a few minutes later we didn’t care about the rain or cold. We were all the way in the odd magic of RADwood.
How many other car shows would feature a cocaine white Lamborghini Countach in the middle of a mud pit?
None…but RADwood did.
How many other events would be able to get the faithful out for a great show in the middle of a rain storm?
None…but RADwood did.
What other happening could bring 80s and 90s car lovers of every age, color, creed, sex, level of hip/jank and beard length together? None…RADwood did.
The field of cars would slowly grow and change over the couple of hours we wandered around the event. The variety of vehicles was wide, as it has been at the other RADwood events I’ve been to, but most of these cars weren’t ones I’d see before, which always keeps things fresh. I can’t remember the last time I saw an actual LeCar, but hell if someone didn’t bring one to show off….and it was in excellent shape to boot!. And speaking of excellent shape, another car that caught my attention was the VW Fox with full Zender graphics package clad in four magnificent Zender Turbo2 turbofan wheels. It took me a while to reconcile Zender performance products with a VW Fox, but I rammed it into my mind and moved on to the next unicorn.
That unicorn was a low mileage, really clean and super beefy 1980 AMC Eagle wagon presented (AND FOR SALE) by our friends at Alloy Motors . This thing was hard to look at, but impossible to take our eyes off of, painted in a fetching shade of well…the color of PURE BUTTER! It was probably the most appropriate vehicle for the occasion (other than the astonishingly rare Daihatsu Rocky up the hill) and the one vehicle at the show I’d consider dipping into the kids college fund for. Seeing as my wife probably wouldn’t have understood why this would have been such a good idea, so I kept my wallet on lock.
These are just a taste of what we saw, and what RADwood brings when it comes to town.
Needless to say, we all had a pretty good time. As I mentioned in our preview, we’ve had a lot less fun for a lot more money. We look forward to the next Northern CA RADwood event which is something called “RADwood Experience” at the Sonoma Speed Festival, also at Sonoma Raceway, May 30th - June 2nd. If you like these cars, please read ahead and then check out the gallery we’ve provided. You should be able to see something you like or maybe just something that you won’t be able to force out of your mind for a while (be that for a good reason or bad).
The parting shot…
So we stayed for a while and then descended down to the other headline event of the weekend, the 24 Hours of LEMONS. It was also a great event and we got to see a good chunk of it before the heavens let us know that our weather window was firmly closing. As we were about to drive through the track gates, I spotted something red….red, and Italian…and rare. I’m convinced that it was a sign from the car gods that they were pleased with us for getting out in the rain, making the drive and enjoying all the automotive splendor.
No disrespect to the fine folks at the 24 Hours of LEMONS, but we assume this was on its way up the hill to the RADwood event, just in time for the rain. This is an incredibly lovely 1982 Lancia 037. This little Group B rally fighter has a supercharged 2 liter four cylinder lump that the owner goosed a little as he pulled away. Not a big motor, but undoubtedly a potent one in a car the size of my last Amazon delivery. What a thing. I did a little homework on the old internet and I turned up this delicious errr..Petrolicious little video on what I figure is this very car. Enjoy……
As promised (and because we find the people enjoy our pictures more than our prose), a gallery from RADwood at HooptieCon.