Editor's Picks: 5 Raddest Rides of Radwood NorCal 2018
Now that we’ve laid out the scene and showed the wealth of 1980s and 1990s machinery that was on hand at the recent Radwood NorCal event in South San Francisco, we’ve rounded up up a selection of five different vehicles that demonstrate both the fun and eclectic nature of Radwood. Here we go.
1. Custom DeLorean
First up, we have one of the most quintessentially ‘80s vehicles ever: the DeLorean. Even before you factor in the DMC-12's starring role as the iconic time machine in the Back to the Future movies, the car is already one of the era's most unique vehicles, but this one has been taken up a few notches.
While some of the original stainless steel finish is still showing, this one's also sporting some wild period graphics with huge "DeLorean" lettering on the doors, along with triple tone striping.
As for the interior of the car, it looks mostly original, but it's not like there a whole lot you can do to the up the '80s craziness of the DMC-12's cabin, short of adding a flux capacitor.
Last but not least are the custom wheels, which look a little more like something you'd see on a pickup truck rather than a gull-winged exotic like the DeLorean, but they perfectly suit this car's character. We can't help but love the whole setup.
2. Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe
One of the great things about Radwood is the super nice examples of '80s and '90s cars that have all but disappeared from the road. Among the group were cars like a stunningly clean Taurus SHO, IROC Z Camaro and this Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe.
During the early '90s, the T-Bird SC was quite a capable luxury sports coupe, and it was powered, not be a V8, but by a supercharged 3.8L V6 that made an impressive-for-the-time 210hp and over 300 lb-ft of torque.
What's especially cool about this particular example is that it's equipped with a rare five-speed manual transmission, which you can see inside the amazingly clean factory original interior.
While the T-Bird SC might not be as much of a hot ticket collector's item as some other cars of the same era, we loved the fact that this somewhat forgotten high performance Ford has been kept up so well after all these years.
3. Showroom-Fresh 1991 Mazda Navajo
The next vehicle comes from the same era of the Ford Motor Company, only you won't find any blue ovals on this 1991 Mazda Navajo. This was a time when Ford and Mazda were close partners, and the Navajo was the Mazda-badged version of the groundbreaking first generation Ford Explorer.
We make no exaggeration when we say that this 27-year-old SUV was in brand new condition, and as you can see below, it's also equipped with a five-speed manual transmisison to backup its V6 engine and 4WD system.
The owner of the Mazda/Ford truly embraced the spirit of Radwood by opening up the rear cargo area and displaying some era-appropriate picnic gear in the requisite neon colors.
The Mazda Navajo was only sold up until 1994, and we can't remember the last time we saw any example on the road, let alone one as stunningly clean as this one. This is what Radwood is all about.
4. Mk1 VW Rabbit & Jetskis
While the '90s camping accessories displayed in the aforementioned Mazda Navajo were cool, the owner of this Mk1 Volkswagen Rabbit took his old school display even further by hooking up a trailer loaded with a pair of stand-up jetskis.
The little Rabbit itself was quite cool, with a period-correct interior setup, plenty of patina on the body and a set of Zender wheels to help complete the throwback look.
Under the hood, you can see that the factory motor has been replaced with a newer Volkswagen 2.0 motor. It's a swap that makes for a substantial performance upgrade when you consider the low weight of the Mk1 Golf/Rabbit chassis.
It also makes for plenty of power to tow this Yamaha-Kawaski duo to the nearest body of water for some weekend fun. How can you not love those wild graphics?
5. IMSA-Spec Mazda RX-7
Last but not least we get to what's both the fastest and most heavily modified car of this group: a first generation Mazda RX-7 with paint and bodywork inspired by the SA22Cs that were campaigned in the IMSA series when they were new.
This isn't just a tribute that looks the part. It's serious track machine, complete with a totally stripped interior, custom race dash and a pair of full bucket seats.
You won't find any turbochargers or fuel injection under the hood either, just a screaming, carburetor-fed rotary engine—the kind that helped put Mazda on the map during its early ventures into sports car racing.
Amazingly, despite the race-ready vibe of the car, it's still got license plates. Talk about a wild car to drive on the street.
The perfectly-executed Mazda was easily one of our favorite builds at the entire show and a perfect way to wrap up this selection. We are already looking forward to the next edition of Radwood and its immensely fun celebration of the modern classics.