Over the last few years, speculation on what will constitute the next generation of collector cars has become a popular pastime in the automotive blogosphere. Enthusiasts and speculators alike are spending untold bandwidth and occasionally actual dollars on cars like the E30 M3 and RX-7 FD, whether in hopes that they will skyrocket in value or simply because they’re awesome to drive. It seems, however, that not enough consideration is being given to what’s really behind increasing appreciation in “post-Malaise” automobiles; writers tend to focus on driving dynamics or rarity, or even whether or not a car was featured in a popular video game, but those factors only scratch the surface of what makes certain cars from the 1980s and 1990s so desirable.
If my cohort will forgive me for claiming spokesperson privileges, I believe that the answer to why ‘80s and ‘90s cars strike such a chord with my generation is a particular strain of nostalgia. We want the cars we coveted during our youth, because they pointed the way to a future that we were assured was going to be totally awesome. We grew up strapped into the back seats of our parents’ Malaise-era barges, so the turbocharged, LCD-laden, origami-styled machines of the 80s represented to us a break from the stodgy past, a pointedly sci-fi-inflected look toward a thrilling tomorrow. The cars of the 80s and 90s represented possibilities, aspirations, even (as the obnoxious poster reminded us) the “rewards of a higher education.” That, I believe, is the true appeal of this generation of collector cars: they remind us of a time of optimism, of unlimited potential, and of the distinct possibility that someday we were going to live in outer space. 80s and 90s cars really do take us back to the future.
That’s why we’re so heartened that an event like Radwood has come along. Conceived by the minds behind three of the web’s most popular automotive podcasts (Driving While Awesome!, Cammed and Tubbed, and Clutchkick) Radwood is a celebration not just of cars from the 1980s and 1990s, but of the popular culture that surrounds them. Inspired by period-dress events that honor earlier days of motoring, Radwood requires participants to clothe themselves in 80s or 90s fashion to create a more immersive experience (we look forward to seeing an ocean of Don Johnsons and Molly Ringwalds). Hearteningly, Radwood is an egalitarian affair, with cars as disparate as the Porsche 930 and Toyota Cressida being held as equally worthy of admiration.
Radwood launched on June 3rd, 2017 with a small-ish event in the Bay Area. The quality of cars attracted was extremely high, but as a Southern Californian, I and many others couldn’t help but wonder if/when the show would move to our region (which would seem even more properly stocked with qualifying vehicles). We didn’t have to wait long for an answer: Radwood 2 will take place on Saturday, December 2 at the Phoenix Club in Anaheim. Almost instantly upon announcement of the event’s date, the automotive fringe of the internet lit up with interested parties, with seemingly every owner of a Porsche 928 or Pontiac Fiero in Southern California clamored for a coveted “Radwood Royalty” spot.
Likewise, we sprang into action to secure a position for Model Citizen as a Radwood vendor. We’ve curated a special selection of era-appropriate models representing some of the most desirable cars of the 1980s and 1990s. Our philosophy of building your dream garage in scale meshes nicely with the Radwood aesthetic; not everyone can afford to buy the Lamborghini Countach that was plastered to their bedroom wall as a kid, but we can provide a beautifully crafted scale replica to help keep those childhood dreams burning.
To say that we at Model Citizen are excited to participate in Radwood 2 would be a gross understatement. To put it bluntly: it might be the automotive lifestyle event of our dreams. If your dreams are like ours, visit redwood.co to purchase your ticket to the future past.