First-generation Acura NSX at Radwood Las Vegas
A generational shift in the concept of the “car show” is underway. Where once the term might have signified a herd of bearded Mike Love clones in tri-five Chevys or an endless stream of Bullitt-clone Mustang fastbacks descending on the local drive-in, the modern car show draws its influences from the tastes of a new generation of enthusiasts. Taking their cues from the content-driven online automotive world, car shows have grown increasingly niche-oriented, with a youth-facing, “curated” attitude. More and more, contemporary car shows take place in locations carefully selected to provide intriguing backdrops for the vehicles on display, a nod to the "shareable" nature of these social-media-friendly events. While the classic “community car show” remains a vital part of car culture in America, this new wave of car shows is essential to keeping younger enthusiasts engaged in a hobby that faces increasing threats from a “car-less” future.
Radwood, where Pontiac Bonnevilles rub shoulders with Ferraris
Perhaps the best known of this new generation of car shows is the Radwood series of events, launched in 2017 by a group of automotive journalists and podcasters to celebrate the underappreciated cars of the 1980s and 90s. Drawing inspiration from England’s 1950s/60s-oriented Goodwood Festival of Speed, Radwood has fostered an immersive experience by strongly encouraging a period-correct dress code for participants, as well as incorporating other ‘80s and ‘90s-evocative elements such as BMX and skateboarding demonstrations, DJs and live musicians playing new wave and old-school hip hop tracks, and even a recreation of the famous “Pepsi Challenge.” The cars themselves are individually selected by Radwood's organizers, and represent a broad spectrum of automobiles of the era, ranging from the most humble family sedans and sporty hot hatches, to exotic supercars and rare homologation specials seldom seen on these shores.
A rare Renault Fuego and a funky backdrop...that's the Auto Conduct aesthetic
Taking the concept of “curation” one step further is Auto Conduct, a semi-regular series of automotive happenings in the L.A. area. Auto Conduct seeks to maintain a level of freshness in their events by hosting small monthly shows with varying themes and a mix of invited participants and intriguing "walk-in" entrants. In this way, Auto Conduct’s shows have taken on the flavor of pop-up art exhibitions.
Acura Styling Model, seen at Radwood at the Petersen
A common bond between Auto Conduct and Model Citizen is our recognition that for many car enthusiasts, our passion was ignited by the miniature cars we played with as children (and continue to covet to this day). Thus, we’re particularly excited about their upcoming exhibition of scale model cars on Sunday, June 30, 2019. Hosted by vintage watch dealer Craft and Tailored, Auto Conduct has invited a select few model car enthusiasts, builders, customizers and dealers to show the very best of what can be done in scale. We’re thrilled to have been selected to participate in their first-ever model car exhibit, and we can’t wait to share our unique perspective on the appreciation of scale models with the modern car enthusiast community.
Please visit us at Auto Conduct on Sunday, June 30 at Craft and Tailored, 453 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013, 3-6 p.m. Additional information, including parking directions, can be found at Auto Conduct’s website.