Tips, Tricks & Trends

RADwood Is for Anyone Obsessed With the ‘80s and ’90s

Since 2017, ‘80s and 90’s automotive enthusiasts have been gathering in cities across the nation, bringing their most treasured cars and memorabilia from the era to an event known and loved as RADwood. If you are an ’80s and ’90s car culture enthusiast, this is a must-attend event. Oh, and please come in themed attire. It is highly encouraged. 

Photo: RADwood Detroit 2019 (Detroit Riverwalk Park, Detroit, MI)

RADwood is a Must-Attend Event for the ‘80s and ’90s Car Culture Enthusiast

Just after the most recent RADwood 2020 event held in Austin, TX, I had the opportunity to jump on the phone with founder Bradley Brownell. He shared how RADwood began, gave advice on getting a RADworthy starter car, and shared what could be coming next for the popular event. 

Photo: Radwood Austin 2019

How would you define ‘RAD’ to someone who knows nothing of RADwood? 

‘That’s tough, actually. RAD means something different to everyone. It can be a time period or a feeling. Mostly, it’s a feeling of nostalgia and having fun. That’s what we want RADwood to be.”

Tell me about the moment you knew Radwood was THE thing you had to do? 

RADwood PNW 2019 (Tacoma, Washington)
Photo: RADwood PNW 2019 (Tacoma, Washington)

“In 2017, we rented a local park for $300, invited our friends to bring their weirdo cars, and booked a taco truck. We told everybody they had to buy tacos and hoped it would be something. We got a call soon after a story ran about it, asking when the next one was. A few months later, we held the second show in L.A. Once we saw the L.A. car community show out, we knew we had something.”

That’s an excellent point. Nuances in car culture across the nation mean that cars popular in Los Angeles might be different than Austin or another area of the country. How would you describe the RADwood community as a whole? 

“The great thing about RADwood is that it bridges all demographics – nobody is shunned from RADwood. You’ll see everyone from 17-60 attend. Everyone is worthy of attending and celebrating the cars they love. It’s one of the only places you’ll see owners getting excited about each other’s cars without bias, no matter the make or model.”

With RADwood’s increasing popularity and passionate following, do you have any devoted followers attending every show? 

Photo: Radwood LA 2017

“(laughs) Oh, I think we’ve gathered a few. One man has come to the last several, seven maybe, shows. They bought a car over the phone unseen, flew in to pick up in Philly and brought it to the show. Then they drove it back home across the country. He’s a great example. “

What is the best “starter” car for a would-be Radwood enthusiast?

Photo: RADwood UK 2019 (Goodwood Motor Circuit)

“Anything you can afford- it helps if you’re a good mechanic. Think about the cars you loved in the era or the cars your parents drove. Pick something you know and is relatively easy to fix with parts from Autozone or another local auto parts store. A Fox Body Mustang would be an excellent place to start.”

What’s next for RADwood?

“The vision of RADwood was always intended to be a celebration. An inclusive place where everyone can come together, find commonality through the things they love about the ’80s and ’90s. Ideally, we hope to grow the event into a 3-day music, motorsports, car show festival. The next phase of that will likely be to add live music.”

Get those old mixtapes ready.  More shows are in the works. Tickets are on sale now at RADwood.co.