How is it Super Street has never had coverage of a RADwood event before Austin 2020? That seems weird. For a concours-styled series that shamelessly celebrates 1980s and '90s car culture - while not just our exclusive jam, certainly among our jams - you'd think we would have hit up one of their meets by now. But not so much so after three years of RADwood trundling around the United States, we finally had a chance to get our own photo set from the series' recent Texas outing at Driveway Austin Motorsports.
If you're unfamiliar with the RADwood concept, it's a little less conventional than your average, straightforward meetup. For one, all the cars on display are from just model years 1980 to 1999. Period correctness is strongly encouraged, not simply in how the car is kept but also among the people displaying it, which is to say specifically organizers want you to show up in your most '80s and '90s attire. You probably shouldn't go to RADwood expecting a lot of highly modified anything, but if you want an accurate time capsule, with a few really clean examples and a bunch of weird little limited editions mixed in, the event should be right up your alley.
Our eyes gravitate to the Japanese-branded fare in attendance from the eras represented, and there was a lot of it. As much as the 1970s was known for J cars that set standards in fuel economy and were kinda fuddy-duddy in an age of energy crisis, the '80s and '90s saw that same part of the industry show the breadth of its product portfolio with a spectrum of sexy-looking performance cars. And between the two decades, it's interesting to see the move in design language away from the angular and toward the softer.
RADwood Austin had two all-wheel-drive Celica GT-Four (the ST185 version of the car was known as the Celica All-Trac Turbo to Americans) but both were not domestic models and in fact were downright rare. The Celica in red is a GT-Four RC, a World Rally Championship homologation special sold abroad and limited to only 5,000 units; the white Celica is the GT-Four ST205, the most powerful Celica of its day and also homologated for the WRC. And we're willing to bet most people walked by the cars not knowing the greatness in plain sight.
There are very few wheels in the marketplace that can elevate a car like the Work Meister S1 - in fact, we're putting it in the same ballpark as the Volk TE37, if not for quality then at minimum for how you can throw them on almost anything and they look simply perfect. Yeah, there's a lot of them around, but for good reason; at RADwood Austin 2020, we found a set on this clean second-gen. Honda CR-X.
Austin kept it weird with strange birds like a Subaru SVX and completely foreign numbers like an era-appropriate Peugeot 205 (which they didn't even sell in the US), but we love it when we look at a machine and are completely stumped. Exhibit A is the Suzuki Altos above we saw at RADwood, a posse of boxy kei cars that look a commuter future we never wanted. What surprised us about the Toyota Sera we saw was that we didn't even know that the Sera was a thing; looking like part Paseo, part Nissan NX, the three-door hatchback is noted for its glass roof canopy and butterfly doors.
It's not an '80s and '90s party without the conspicuous consumption, perhaps represented best at RADwood Austin by its exotics - like this Lamborghini Countach and Ferrari F40. Someone cue the Miami Vice theme song