RADwood Las Vegas 2019: Hip on the Strip

Odometer (Legend Sedan):  161,272

Trip Distance:  606 Miles

Greg and Jennifer Davis hit a home run with their wardrobes at last Saturday’s “RADwood” 1980s-1990s car show in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Greg’s “1991 NBA Finals” cap looked brand new, and Jennifer’s T-shirt showcased none other than Pee-wee Herman, who from 1980 through 1992 had one of the most widely-recognized voices in homes across America.  I grew up watching Pee-wee’s Playhouse on Saturday mornings, complete with its talking chair and flying bicycle.

Paul Reubens, who portrayed the iconic nerdy character as the star of the show, is now 66 years old.  Isn’t it crazy how time flies?  For folks like me who grew up with our eyeballs on big-box Magnavox TV sets and who played in the yard with MicroMachines, it’s fun to reminisce about the cars & culture that surrounded us during that era.

RADwood is a venue that specifically showcases that kind of culture.  On Saturday evening in Vegas, I attended my fourth of such an event, and in my fourth different vehicle.  For prior write-ups, here are blog entries from the others I’ve been to:

Each show has had its own unique style and flavor thanks to different venues, timing, and extracurricular events.  The Las Vegas Convention Center hosted this one – the same massive show hall that serves as home base for the SEMA convention each year.  I rolled into the show in my 1994 Legend GS sedan, alongside my friend Dane in his 1992 Dodge Stealth R/T.

Brandon M, Brandon H, Dane, Tyson, Jay, and Ryan

My favorite vehicles weren’t necessarily the most eye-catching or exotic.  Instead, they were everyday vehicles that simply don’t usually get preserved to the level that these were.  I fell in love with a red pearl 1990 Toyota Pickup extended cab 4×4 at the Barrett-Jackson booth that was so clean, you could eat off the undercarriage.

I also struck up a conversation with the owner of an exceptionally pristine 1987 Acura Legend L sedan in Florence Blue.  The Legend, as it turns out, was a family heirloom from the owner’s father who cared for the car from new until he passed away in 2015.

His son has now gone to great lengths to restore and preserve it, complete with paint work, new leather, and a mechanical freshening.  It looked so pristine despite having 180,000 miles on it, and the period-correct “Golden State” California license plates really completed the overall look.

I had a short conversation with Brad Brownell from the RADwood leadership team.  “This is a litmus test for future events in this area,” he said.  In just the few short years since the event first kicked off, it has gained strong momentum.

The group’s Instagram following is approaching the 30,000 mark and there are events in the works for locations across the country and even in Europe.  I can only hope that Arizona gets its chance in the spotlight, and that they’ll allow me to show my entire fleet!

I recorded some of the action on my Sony Hi-8 Handycam in the below video.  I had hoped to capture footage using this 1985 Quasar VHS camcorder that I inherited from my grandmother, but I can’t get it to stay powered up.

Greg and Jennifer took home a well-deserved award for their 1991 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4, pictured below.  That award, in fact, was shaped like the “Aggro-Crag” obstacle that was part of the Nickelodeon TV series “Guts” which ran from 1992 through 1995.  Take me back!

Below are a few additional photos from a RAD afternoon in Las Vegas!  Thanks for reading!

Vegas-bound, and stopped for a photo on Legend Ranch Road off Highway 93

This was the write-up that I displayed with the car

Get Rad!

Ethan Tufts, who handles some of RADwood’s social media as well as his own site, linked here.

Loved this Porsche!

A visit from mom, and from Sunny from Salt Lake.

Exceptionally nice looking BMW M5.

Cruising the Strip after the show, as seen from my friend Jay’s Mercedes-Benz.

And some fun on the drive home:  My friend Chris in Baltimore and I have “twin” cars, and since we were both on the road at the same time on Sunday, we decided to stage some similar photos.  YooHoo beverages included!

18 Responses to “RADwood Las Vegas 2019: Hip on the Strip”

  1. autoscribe1974 Says:

    That 1G Legend! And the M5 and Stealth and VR-4, too… swoon.

  2. Oh my goodness, you and Chris… such nerds. RADwood always looks like a good time. One of these day’s I’ll make it out to one. I love how everyone always gets into character. Shame you couldn’t have gotten a camcorder, that would have actually been kinda cool to see.

    • I know. I ended up filming it on a 2001 Sony HandyCam Hi-8 Camcorder which still has a tape inside but not nearly as much of a dinosaur as the 1985 Quasar. I will find something appropriate for the next show. Funny thing about the ‘twin’ pics with Chris is that our cars are only about 800 miles apart from each other in odometer reading too. D’awww.

      • You should shop Goodwill for some of that vintage camcorders… or you might find one in a vintage store, but might pay a pretty penny.

  3. Your opening brought back so many memories- Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure! Magnavox! Micromachines! I’ve always enjoyed car shows, but RADwood speaks to me (and my childhood) in a way that no other car show has. Over the weekend I was just looking at my photos of the Philly show – such a great time. And yes, sometimes its the odd car that catches your eye the most. For me, it was the late 80’s Jeep Comanche. Looking back, someone had a mint-condition Plymouth K-car that I should have included when I blogged about (regrets!).

    That ‘87 Legend L is in mint condition. I’d love to see it up close. Speaking of Legends, how is the sedan doing? Any maintenance issues? Has that wheel-well rust that you fixed come back?

    • The sedan actually needs some maintenance items addressed. Last oil change was 5 months (but only 1,000 miles) ago. The timing belt is now 10 years (but only 30,000 miles) old. And the tires are 12 years old. Yikes. So all of that will probably get addressed here in the next few months. It’s runs and looks pretty much perfect, though, and it was a nice ride for the trip.

      Yeah I still have a little box with some of my old Micromachines in it. Remember the guy in the TV commercials who talked really, really fast? This one.

  4. I didn’t realize your Legend sedan was as rare as it is. One of just two in the country… Wowzers.

    • Correct. In 16 years of Legend ownership, I’ve only known of 2 other “matching” 1994 GS sedans in Desert Mist with a 6-speed: Chris Miller’s, featured in the last photo of this post, and my friend Jordan’s, which was totaled about a decade ago. Crazy!

  5. So much effort into an event, and in such a prominent location! It was fun walking through the parking lot toward the cluster of cars, not knowing where you were but scanning the cars and the crowd for you. I finally had to look at location service son my phone to narrow it down. Great music, great people, and great scenery! When may I bump into you again? 🙂

  6. Oh that G1!!!

    Still amazed at the transformation of Chris’s. I got to ride in it at SEALM.

    • She’s a beauty! It was pretty awesome to get to park my GS next to Chris’ inside the dealership showroom of Pikes Peak Acura in Colorado last summer. I’m not sure when the two will get a chance to get together again.

  7. Hey man, nice to see you at the show! Excellent write up. And it was great to see your Legend sedan up close and personal. Never realized these things were so pricey back in the day—did your window sticker say $48k? That’s $82k in 2019 dollars!

    • Thanks for dropping by the blog! The Legend sticker is around $42,000 which was still a hefty chunk of change. Hope to catch up with you at another RAD event soon.

  8. Wow that Handycam footage – Awesome!

    Sounds like a great advent and I can see why you liked that 1987 Legend – what stunning looking car! You’ve really given me an appreciation of modern classics!

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