Radwood came and went out of Detroit this past weekend, and Dodge took the opportunity to be the title sponsor of the event. The brand set up its giant red tent, and displayed several variants of its modern muscle car lineup, such as the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye and Charger Widebody. However, being that Radwood is a retro car show with an 80’s-90’s theme, Dodge had to make sure to bring a few things of period correct relevance. It did not disappoint.
All lined up in a row were several vintage Dodge products from the 1980’s that were officially tuned by Shelby. These were unconventional builds by today’s standards, and included compact hatchbacks such as the Shelby Dodge Omni, and Shelby Dodge Charger. Both of which were actually front-wheel-drive based. Nevertheless, they certainly fit into the Radwood theme.
Dodge also rolled out a few concept cars, including the “Wraith” movie car, the Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor PPG Pace Car from 1981. This mid-engined supercar concept had a slippery drag coefficient of just .236, and featured a 2.2 liter 16-valve inline four-cylinder with Cosworth heads, twin-camshafts, and two Garrett T25 turbochargers. Now, that engine may not sound like much, but it had more than 440 horsepower under the hood, with a 0-60 acceleration of 4.1 seconds, and a confirmed top speed of 194.8 mph. Even by today’s standards, these stats are incredible, let alone coming from something that was built in 1981. It was *almost* put into production, but ultimately stayed on the shelf.
Just next to the Dodge M4S Concept was the stunning Dodge Viper Concept from 1989. This spiritual successor to the original Shelby Cobra stormed the auto show circuit with an iron-block 7.9L V10 (!) engine, virtually zero safety equipment, a six-speed manual transmission, and massive tires. As you can see, there was no roof or side windows, and the only thing that kept the bugs from splattering all over the faces of the Viper’s occupants was a sliver of a windshield up front. It was all equal parts impractical and endearing. Endearing enough to get the green light for production, and eventually evolved into the record-setting Dodge Viper ACR of 2016 (Phase VX I).
Among the amazing Dodge sheetmetal was a fair bit of American muscle, despite a stronger turnout from the import crowd. Holding it down was an array of funky American performance cars, such as a Mercury Cougar XR-7, a Pontiac Fiero GT with a Chevy 350 engine, a Buick Regal Grand National, some C4 Corvettes, Ford Escort Cosworths, and some radically built machines. The big standouts included an old Rolls-Royce with a Viper V10, and a Ford Expedition fabricated to resemble a boat. We dig it.
Surprisingly, nobody had a Plymouth Prowler (at least when we showed up). And nobody seemed to have told that Canadian Ram dealership what was going on, either.
Hopefully next year, Radwood Detroit will be full of more retrolicious American metal. Being the Motor City, we’d like to see people bring out Chevrolet Camaros, Ford Mustangs, GMC Syclones, Ford Broncos, square body GM trucks, and the like.
For now, enjoy our photos.