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The Motor City Event Had A Surprising Amount Of Imports, However

Radwood Detroit
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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.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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