US-born RADwood was created to celebrate the excess of ’80s and ’90s car lifestyle culture, blending period-correct dress with automotive awesomeness to celebrate cars, trucks, and bikes from 1980-1999. Now Hagerty is bringing RADwood to the UK at Bicester Heritage on Saturday 20th August, providing owners of 80s and 90s cars a unique opportunity to show their vehicles and meet like-minded enthusiasts at a UK car event unlike any other.
In advance of RADwood Hagerty presents the Class of ’22, a collection of standout 80s and 90s cars that have been entered into the Hagerty Price Guide this year. In the lead up to the August event, Hagerty experts will preview a selection of favourites, including this first batch of star cars, all of which will be on display at UK RADwood in August.
The Escort RS Turbo Mk4 is one of the latest cars to be inducted into the Hagerty UK Price Guide, and whether you’re a current owner or looking to buy an RS Turbo, the benefit here is knowing just how much these cars are worth The RS Turbo is one of the best-known fast Fords, and a performance car icon of the 1980s. It capitalised on the turbocharging craze of the decade, hitting the streets in 1985 in Mk3 form, producing 130bhp and 0-60mph in 8.3 seconds and was priced at £9563 before options.
John Mayhead, editor of the UK Hagerty Price Guide, said “When we checked through the Price Guide, it seemed like an obvious addition to make alongside the other Escort RS and XR3 models Hagerty already tracks and lists. From a values perspective, our attention was definitely drawn by the record £63,000 achieved by a Silverstone Auctions sale last summer for a 15,000-mile car that presented beautifully and the more recent £36,462 paid by a buyer at the Mathewsons auction, in June 2022, for a much more standard car.”
If you’re a car enthusiast looking for a vehicle, the MX-5 ticks innumerable boxes. Light, fun, affordable, reliable, easy to work on, plentiful parts supply, not too thirsty; you really can suggest it on almost any basis and it’s the second-generation MX-5 that finds itself a place in the Hagerty Price Guide. Under the skin, it’s very similar indeed to the original car, but Mazda made improvements where they were needed, and it’s still a child of the 1990s, with all the benefits that entails – it’s mechanically simple and interactive to drive, not over-encumbered with technology.
“The first generation of the ubiquitous MX-5 has been a mainstay of the Hagerty Price Guide for years,” says John Mayhead, “and it was felt that the time was right to add the later NB model. Price rises, as ever, caught our eye: until the end of 2021 values had been relatively flat, topping out at about £1500. Since then, we’ve seen a few sell for more than £3500 up to around the £5000-mark for a really good one. Like its older brother, it’s a sure-fire next-generation classic.”
The 1990s was a golden era for coupés, and one coupé in particular stood out in the early part of the decade: the Volkswagen Corrado VR6. Successor to two generations of the popular Scirocco, Volkswagen introduced the Corrado in 1988. While its 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine did the job though, offered in both naturally-aspirated and supercharged forms, it was the 2.9-litre VR6 engine offered from 1992 that sealed the Corrado’s place as one of the best of its era. With a 12-valve head and good for 187bhp and 181lb ft, the Corrado could dip below the seven-second mark on the run to 62mph.
John Mayhead says, “Hagerty sees the VW Corrado as a sleeper classic – those cars that were hidden for a while but now seem to be re-emerging into the daylight. The VR6 and its limited-edition Storm sibling are now starting to turn heads and bring in proper money: well looked-after examples, even with higher mileage are selling for over £10,000.”
Thanks to the McLaren F1, not many early 1990s supercars got to enjoy the limelight for as long as they might have deserved. One such supercar was the Bugatti EB110, launched a year earlier than the F1, in 1991. Where Gordon Murray’s F1 was puristic, the EB110 was the kind of technological marvel we now expect of Bugatti. It was, of course, a V12, but while some chose natural aspiration, Bugatti strapped on a quartet of turbochargers to its 3.5-litre unit, good for 553bhp or (in later Super Sport form) as much as 603bhp. Even in ‘standard’ form, top speed was 212mph.
John Mayhead, notes: “Wow – the recent price rises of this beast have been eye-watering, both in standard and Super Sport form. The top three public auction sales of the EB110 GT ever have been recorded in 2022, all of them exceeding the $2 million mark (the previous record having been $967,500 set in 2018). The car has really come of age and social media focus on contemporary Bugatti models has helped drive that.”
Long before the 850 R came onto the scene in 1995, Volvo had been turbocharging its saloon and estate cars – but while they’d been plenty practical enough, they’d hardly been the last word in performance. The 850 R changed all that. An evolution of the 850 T5 R, the R got the 2.4-litre, five-pot engine, with a larger Garrett turbo, bigger intercooler and revised engine management system taking power to almost 250bhp. Even with a limited-slip differential – standard with the manual gearbox versions – the front-wheel drive 850 R struggled to put its power down in the first two gears, but this was a laughably quick car, Volvo or not.
John Mayhead says: “Hagerty already listed the Volvo 700 series in the Price Guide, so the 850 was a natural progression. The 850 R, especially in estate body, is an iconic car and our sales and insurance data show that they are becoming collectable, and prices are rising.
An 850 R in excellent condition is likely to fetch around £10,000, according to the Hagerty Price Guide, while a concours example pushes that to more than £13,000. However, when sales are so few and far between, just finding one for sale will be half the struggle for a buyer who hankers for one of Volvo’s most image-changing cars.”
All of these 80s and 90s stars will be on display at RADwood, and with tickets priced at just £20 per car, it’s a great day out for families and groups of friends who want to relive what was the height of cool in the 80s.