Monday, March 16, 2020

Another Car Magazine Bites the Dust.....

Being a car nut, I like to read car magazines. I've been reading Car and Driver, Road & Track, and Hot Rod for decades. I used to read Car Craft back in my Street Machine days, but drifted away from that over the years. And I also had subscriptions to several other car magazines during that time.

The first magazine I really enjoyed that ceased publication was Motor Trend Classic, a compilation type magazine that looked at cars Motor Trend had originally done road tests on long ago, but with an emphasis on how things have changed over the years. MT Classic started and stopped a few times during it's existence, and then finally pulled the plug some years ago, fulfilling the balance of my subscription with the "regular" Motor Trend magazine.

It was a real bummer to me, and I'm still looking for issues to complete my collection.

Several months ago, I received a notice that Hot Rod Deluxe was ceasing publication, the balance of my subscription to be filled with full access to the Hot Rod and Motor Trend archives and streaming services. Hot Rod Deluxe was another compilation type magazine that restricted itself to 1960's and earlier cars, along with excellent articles on the history of drag racing, and many unpublished photos from the Petersen Publishing Company archives.

A couple of weeks ago I received a letter indicating that Auto Restorer magazine was going under. Since I had just renewed for two years, this got me a bit upset, as if I want to get any of my money back, I'll have to send a physical letter, with proof, to their office, and get in line to receive a few pennies per dollar on my claim. Auto Restorer was unique in that it had NO advertisements, something that most likely contributed to their going bust.

In the letters to the editor section of my new Car and Driver, I saw letters from people thanking them for picking up the slack of AutoWeek folding up, and giving the subscribers their 'balance due' in issues of Car and Driver.

I've noticed over the last decade or so that many of the car magazines were consolidating together, with "The Enthusiast Network" coming in like God's own Hoover and sucking up several car magazines.

While I'm not completely against getting "free" access (It isn't "free" at all. I paid for the damn magazine!) to their archives and streaming content, they just cannot replace the specific magazine I had subscribed to.

I don't want access to their streaming content, and a lot of the material in the various archives is poor quality, making it "uninteresting" to me.

Having subscribed to these magazines for the past 55 years or so, I've seen them all go through various changes. From Brock Yates and David E. Davis having their great blowout, to Davis leaving Car and Driver and starting Automobile magazine. And I've seen writers jump ship between magazines, and sometimes just disappear. I suppose this is nothing new, but I miss having my monthly allocation of dead trees arriving. I prefer something tangible for my money, like a magazine, that I can read at my leisure, anywhere, anytime, and then file away as reference material.


  1. Replies
    1. Never got into trucks the way I was into cars.

  2. I've loved cars my whole life and have had subscriptions to several magazines through the years. Used to enjoy the latest news and reviews of the new cars,but for the last few years have had very little interest in the new stuff and on!y find the old - hotrods, vintage sports cars,etc catch my attention and imagination. And magazines in the U.S.dedicated to those are rare and don't seem to last for more than a few years.

    1. You would have liked Hot Rod Deluxe and Motor Trend Classic.

  3. Wish I could have held onto all the car and bike magazines I had at various times. In the early 70's, someone gave me a car mag collection from the 60's that filled a box about the size of half a normal refrigerator. The article that stands out from that batch was about a modded Thunderbird, about '58-60 vintage. Totally stock looking. Had dual quads stuffed down in one of the wheel wells, and a giant turbo in the other side. Claimed HP was 900 on gasoline, and maybe 1200-1300 HP on alcohol. Only giveaway was the 4 inch diameter tailpipe! Street driven car. Probably "HotRod" mag.

    1. Some of those old magazines bring big bucks now.

  4. Yep, the times they are a changing... And many of those magazines that had GOOD reference material are now gone forever.

    1. And that's why I hang onto them, mistakes and all.


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