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Car mags... do you bother now?

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198 replies to this topic

#31 OFFLINE   dozeydustman


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Posted 07 October 2018 - 09:51 PM

I used to have a regular sub to Practical Classics between 1994 and 2012 or so; Classics Monthly was another regular purchase. By the time I stopped my subscription most editions were 60%+ adverts & I found the variety* of cars became monotonous - MGs & Triumph sports cars, Morris Minors and Minis seemed to be in every other issue, whereas I was, and still am, more of a Rootes & French car fan, and these always seemed to be looked over in most of the classic car press.


I've not bought a copy of either title recently; should I give them a second go?

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Dream shite.

Talbot Sunbeam - Mini pref. 1275GT - Shove-it - Viva HC - Samba - Triumph Dolly - Triumph 2000 - Avenger - Pug 205 with a suitcase engine - AEC Mammoth Major - Hillman Hunter - Allegro - another Simca would be nice as well - Pug 309 with a Poissy engine - Routemaster

#32 OFFLINE   Spottedlaurel


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Posted 07 October 2018 - 10:04 PM

What magazines are you after next ???


Early copies of What Car? up to the end of 1977 plus one elusive month from 1980 and various '90s issues, random Popular Motoring from mid '70s until its demise in 1982/83 and anything else cheap/interesting. Recently got a batch of GTS, one of Peter Filby's many launches from the 1980s.


My magazine-buying was at most frantic in the mid-late '80s, at various points I had Car, Auto Performance, Street Machine, Custom Car, Classic & Sportscar and others being saved for me (never bothered with postal subscriptions). Since then I've gone through Jalopy and I kept going with Car & Driver until not that many years ago.

The home of one previous owner Japanese cars:

1973 Datsun 1200 B110 2dr; 1980 Laurel 2.4 C230; 1988 Sunny 1.6 LX N13
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#33 OFFLINE   Zelandeth


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Posted 07 October 2018 - 10:05 PM

I've got two on sub here.

Practical Classics because I still enjoy reading it and Top Gear because my other half enjoys it. Plus the odd interesting article does still turn up.

I've got a pile of Autocar mags from the mid 90s which I plan on getting shot of - but I'm digitising them first as 20 years later they make for interesting reading!

Dozens of the things though, so scanning them takes forever.

Current fleet: 1996 Citroen Xantia 2.0T Activa. 1993 Lada Riva 1.5EFi Estate.  1990 Mercedes 208D Auto Trail Navajo.  1985 Sinclair C5.  1973 AC Model 70.

#34 ONLINE   Fat_Pirate


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Posted 07 October 2018 - 10:14 PM

Another Readly fan here.  Be interested to know how the financials work - do publishers get paid for views or just a flat fee?  I absolutely want to support quality journalism but paper magazines no longer work for me.

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#35 OFFLINE   The Reverend Bluejeans

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 10:23 PM

I used to read CAR until about 1998. LJKS, Bishop, Steady Barker, Bulgin, Lllwelleyynnn. Gavin Green appeared to love himself a bit (not a bad writer though) and he and Bremner seemed to start off the trendiness that has ruined it. Now it's just unremittingly shit. Autocrap is, well.......


PC is okay if you've never seen an MGB or Morris 1000 before but it's still pretty good - just not me.


I'd rather buy a ton of seventies CAR/Motor/What Car? from the seventies for a tenner. 

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#36 OFFLINE   The Reverend Bluejeans

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 10:26 PM

Also,and I may have mentioned this before,Mick Walsh's face, particularly when smiling,sends me into an irrational fury.




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1989 F  730i. Prestigious.

1994 M 318Ti - Track whore

2008 Golf GTI 3dr 6spd #VAGWANKER










Offended? Oh dear. What a shame. Piss off.



#37 OFFLINE   mitsisigma01


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Posted 07 October 2018 - 10:31 PM

Right next to me at this very moment I have a stack of about 40 What Car mags from the 70s !!!
I haven't got round to reading them yet .
Somewhere I have a full list of all the mags I have .... if only I could find the dam list !1538950983451254964260.jpg

#38 ONLINE   artdjones


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Posted 07 October 2018 - 10:31 PM

Yes......, that's the look.
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#39 OFFLINE   Skut


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Posted 07 October 2018 - 10:41 PM

Very rarely. Got the car mechanic mag as it had a Rover 25 article. Helpfully a CVT model cos they must be dead common now.

As a teen i got Volksworld and Popular Classics religiously and other titles on occasion like PC and Classic and Sportscar, Your Classic was really quite good as well.

The serial purchasing stopped when I felt there was probably more to life than Nick Larkins A55 nice though it was. The repititive nature of articles and cars featured also started to grate. I blame my lifelong hatred of the MGB on their dreary ubiquity in 90s mags.
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#40 ONLINE   rainagain


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Posted 07 October 2018 - 10:55 PM

As a teenager I read Max Power and then moved onto Revs as it was a bit more technical. Then I found Car Mechanics and had a subscription to it for about ten years. As previously mentioned it went through a phase of having a Rover 75 article seemingly every month. Even the product tests got a bit repetitive.

Also it moved towards “here we are at Jeff’s garage, I’m going to photograph him fixing our project car on his four post ramp with all the specialist tools”. I must prefer reading stuff on here about people fixing their car in real life conditions, e.g. it’s freezing cold and pissing it down and I had to fix it with gaffer tape and a prayer to baby Geebus.
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#41 ONLINE   N Dentressangle

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 11:03 PM

Used to get Practical Classics, but really there's only been one car mag worth reading:



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#42 OFFLINE   Amishtat


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Posted 07 October 2018 - 11:09 PM

Very occasionally I'll buy a Practical Classics but it just isn't as good a read as it was about fifteen years ago, too many adverts and the same old shit in it. Thanks to my dad I have a postal subscription to Classic & Sportscar but that isn't so good as it was, there's probably about three articles a month I'd regard as interesting. The rest is all adverts for ridiculously priced stuff. Car used to be a good read in the late eighties /early nineties but I haven't looked at one for years
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#43 OFFLINE   Mrcento


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Posted 07 October 2018 - 11:12 PM

I used to subscribe to Auto Express in the late 90's/early 00's, but as cars got less interesting, so did the mag,


And they changed the format about 4 times in 2 years, and the price almost doubled, and the actual content halved.


It got rubbish very quick.


I sometimes have a sneak peak at LRO in the supermarket, but it's very samey and very Defender focused.

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#44 OFFLINE   captain_70s


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Posted 07 October 2018 - 11:13 PM

Collected PC for a few years when I first got into classic cars, eventually stopped due to a mixture of cost and the content feeling very "samey". These days there is rarely anything that grabs my interest, half of the main features seem to be devoted to "what car will be classic in 5 years" with a selection of 1995-2005 cars which I have no interest in, presumably as anything pre 1990 worth having is now silly money. Half the staff seem to have either no interesting cars or no time/money available to work on the ones they do have making for dull updates. Most AS members have a projects thread that is far more interesting, often better written and done so for free!


I also used to by CCW but that suffered from the same issues, although it makes better masking for car paint work...


Another thing I noticed after becoming more knowledgeable about old motors is that most of the publications are riddled with errors. Not just silly typos but serious factual mistakes which really shouldn't be making it to publication.

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#45 OFFLINE   alcyonecorporation


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Posted 08 October 2018 - 12:32 AM


Never give up


#46 OFFLINE   Aston Martin

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 12:34 AM

Ever since I switched to digital (free with library subscription) I don't bother reading anything.

I loved Classic and Sports car, but a pdf isn't the same.
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#47 OFFLINE   Rave


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Posted 08 October 2018 - 12:35 AM

The only car mag I still buy is Practical Performance Car, I've been buying it since the first issue and have only missed three or four along the way. It's still good, but I'm also coming to the conclusion that I now get more inspiration from this place, albeit that there's less of a tuning angle on here- but then I'm coming to the conclusion that there isn't actually that much point having a fast car in the UK any more- or not round here, at least.


My Readly subscription has saved me several hours a week of standing about in Sainsburys late at night treating it as a magazine library. It really is sensational value for £7.99 or whatever it is; as well as Autocar, MCN, Performance Bikes etc., I get to flick through the Speccy, Amateur Photographer, various guitar mags...

#48 OFFLINE   lisbon_road


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Posted 08 October 2018 - 01:31 AM

I remember the excitement of buying my first copy of Practical Classics in 1982 I think, when I realised that I wasn't entirely on my own doing this strange stuff.

Now there is more interest and detail on here with stuff like the Granada rebuild.

#49 OFFLINE   somewhatfoolish


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Posted 08 October 2018 - 02:00 AM

I did buy a few PPC, but it first appeared in my austerity period so I didn't get very many. I also bought various of the landrover comics when I bought my first green oval horror in the mid-90s; by the time I bought my 2nd Solihull tractor in 2012 I was definitely past regular magazine buyage.


#50 OFFLINE   Lanciaman


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Posted 08 October 2018 - 05:11 AM

My first issue of Car was August 89, had the NSX on the front. Amazing times.

Totally agree with comment ref Car mag. I got it religiously from 1983 to 1995. George Bishop, Ian Fraser as well as the others mentioned. Excellent reading. I gave up for the same reason. They abandoned what for me were interesting cars and went down the performance only and all things German route. One favourite was the front cover piece 'driving the untouchables' where they took a Skoda Estelle, Lada Riva (if it was the Riva then),2cv and a reliant robin to Wales. Alfa 75s back from Italy, Ferrari Mondial to Scotland. Fantastic writing. The current Car is just a shit 'lifestyle'mag.
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#51 OFFLINE   lesapandre


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Posted 08 October 2018 - 06:12 AM

No I stopped getting them. They are  now too pricy and clutter up the flat. I do still buy them if they turn up in our local charity shops. Random fun. I'm currently reading some 2011 C&SC at 25p.

#52 OFFLINE   Snipes


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Posted 08 October 2018 - 06:20 AM

Use to sub to Evo (around 1999ish), later Retro Cars then Practical Performance Car but don't read or miss any at the moment.
Picked up the odd copy of Modern Classic though.

#53 OFFLINE   Shep Shepherd

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 06:21 AM

I only get Car Mechanics these days, but it's becoming increasingly irrelevant to the way I live my motoring life and it's recently lost one of its best contributors (the late, great Ted Connolly), so I may well stop buying it at some point in the near future.

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 06:29 AM

Only ever used to buy them occasionally, usually as something to read on the plane when traveling but modern mags are just "what diesel Volkswagen should I buy?" so they're dull as hell.

Still pick up practical classics or something in this scenario but it's a couple of times a year at best.

#55 OFFLINE   sierraman


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Posted 08 October 2018 - 06:46 AM

I’ve never worked out why in Car Mechanics they’ll do a service article on something completely obscure now. Not that long ago they did a service guide on a Mk2 Mondeo. Why? The few that’s still on the road tend to be run until they drop. Wouldn’t a Mk4 Mondeo service be more relevant?

Agree with the bit about the Insignia. Who on earth would rebuild the engine on one DIY. You’d chuck another unit in or scrap the fucker.

So much information is available over the internet now you wouldn’t look to something like that for advice.

That said, I did enjoy the article on building a garage. That was useful.
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#56 ONLINE   jon.k


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Posted 08 October 2018 - 06:53 AM

I grew up on car, practical classics and later, Evo. I don’t buy them often now because the equivalent content seems to be on the internet. However I do enjoy the classic commercial and classic bus magazines which are still full of content that you can’t find online so much.

#57 OFFLINE   Ohdearme


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Posted 08 October 2018 - 07:02 AM

Not anymore. I used to read Performance Car as young lad in the 80’s/90’s and I also used to get Carweek (remember that?) erm, weekly.

They’re too pricey nowadays and I find the articles a bit lightweight, bought a few copies of modern classics for the cars rather than writing.

That they try and pitch every car as an ‘investment opportunity’ grates a little bit and like others have said, just shy of a fiver for a mag nowadays seems steep.

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#58 OFFLINE   meshking


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Posted 08 October 2018 - 07:05 AM

I definitely find online content more appealing and relevant. That said, when travelling I pick up a copy of whatever is in the lounge. I do enjoy Motorsport - the quality of writing is very high and it's nice to dream about owning the cars in it.

I went to tesco at the weekend, and the magazine aisle had been shrunk from two complete sides to half of one side.

I used to spend around 10-15 per month on magazines, that was probably over 10 years ago, when £3 magazines were expensive.

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#59 ONLINE   egg



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Posted 08 October 2018 - 07:23 AM

Did anyone else used to read 'Supercar Classics', I had a couple which were great reads - I remember this issue being a particular fave....



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#60 OFFLINE   sierraman


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Posted 08 October 2018 - 07:30 AM

I think you can pretty much condense the target audience into the following groups...

Classic and Sportscar... cravat wearing snobbish E type owner

What Car... casual brown shoes wearing company car driver deciding which black Audi A3 diesel to buy. Sort that finds BIK figures and networking interesting.

CAR... lifestyle magazine for double income no kids advertising executive types with a recent sports car.

Top Gear... children’s magazine. Usually a toss up between the Beano or Score or this.

Car mechanics... someone looking to service a Volvo 940 or buy some garage equipment.
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