Local media brands pushing 50 years are worthy of special attention. Car magazine has published a 60-year keepsake that reminded me why magazines are addictive and how much care and attention it takes to create one issue, never mind the multitude that Ramsay Media has pumped out over the years.
The 256 page February issue is a feast of content past and cutting edge trends in motoring. It was meticulously planned and executed by a team of petrol heads and experienced publishers. Editor Steve Smith writes of seeing off the opposition over the years by being relentlessly on sides with readers.
This fact is often overlooked by publishers trying to score advertising by pandering to advertisers. In fact the motoring sector is shamelessly guilty of publishing obsequious and fawning articles about car brands. Motoring journalists have been feted by car manufacturers and boasts some of the most hair raising and debauched press junkets imaginable. Through thick and thin Car has published reviews that tell it like it is. They are known and trusted for this stance and it has paid dividends.
In a declining print environment, quality has been maintained (despite pressure from the top) and a strong online presence established. Unique users and face book fans total 660.000 an enviable audience which should attract strong ad support. However there is nothing like the intimate relationship with the printed product as I discovered this past weekend.
Content included “performance scoops” pitting the Merc AMG GTK, Lexus LC500, Landrover Discovery and Abarth Spider, my personal favourite, but true to putting readers first Car suggested a steep price could be off putting. A pick of covers over the years indicates design trends from the quaint old fashioned look typical of the 1950 and ’60s to the racy and strap lined filled covers of today. A feature on the legendary DKW, a 1960 car from the VW/Audi stable that on acceleration emitted a memorable ring ding, ding a ding (you had to be there).
Before I join the band of fawning journalists, I admit to being disappointed by the cover which doesn’t do the birthday or the contents justice. Don’t let that put you off, though, it is a product worthy of the cover price.