This site contains magazine cover images for hot rod, street rod, custom car, sports car, off-road, dune buggies, general automotive, karting, model car and slot car magazines from 1945 to 1990 in the United States. The images are accessed using the links to the left. Simply click on each magazine title or menu to see the covers.Since there are about 7,500 images, they are grouped by title into eight content areas:
- Hot Rod, Street Rod and Custom Cars
- Muscle/Performance Cars
- Drag Racing
- Motorsports and Sports Cars
- General Consumer Automotive
- Model and Slot Cars
- Off Roading and Dune Buggies
HOW CONTENT IS CURATED AND ORGANIZED?
- Content is focused on magazines published monthly, bi-monthly, and quarterly. Annual publications and "one-shots" are sometimes included. Weekly and bi-weekly publications are excluded as are titles that are marque specific, e.g., Alfa Romeo, Packards, Lotus, Ferrari, Porsche, etc.
- Not all titles contain all images ever printed. This is a practical matter since each title has to be researched and every image collected, edited and published. The first key strategy is to publish a title when all the images are at least 90% complete. The second key strategy is to start with later dates and work forward in time to more recent ones. There are exceptions that cause an incomplete collection to be published -- both to show progress and to utilize it to generate feedback from readers.
- There are certain definitional words or perspectives in the car community that sometimes spawn strong reactions, e.g., "hot rod", "street rod", "resto-rod", "resto-mod", "steel is real", "traditional vs smoothie", etc. Many of these have generational roots, i.e., "what you are (and think) now is where you were when". This site attempts to remain neutral on these perspectives, and mention them only to establish historical context for magazines titles that represent certain themes or types of content.
- Most car magazine content is neither solely "X" or "Y". Typically titles cover at least two or three separate genres or types of vehicles. For example Hot Rod does a masterful job of covering everything from hot rods, dune buggies, drag racing, muscle cars, etc. The first Rod & Custom added slot cars, model cars and go-karts into the mix. Many titles often covered both muscle cars and drag racing. Titles are organized into genres for readability, but these are not always clean distinctions.
- An honest attempt has been made to confirm beginning and ending dates by referencing either the volume and issue numbers and/or the sequential numbers if that scheme was used. A volume in periodical magazines is typically one year, with each issue given a sequential number within the volume. Different publishers used different practices that creates confusion. Some started a calendar year with a new volume number while others did not. Some magazines were published monthly but the publisher changed the volume number after six issues were printed. Sporadic printing coupled with rarity makes the process of time-dating some titles difficult. This site reconciles these differences and provides the most accurate information on when each title began and ended publication.