This site contains archive and history information for automotive magazines including hot rod, street rod, custom car, sports car, VW-powered, dune buggies, Detroit cars, trucks, vans, pickups, kit cars, go-karts, foreign cars, lowriders, model cars, and slot car magazines that started publication in the United States between 1945 and 2000. History and cover images are accessed using the links to the left. Simply click on each magazine title or menu to see the covers.
FIRST TIME VISITORS: USE THE SITE MAP TO BROWSE THE ENTIRE LIBRARY QUICKLY.
This library contains the most popular published magazine periodicals based on circulation data, and it also includes some rare issues. Since there are currently 217 titles and over 17,400 images, they are grouped into 15 content sections as follows:
- Hot Rod and Street Rods (from 1945 with images up to 2020)
- Customs, Kustoms and Lowriders (from 1958 with images up to 2020)
- Muscle/Performance Cars (from 1962 with images up to 2000)
- Sports Cars (from 1953 with images up to 2000)
- Corvettes (from 1957 with images up to 2000)
- Ford Mustangs (from 1978 with images up to 2000)
- Trucks, Pickups and Off-Roading (from 1962 with images up to 2000)
- VW-powered and kit/component cars (from 1956 with images up to 1995)
- General Consumer Automotive (from 1947 with images up to 2000)
- Drag Racing (from 1959 with images up to 1996)
- Motorsports and Auto Racing (from 1949 with images up to 1990)
- Collector Cars (from 1966 with images up to 1990)
- Vans (from 1975 up to 1987)
- Model and Slot Cars (from 1960 with images up to 2000)
- Go-Karts / Karting (from 1959 with images up to 1969)
HOW CONTENT IS SELECTED AND ORGANIZED:
- The first step is to select magazines published monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly where annual net paid circulation is significant. Annual publications and "one-shots" are sometimes included as are titles that are make and model specific, e.g., Alfa Romeo, Packards, Ford Mustangs, etc. Weekly and bi-weekly publications are excluded.
- Images and magazine history are then published to the website when images from the start of publication to a target end date are at least 90% complete. There are exceptions that cause a less complete collection to be published. It is generally when the title is rare and/or we use it to collect images from readers.
- Cover images are added in phases. We start with older dates and work forward in time to more recent ones.
- Not all titles on the site contain all images ever printed. This is a practical matter since each title has to be researched and every image collected, edited and published. In rare titles with low print volumes, images are difficult to find.
- Most car magazine content rarely fits neatly into one category or genre, e.g., hot rods or muscle cars. Typically titles cover at least two or three separate genres or types of vehicles. For example Hot Rod did a masterful job of covering everything from hot rods, dune buggies, drag racing, muscle cars, etc. The early Rod & Custom included hot rods, customs, slot cars, model cars and go-karts into the mix. Many titles often covered both muscle cars and drag racing. Therefore, titles are organized into genres for reader benefit, but these are not always clean distinctions.
THE CIRCLE OF LIFE:
With the demise of printed car magazines at a faster rate since 2014, this quote seems appropriate.
"Rather than bemoan the things that are no longer what they were, think how lucky we are to have lived in such interesting times, played with such fantastic and demanding cars and known such passionate, eccentric and accomplished people. We've crammed a lot into our lives and enjoyed almost the whole of an entire golden age."
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This website is a database compilation. It is intended for general and technical reference, research, automobile history, and genealogy. All abstracts, publishing timelines, net paid circulation data compilations, publisher histories, searchable indices, graphics and other text and data are the work of the author and may NOT be reproduced without the author's written permission.
However, magazine covers and table of content pages are photographic images. These are copies of images owned by the author, are expired copyrighted and in the public domain, or are active copyrighted images owned by magazine publishers. The author of this website claims no right to the photographic images of magazine covers and table of content pages. Readers should fully understand their responsibility before downloading and/or re-using these images.