OVERVIEW
Car Craft was created when Honk was re-titled in December, 1953.  The magazine was owned by Robert E. Petersen and his Petersen Publishing empire, and it was part of Trends Inc.

The tag line for the magazine, representing its focus, alternated between "the show-how magazine" and the "custom car magazine". Early content included customization tips, styling ideas for customs, upholstery, technical tips, engine swaps, and fabrication. Other content included quarter midgets, go-karts, and traditional hot rods. By 1959, more drag racing content filled the pages.

Early editors were John Christy and Dick Day, with Wally Parks as the executive director. Car Craft was initially published in the small format style and switched to a full-sized format in July, 1959.

In 1961, the magazine, like many others, had an expanded horizon so also featured hot rods, car shows, technical performance articles, slot and model cars, drag racing and land speed events, and articles on karting and midget racing. Kart magazine was also included in late 1961, and this doubled karting coverage.

The next year brought changes to the editor role and a slight shift in focus. Don Evans became the new editor in August, 1962, moving up from the associate editor role under Dick Day. There was a slight decrease in the number of feature articles on custom cars, as well as less customizing trends and how-to's. But with the addition of Kart, about one-third of content was focused on karts, midgets, slot cars and model cars. This heavy focus on karting by multiple Petersen magazines really impacted the standalone karting titles as reviewed HERE.

Content continued to evolve through 1963 and 1964. Drag racing took a bigger part of the content, and these years saw a noticeable drop in content focused on go-karts, slot cars and model cars. This was supported by the new Rod & Custom Models title which started in June, 1964. It also reflects the end of the faddish period around go-karts.

In 1965 the new tag line became, "The Automotive Go & Show" magazine. Content was solidly focused on technical performance improvements, drag racing, and the emerging muscle car era. The magazine included more 4-color features and two page exhibits. The editorial staff changed again in late 1965 as Alex Xydias became the new editor. Mr. Xydias was long associated with dry lakes racing and was the founder of So-Cal Speed Shop. Traditional hot rods and customs were de-emphasized and factory performance and drag racing took center stage. The editor positioned the magazine as "Drag Racing's Complete Magazine", and this continued until the late 1970s. This fact is represented by the re-grouping of the title into the performance & muscle genre on this website.

As described by writer John Pearley Huffman, "Car Craft covered people doing car things. In the 1980s and into the 1990s, it meant home-built street machines, junkyard spelunking, and painting cars in your own garage." The magazine continued to evolve until its demise in 2019.

The table of contents can be seen by clicking on the  icon.

PUBLICATION DATA
Car Craft was consistently in either the #5 or #6 position in rank-ordered print volumes among those titles that provided paid circulation details. In the time period from 1955 to 1978, average monthly net paid circulation grew from 19,165 to 55,237.

CONTENT COMPLETENESS
This website only has cover images through 1995 even though the title was published in print until December 2019.

Dec 1953
Dec 1953 Vol 1 No 8
Jan 1954
Jan 1954 Vol 1 No 9
Feb 1954
Feb 1954 Vol 1 No 10
Mar 1954
Mar 1954 Vol 1 No 11
Apr 1954
Apr 1954 Vol 1 No 12
May 1954
May 1954 Vol 2 No 1
June 1954
June 1954 Vol 2 No 2
July 1954
July 1954 Vol 2 No 3
Aug 1954
Aug 1954 Vol 2 No 4
Sept 1954
Sept 1954 Vol 2 No 5
Oct 1954
Oct 1954 Vol 2 No 6
Nov 1954
Nov 1954 Vol 2 No 7
Dec 1954
Dec 1954 Vol 2 No 8
Jan 1955
Jan 1955 Vol 2 No 9
Feb 1955
Feb 1955 Vol 2 No 10
Mar 1955
Mar 1955 Vol 2 No 11
Apr 1955
Apr 1955 Vol 2 No 12
May 1955
May 1955 Vol 3 No 1
June 1955
June 1955 Vol 3 No 2
July 1955
July 1955 Vol 3 No 3
Aug 1955
Aug 1955 Vol 3 No 4
Sept 1955
Sept 1955 Vol 3 No 5
Oct 1955
Oct 1955 Vol 3 No 6
Nov 1955
Nov 1955 Vol 3 No 6
Numbering error
Dec 1955
Dec 1955 Vol 3 No 7
Jan 1956
Jan 1956 Vol 3 No 8
Feb 1956
Feb 1956 Vol 3 No 8
Numbering error
Mar 1956
Mar 1956 Vol 3 No 9
Apr 1956
Apr 1956 Vol 3 No 12
Corrected numbering
May 1956
May 1956 Vol 4 No 1
June 1956
June 1956 Vol 4 No 2
July 1956
July 1956 Vol 4 No 3
Aug 1956
Aug 1956 Vol 4 No 4
Sept 1956
Sept 1956 Vol 4 No 5
Oct 1956
Oct 1956 Vol 4 No 6
Nov 1956
Nov 1956 Vol 4 No 7
Dec 1956
Dec 1956 Vol 4 No 8
Jan 1957
Jan 1957 Vol 4 No 9
Feb 1957
Feb 1957 Vol 4 No 10
Mar 1957
Mar 1957 Vol 4 No 11
Apr 1957
Apr 1957 Vol 4 No 12
May 1957
May 1957 Vol 5 No 1
June 1957
June 1957 Vol 5 No 2
July 1957
July 1957 Vol 5 No 3
Aug 1957
Aug 1957 Vol 5 No 4
Sept 1957
Sept 1957 Vol 5 No 5
Oct 1957
Oct 1957 Vol 5 No 6
Nov 1957
Nov 1957 Vol 5 No 7
Dec 1957
Dec 1957 Vol 5 No 8
Jan 1958
Jan 1958 Vol 5 No 9
Feb 1958
Feb 1958 Vol 5 No 10
Mar 1958
Mar 1958 Vol 5 No 11
Apr 1958
Apr 1958 Vol 5 No 12
May 1958
May 1958 Vol 5 No 12
Numbering error
June 1958
June 1958 Vol 6 No 1
July 1958
July 1958 Vol 6 No 2
Aug 1958
Aug 1958 Vol 6 No 4
Corrected numbering
Sept 1958
Sept 1958 Vol 6 No 5
Oct 1958
Oct 1958 Vol 6 No 6
Nov 1958
Nov 1958 Vol 6 No 7
Dec 1958
Dec 1958 Vol 6 No 8
Jan 1959
Jan 1959 Vol 6 No 9
Feb 1959
Feb 1959 Vol 6 No 10
Mar 1959
Mar 1959 Vol 6 No 11
Apr 1959
Apr 1959 Vol 6 No 12
May 1959
May 1959 Vol 7 No 1
June 1959
June 1959 Vol 7 No 2
July 1959
July 1959 Vol 7 No 3
New large format
Aug 1959
Aug 1959 Vol 7 No 4
Sept 1959
Sept 1959 Vol 7 No 5
Oct 1959
Oct 1959 Vol 7 No 6
Nov 1959
Nov 1959 Vol 7 No 7
Dec 1959
Dec 1959 Vol 7 No 8
Jan 1960
Jan 1960 Vol 7 No 9
Feb 1960
Feb 1960 Vol 7 No 10
Mar 1960
Mar 1960 Vol 7 No 11
Apr 1960
Apr 1960 Vol 7 No 12
May 1960
May 1960 Vol 8 No 1
June 1960
June 1960 Vol 8 No 2
July 1960
July 1960 Vol 8 No 3
Aug 1960
Aug 1960 Vol 8 No 4
Sept 1960
Sept 1960 Vol 8 No 5
Oct 1960
Oct 1960 Vol 8 No 6
Nov 1960
Nov 1960 Vol 8 No 7
Dec 1960
Dec 1960 Vol 8 No 8
1961 to 1964