Car Exchange was published by Krause Publications in Iola, Wisconsin. The title generally focused on post-World War II classic cars and contained a big classified ads section. It featured mostly U.S. and some foreign cars of the 1940s and 1950s, did test drives of old cars, provided value guides and tips for collectors, and had guest writers such as Phil Hill.
In the beginning, the magazine suffered in quality due to lack of color and half-tone print on newspaper style paper. LeRoi "Tex" Smith joined as editor with the March, 1980 issue, and quality in format and editorial content improved into the 1980s. Then as muscle car interest grew in the early 1980s, the editorial team starting featuring more muscle cars. By the time Dobbs Publishing purchased the title in 1984, an interesting dynamic had emerged. Subscribers to Car Exchange preferred cars from the 1940s and 1950s, but the issues that sold the most on the newstand had 1960 era muscle cars on the cover. The entire magazine's focus was diluted.
After the April, 1984 issue, Dobbs addressed this conundrum by merging Car Exchange with Classic Sixties to create Popular and Performance Car Review. Dobbs had decided to press forward with muscle cars. This left the classic post-war, non-muscle car vehicles from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s on the side of the road!
Fast forward to March, 1986. Dobbs and editor Donald Farr decided to serve the original Car Exchange collector market with content focused on non-muscle car, post-war classics. In the editorial section of that revived title, Mr. Farr indicated the reborn title would feature both collectible and non-collectible classics, mostly U.S. vehicles. The resurrected version lasted just 17 issues.
The table of contents, if available, can be seen by clicking on the icon.
The publisher provided net paid circulation data only for 1983 and 1984. Krause reported an average monthly tally of 10,833 for these two years.
A total of 78 issues was printed from April, 1979 through September, 1987. All cover images are complete.