Muscle Car Review was a re-titling of Popular & Performance Car Review. It was published by Dobbs Publishing in Lakeland, Florida. Dobbs was an upstart, independent publisher which started with Mustang Monthly in 1978. Dobbs was building a strong portfolio of other muscle and performance titles.
Donald Farr was the first editor, but in February 1986 Paul Zazarine took the helm when Mr. Farr moved to Super Ford. Paul had been writing GTO articles for Dobbs, so he was the perfect candidate to assume the editor role. His timing matched the growing interest in muscle car restoration, and he led with many how-to tips and a series called, "How to Restore Your Muscle Car" in July 1988. Zazarine also noted the growing popularity of the 5.0 Mustang, and Muscle Car Review offered many bolt-on tips.
In 1989, Tom Shaw became the editor. After he was established, car values were declining along with advertising dollars. Management decided to move away from the restoration focus and include more modified cars. Mr. Shaw left his role in September 1991 because he felt it was the wrong direction. But the change didn't pan out, and Mr. Shaw returned to the editor role in May 1994. He re-focused on restoration and original cars. This was a growth period for Dobbs, and Muscle Car Review was the company's largest circulation title.
In June, 1995, CSK Publishing's Muscle Cars magazine was folded into MCR. The exact nature of the arrangement isn't clear, but Muscle Cars subscribers received MCR magazine to fulfill their original subscriptions. Subscribers to both had their subscriptions extended until both were fulfilled. With MCR the only remaining muscle car magazine at that point, this gesture was good for readers, the hobby and the Dobbs brand.
Dobbs Publishing sold the company to Petersen Publishing in April 1998, and the magazine was published until January, 2002 when it was discontinued.
In 2003, it returned as an annual publication and progressed to a biannual, a quarterly and finally a monthly publication. It continued until 2019 when it went to a digital only format.
The table of contents can be seen by clicking on the icon.
Note: The magazine did not use typical volume and series numbering from 1986 through May 1989. Then the use of this numbering scheme was erratic until June, 1990.
Publication data sent to Gale Research was sporadic. Average monthly net paid circulation was: 11,833 in 1990; 12,913 in 1992; and, 9,092 in 1994.
A total of 129 issues were printed from December, 1986 to January, 2002. All images and table of content pages are complete.