Sports Car Illustrated magazine was formed by Dale Naef and Frank Fittano in Atlanta, Georgia in 1985. Mr. Naef had originally worked for Petersen Publishing in advertising sales. In this publication, Naef was listed as the publisher and executive editor, and Fittano was the executive publisher. The original editor was Dave Emanuel, but he was shortly replaced by Mark Ewing who stayed through the transition to new owners.
Publishing was on a bi-monthly schedule until 1987 when it went to monthly. Content was organized in three primary sections: driving impressions, feature articles and departments. Driving impressions featured foreign performance cars including sport cars and sedans, hot hatches and supercar exotica. Features and departments typically addressed articles of interest to readers including interviews, some racing results and profiles of historical vehicles.
This title competed against the "big 3" with a similar content focus - Road & Track, Car and Driver and later Automobile Magazine.
In 1988, the title was purchased by Ken Field of Itasca, Illinois who also owned Continental Web Press. Hollis Hedrich became the publisher, and he had been a well known drag racer and engine builder. Born in 1931, he would fit perfectly in the early days of hot rodding and drag racing. It is uncertain how he made this leap from racing to magazine publishing.
Editorial and executive offices were moved to Newport Beach, California at 3901 Westerly Place. Mr. Hedrich continued the publication and expanded the driving impressions section to include US sports cars and sedans along with foreign vehicles. He also oversaw the name change to Sport Car International.
The table of contents can be seen by clicking on the icon.
The publisher provided circulation data to Gale Research in 1989 and 1990. The average monthly net paid circulation was 14,638 in each year reported.
A total of 35 issues were printed from November, 1985 through June, 1989 when the title was changed. All cover images are complete.