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Motor Trend Magazine - junk?

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Does anyone besides myself find that "Motor Trend Magazine" is basically junk compared to what it once was in the 1960s-1970s? I was given a subscription and unlike the show cars, family car driving reviews, and articles of the past it is just full of ads and high end performance and exotic cars beyone the reach of the normal person. To me the magazine is only a shadow of its former self. What happened? And is there one out there that is more like the old format to subscribe to?

Eric

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I think most car magazines are now as you describe. I started a subscription to Car Craft few years ago and canceled after I got the first issue.

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Eric, I imagine they still occasionally have something of interest to someone, but some sneaky rascal in our little car club here sent in a gift subscription in my name and I'm still trying to find out who "did that to me", ha !

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I felt the same way about the Car and Driver magazine 20 years ago. The only magazine subscriptions I currently have is for National Geographic and AACA Antique Automobile. I threatened to cancel National Geographic because they didn't offer any significant discount for being a subscriber for 50 years so they gave me a great deal for 7 more years.

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I always feel like an old fuddy-duddy (at the ripe old age of 44) when I complain about the "modern" car magazines, but they've really gotten unreadable. Car & Driver has long been a favorite because the writers are witty and they do like to have fun with cars, but the format of the magazine blurs the lines between advertising and articles and the charts--oh my god the charts!--make it so hard to navigate through the articles. I never know where one article ends and the next begins, and like I said, many of the articles look just like the ads right next to them. And the typeface is so small that I absolutely cannot read them without glasses, and I don't wear glasses! It's like 7 point font or something--I can read the fine print on the side of a bottle of aspirin easier than any modern car magazine.

I had subscriptions to all the major car magazines, but I let them all lapse. I think I have a year left on Car & Driver and a few months on Autoweek, but I'm going to let them die, too. I shouldn't have to work that hard to read something for enjoyment. Maybe younger folks with miniscule attention spans and the need for constant stimulation appreciate the chaotic layouts, but all it does is make it hard to enjoy their product.

/old man

//get off my lawn!

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At least Hemmings Classic Car continues to be of interest,

but sometimes it seems that Motor Trend has lost its way,

and has anyone noticed how diminished the articles, and especially the advertising have become in Old Cars Weekly News & Marketplace?

There was a time when I couldn't wait for the kids to finish their homework so I could get to the latest issues of Sports Car Graphic, Road & Track, Car & Driver, Citroen Car Club News, etc. Thankfully we still have AACA's Antique Automobile, Buick Bugle, Self-Starter, Generator & Distributor, Bulb Horn, Horseless Carriage Gazette, and some fine local and region newsletters....

and especially this FORUM !!

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That is one reason I prefer Autocar, CAR, and Top Gear from the UK. They tell it like it is, and not afraid to say if a car is a POS for fear of losing advertising revenue.

Craig

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I hate to say it but most of the rags I have seen in the last view years have been garbage, cars, finance, business, etc.

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That is one reason I prefer Autocar, CAR, and Top Gear from the UK. They tell it like it is, and not afraid to say if a car is a POS for fear of losing advertising revenue.

Craig

Great magazines if you are in the UK or Canada like you are. Not much as so far as options here in America. I just looked at a recent copy of MT and it is baffling how a 2-page ad on A-Fib medication or selling Lee blue jeans have anything to do with automobiles? And the "family" magazine factor goes out the window when they also have ads for penis enlargement or sex aids in the back. Certain parts of the layout is hard to tell where ads end and articles start? And as I said, some issues should be named "Exotic World" rather than the MT we knew from years ago.

post-68778-143142901055_thumb.jpg

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I used to subscribe to all the major car mags (M/T included) but have let nearly all lapse over the years. All print media have gone to the infomercial content and "special advertising section" formats. That's just a fact of life in today's print media world. Camaro Craft was one of the early casualties-the monthly small block Chevy build got old. I dropped Car and Driver this year. The aforementioned graphics and editorial change killed it for me. The Peterson-EMAP-SourceInterlink-TEN Publishing conglomorate has killed off some of the titles I still got (like Rod and Custom). They also started reprising the same articles among their magazines. These days I'm down to Hot Rod (a subscriber since 1971), Autoweek, Street Rodder, and Auto Restorer (and Journey With Olds).

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They're all going the way of the Dodo Bird, Hudson, Moon, well, you get it. What you want is here in the WWW now. Rod & Custom is gone for good, Garage was short-lived, Hot Rod is like you've already said above. I get The Rodders Journal and tried Hemmings Muscle Machines for a year. The rest of the things that really attract a reader can be found on your friggen phone now too. I guess we sucked it up for catalytic convertors, impact bumpers, little F.I. engines, lots of synthetics used on bodies, why not interactive reading too? Ya gotta admit, it's kool to make a direct comment or question to a featured car here or on other sites (I frequent The Jalopy Journal too).

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Of all the modern mags, I used to like Road and Track the best, but then Peter Egan retired and they moved the editorial office to Ann Arbor with Car and Driver. Now it's basically Car and Driver, Part II. I get both, but only because they're cheap. I still get Car Craft only because I have for almost 15 years. It's OK, but I'm not a speed freak, so it has little relevance to me since I'm not putting an LS-engine in anything anytime soon. I do still enjoy Hemmings Classic Car and Sports Car and Exotic. To me, they're the best magazines out there right now. I got Hot Rod until earlier this year, but got sick of looking at those rich guy builds. I like cars that are basically factory stock anyway, so it wasn't a good mix.

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Even National Geographic has gone down hill since they started accepting advertising. Most articles now have a strong political bias. Used to be an avid reader, now only if I come across an issue at the dentist or doc's office.

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The only one I presently subscribe to ( used to be 5 ) is Hemmings. Usually about 650 pages, some good stories and articles and lots of for Sale advertisements. I made three great car purchases this year as a result of reading this book ( lol ). There may well be things I don't like about it so I just skip those days parts. At about $2.50 a month I think it is a great buy.

Wayne

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How I remember the anticipation of receiving that next issue of MT back in the '50's. I have kept those early issues, and occasionally pull them out and enjoy re reading them. Not to mention drooling over the array of now CCCA-recognized classics offered in the classified ads at what are now unreal, pittance prices. From the start it was much about interesting cars, many that had been around for a while. Not to sound bitter, but when I recently picked up a MT in the barber shop, it quickly went back on the rack and I reminded myself to not bother again.

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I check a couple of forums online and get my club magazines. There are four hardbound books and one professional organization magazine next to my chair in the living room. I will have to stash them away before the Christmas crowd gets here.

I lost a life long fascination with magazines for two reasons; 1. every time I looked at one stuff fell out of it. I was always picking up advertising and subscription cards. I t was an extension of junk mail. 2., it became more and more obvious that the writers needed a bag of groceries for their effort than they wanted to write a meaningful article. The 10 Ugliest Radio Delete Panels or All the Things I Learned About a Car I Knew Nothing About Last Week are the kind of articles that hold no value. And certainly not worth picking up a bunch of mail-in cards off the bathroom floor.

Car Life was always my favorite when growing up; facts, no hype and BS, no author/character/hero's. Well, I am going to shut down the computer. I have a broken bolt to drill out. Modern magazines are just for people without priorities.

Bernie

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Yep, for old car magazines I really like the Antique Automobile and the HMN publications although I do not think their staff is as well versed in prewar cars as they are with postwar foreign sports cars. That said, the articles in both HMN Sports and Exotic and HMN Classic Car are pretty good. Don't see myself eveer dropping the "classic" HMN either. My bank just sent a nice container of cookies for being a 30 + year customer, I just wish HMN would send something as I am over 35 years now - - ;)

The new stuff interests me to some degree as I like new cars as well, but I only take those (R&T seems about the best these days) when they are offerred for $8 per year - cheap enough to thumb through and and pass along!

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My bank just sent a nice container of cookies for being a 30 + year customer, I just wish HMN would send something as I am over 35 years now - - ;)

I used to get those cookies, candies, and popcorn tin boxes, just full of goodies from Quill Company. These were for buying all of those reams of paper in my editor days. Anybody need any popcorn tins? :D

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Meh, my bank doesn't even send me a calendar.

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Magazines, something I'll have to explan to the grandkids some day. I do remember the 23rd of every month when the First Class delivery of Hemmings was due. The real motivated sellers would list their phone number, guess they thought that extra expence would be returned in sales. Bob

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I used to look forward to the day new magazines arrived at the local tobacco store (every Tuesday and Thursday). I bought 6 or 8 every month, 2 at a time. That was in the sixties and seventies. Now I seldom even bother to look at them.

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Even National Geographic has gone down hill since they started accepting advertising..

National Geographic has always had advertising. I have issues going back to the 1920s, and they all have ads in them.

Edited by Pomeroy41144 (see edit history)

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I remember when Old Cars Weekly was just Old Cars and came out only once a month. Anticipation was part of the fun. Then they offered 5 volumns of "The Best Of Old Cars" in a thick magazine format. I still have them all. The best thing about old car articles is that they're still good 30 years later if you are interested in old cars. Now I agree with Marty Roth, Classic Car and our own Antique Automobile plus the Ford V8 Clubs V8 Times are the best on the market.

I keep a 1967 small Hemming's Motor News in my 34 Ford glove box just to check prices now & then and remember when prices were more affordable (Even in adjusted dollars). That was 10 years before "Collector Cars as an Investment" was even thought of. They were for fun and a very interesting hobby.

Edited by R W Burgess
Cleaned it up for you, Paul! (see edit history)

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I just read the latest post to this topic and remembered how long it has been since I subscribed to Skinned Knuckles Magazine. I was happy to find they accept payments online and as of today I am a subscriber again.

My first subscription was purchased at the 1977 Buick Nationals in Strongsville, Ohio. A vendor was set up with back issues and taking subscriptions. I bought one of everything he had and continued to subscribe for at least 20 years.

I had a 1939 Series 40 at the time and liked this line up in 1977:

post-46237-143142903044_thumb.jpg

Here's the car in 1974:

post-46237-143142903046_thumb.jpg

Maybe I'll give it another 20 years and if it works out, make it permanent. It really is the best magazine I've read.

http://skinnedknuckles.net/pages/table%20of%20contents.htm

Bernie

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)

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I am down to Hemmings Classic car as a subscriber. In Canada there is a pretty good "Canadian Hot Rods " that is mostly Lo -tech oriented, and I sometimes buy it off the newsstand. The British magazines are great but very expensive. I only buy them second hand at swap meets. I have hundreds of car magazines from the 40's to the 80's, almost any one of them is better than todays offerings. I buy quite a few 6 month - year old car magazines off my local public library disgard shelf; 10 cents each 3 for a quarter, that's about what they are worth. They end up in the lunch room at work.

Greg in Canada

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