Car magazines would be nothing without the development of the first automobile, specified as a motorized vehicle with one purpose originally in mind—to transport a small number of people with its wheels in direct contact with the road it is traveling on. This vehicle is known by many names—hot rod, jalopy, the “horseless carriage”, auto, or car.
Whatever it was called, the first automobiles were well-known by the end of the World War I when the first commercial vehicles became extremely marketable. In England the automotive manufacturing era was split between the Veteran and Edwardian era, while in the U.S. it was referred to as the Brass Era from 1890 to 1918. Later on, vintage cars were made between 1905 and 1930, or pre-World War II in the United States.
As the development of cars progressed at a rapid rate, the magazine business also began to progress–with car magazines and car books better informing the public about something other than the horse and buggy transportation of previous eras. One of the earliest automotive car magazines was put out by the Electric Car Society, “The Horseless Age”, which was published from 1895 to 1918.
It quickly became one of the most respective automotive magazines on the market, financially supported by the elite of American society. When it first went to print, it only had 800 printed copies made. Today, a few copies of that first printing remain, showing us that the majority of automotive information we have today originated from those earliest car magazines.
Henry Ford’s first truck advertisement was in those beginning car magazines, along with information on every early car built during that period, in addition to the first manned aircraft light on May 17, 1899 by A.M. Herring. It was shown that more propulsion systems—compressed air, electric cars, hybrid cars, diesel power, steam power, and other types were listed—with more electric cars than gasoline cars available until 1911. In these early historic pieces, the photos are still in excellent shape with perfect reading in black and white type.
Today, car magazines are a multi-million dollar industry—convertible car magazines, Z car performance statistics, auto racing magazines, sport compact cars, automobile guides, car magazines & publications, global car production, car sales statistics, track and race cars magazine review, car safety ratings, motor trend magazine, road and track magazine, car and driver magazine, car accident magazine statistics, and many others.
Today, one of the most popular car magazines, “Car Magazine,” is a monthly UK magazine published by Bauer Automotive, designed for the British automotive enthusiast. A popular magazine, it is now international in Brazil, Mexico, China, Greece, South Africa, and in many other countries. Originally launched as “Small Car and Mini Owner” in 1962, the name was changed to “Car” in 1966, published by Emap. “Car Magazine Online” is available to the public at the web address http://www. carmagazine.co.uk/GLOBAL/About-Us/?. Signing in and registered is necessary to participate but it is well worth it as Britain’s oldest monthly motoring magazine.