Magazine Musings

Back during the late 1960s when I got interested in sports cars and racing (my family was stationed at Grand Forks AFB at the time; I was about 14-15), Road & Track magazine and Competition Press & Autoweek served as my primary sources of information. In fact, I remember reading R&T’s review of the brand new 1969 Triumph TR6 – I think it was the February 1969 issue – and decided THAT was the car I was going to buy when I went away to college. It didn’t happen but that’s a story for another day.

Anyway, was at the mini-mart today when I spied a copy of the newest, March/April issue of R&T. Surprise, surprise: now published only 10 times a year (!), also somewhat thinner than older issues I remembered. I’ve heard rumors that owner Hearst Publishing , which also owns Car & Driver, is thinking of killing off R&T due to low circulation. T’would be a pity…

Whatever the situation, this month’s issue grabbed my eye due to the cover article “The 51 Coolest Cars.” I’ll say right up front, no Triumphs nor MGs for that matter, but there is a fair assortment of LBCs listed, of varying designs. They include the 1969 Lola T70, Jaguar E-Type (no surprise there), Lotus 78, Caterham 7, Williams FW14B, Lotus Elise, McLaren F1 and Thrust SSC. The more off-the-wall selections included the Chaparral 2J and Dodge Charger Daytona/Plymouth Super Bird.

Oh, and the Mazda Miata/MX5 is on the list. According to Jay Leno, “The car Britain should have built. If it had a Porsche badge, it never would have gotten the chick car rap. Plus, you can’t kill ’em.”

Sigh…BTW, if you’re into old car magazines, backissues.com offers up a very large assortment. They include some of the vanished publications like Road Test and Sports Car Graphic (I have a couple of examples of each in my library). Some of them are a tad pricey but if you want to relive your youth or revisit one of the famos old series like the CanAm, TransAm or Formula 1 back when you could actually see the driver, give the site a try.

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