Is This The Future of Car Magazines?

Dateline: 7.27.11
Could digital magazines, like the RM Auctions Monterey’s 562-page event catalog, be the salvation of the magazine business?

This is a screen shot of the online version of the RM Auction Monterey event catalog.

If car magazines were digital, viewable on a PC, laptop, Kindle, iPad, etc, and cost just $12.00 for a one-year subscription, how would you feel about it?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

I got a really neat email from Kevin Mackay of Corvette  Repair this morning with an interesting link. I’m sure that most of you have heard that the John Greenwood 1969 ZL-1 Corvette race car is going on the block at the RM Auctions Monterey event, August 13 and 14. It’ll be interesting to watch this one because they are expecting between $750,000 and $950,000 for the car. So, we’ll see how hungry the market is for a beautifully restored piece of Corvette racing history. Kevin is also closely following this because he did the restoration work on the car.

So, if you go HERE, you can see what Kevin sent me. (The link to the left will open a new window) Kevin knows I’m a big fan of the early Corvette race cars and especially the Greenwood cars. So, enjoy the images, they’re beautifully photographed, But that’s not what this post is about.

When you go to the page, look in the middle of the page towards the bottom. See the gray forward and backwards arrows? In the middle it says, “110-11/562.” That means you’re looking at pages 110 and 111, of a 562-page document. What you have is the entire 562-page catalog of the cars that are up for auction August 19 and 20.

Now click the first arrow to the right of center and the right side page “turns over” to the next page. Then you can page through the catalog. And, you can zoom in on each page and also use the Search tool in the upper right to find words. It’s very cool and actually, if you enjoy old and unique cars, just looking through this is a treat. So, kick back and enjoy the wonderful cars that find new homes and people to love them.

There’s a man that I admire greatly and his name is Gerald Celente. He’s a frequent guest on many news programs. Gerald’s company is Trends Research and his slogan is this, “Current events, form future trends.” And he often says that if you pay attention to things that are happening right now, you can begin to get a sense of where we’re going.

I’ve been a contributing artist and writer to various car magazines since 1975. And I was a car magazine collector ten years before that. I still have copies of CARS Magazine and Hot Rod that I bought back in 1967. My wife often says, “Dude, you sure have the magazines.” When you find a title that you really enjoy, it’s like your magazine friend comes to visit once a month. You get to know the editors, columnists, photographers, etc. I have professional relationships with people I met back in the 70s, through working for different magazines, that I’ve never met in person. And it’s all because I identify with the subject and work with the various editors and art directors. I was able to land a publisher for my “Illustrated Corvette Series” book, (CarTech Books) because Scott Parkhurst knew me from when he worked at Popular Hot Rodding.

So, for “us,” it’s all about the stories, photos, and art. On the business side, it’;s all about ad revenue. Making money. In the last year, two Corvette publications when kaputz! Corvette Fever and Corvette Enthusiast are history. Amos Publishing, the publisher of Corvette Enthusiast, closed down all 12 of their “Enthusiast” titles – Corvette Enthusiast, Mustang Enthusiast,” “Chevy Enthusiast, etc. The now have one title, “Muscle Car Enthusiast.”

Yes, it’s tough times in the magazine and book publishing biz. So, what’s a publisher to do? Could the magazine business abandon the paper versions and go totally online, via Kindle, PDF, iPad, etc, just to stay alive? It’s an interesting question. I’m obviously an “old magazine” guy. But honestly, I could go for this. I don’t own an iPad or any of the other readers, but I do have a laptop that I use to chill out – watch Netflix Watch Instantly movies, YouTube videos, FlickeR photo car pools, car blogs, etc.

I have subscriptions to several car mags, but aside for the issues with Corvette related material, or the Corvette mags, I don’t keep them all. A digital version would suit me just fine. So, I setup the little poll at the top of this post. Let us know what you think. This should be interesting.- Scott

PS – Got an “old car magazine” story? You can share it in the “Leave a Reply” box below.

PSS – Here are a few other race car beauties that went on the block!