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Priceless Acquisition: Hundreds of 1970s Car Magazines

Kamil Kaluski February 6, 2012 Nostalgia, Vintage Advertisements 30 Comments

Sometime in early January my friend John Voelcker, of, posted on Facebook that he has four large boxes of 1970s car magazines to give to a good home. Several people responded but realistically none would have 200 pounds of magazines shipped or travel thousands of miles to get them. Except me, and it was about 220 miles.

This weekend I picked them; four boxes, 36”x18”x18” filled with Motor Trends, Road&Tracks, Car and Drivers. To me, and probably most of you reading this, this is priceless stuff. I would love to scan some of them more interesting articles, such as the one where an Alfetta was compared to a Lancia Beta, but I don’t think that I can legally do that… but I will check into it. What I am pretty sure that I can easily and legally do, is post advertisements from those magazines.

If you’re overwhelmed by the amount of ads in current car magazines, I will be happy to report that it wasn’t always like that. It was worse. Much worse. As in five pages after the cover of just ads. Fortunately for us, those ads, when viewed from historical perspective, have become most interesting. My intention was to create a theme and run one each advertisement every morning, but I have decided to run them when we have an empty slot during the course of a day that needs a filling, which happens quite often, so be on a lookout.

As for the magazines themselves, they’re in the attic of my mom’s house in New Jersey (I live in a condo, have no room for them), along my own collection of magazines from late 80s and up. The plan is to take pictures when I go there, about once per month, and post them accordingly.

  • Scandinavian Flick

    Whoa… An 1800ES on the cover of C&D. That is quite a score, Kamil! Looking forward to seeing some of the stuff you post from them.

    • I'll post one up tonight.

  • Irishzombieman

    Ahem. No where to put them?

    Remove them thar snooty-ass wine bottles and you could fit at least five issues curled up into each cylinder.

    <img src="http://redusernab.info/wp-content/gallery/v8-coffee-table/bmw-engine-block-coffee-table-1.jpg&quot; width="300/">

    Seriously, though, I envy you immensely. Hold on to them tightly–it's easier to replace gold. My dad had 20 years of post-war Popular Mechanics and Mechanix Illustrated that I greatly looked forward to inheriting. My sister threw them out because the "smelled musty". I've only just lately forgiven her.

    • tonyola

      Google Books has essentially complete collections of Popular Mechanics and Popular Science for viewing online. …

    • I usually don't have any snooty bottles in there… they're mostly $5 Trade Joe's variety. 🙂

      • Irishzombieman

        Aaah, the good stuff. Wine good enough that you can drink and enjoy it and cheap enough that a second bottle (if the mood's there) doesn't force you to check your wallet to make sure you've got gas money.

        Awesome coffee table, amigo. And awesome haul of magazines.

      • betterwrappedinbacon

        You're buying the hoighty-toighty $5 bottles, eh? Too good for two-buck-Chuck?!

        • I have standards!

  • lilpoindexter

    I've bought bound issues of late 70s early 80s Road & Track off craigslist, and 70s Car Craft magazines from a local "friends of the library" sale…One day I will score an 85/86 Road & Track with the fold out advertisement for a porsche 959 (in paris/ dakar trim) to adorn my wall once again…just like 85/86.

  • I bought a Road & Track from November 1974 (my DOB). The ads are hilarious. It's especially disconcerting to know how much plastic crap British roadster owners bought in aftermarket products.

  • tonyola

    Very cool haul. I would just love to see Car and Driver and Road & Track release DVD collections like those for Rolling Stone and National Geographic magazines. Also throw in the English magazine Car.

  • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    I have, from a subscription I started as a kid in 1980, every C&D save for a few in the mid-80's. Don't know what happened to those missing issues, but they've been moved one time inside Dallas county, then to the high-country of Colorado, then to Oregon, back to central Texas, and now they rest in Fort Worth.

    They were worth keeping, in all honesty. Damn, they're heavy, though.

  • I scored a couple of paper boxes full of mid-70s to early 80s Car and Driver about 20 years ago at an auto swap meet. That was before I knew I was supposed to bring my own cart. It was a LOONG walk back to the car. I have about a 10 year collection of SportsCar, the SCCA magazine, from about 1991 to 2001. Anybody interested? I'm running out of room and they are on the short list to go.

  • dukeisduke

    I used to have boxes and boxes of C/D and R&T magazines, from the early '70s to the mid '90s. In a misguided attempt to save my first marriage (it didn't work), I threw most of them out. I still miss those. I think I still have some of the earlier ones somewhere. Car and Driver had some great columns back them, like Jean Shepherd and Gordon Baxter.

  • Sam

    My old man has 80s to now hot rod with exceptions. I have about 5 years of scca. Thinking about tossing them cause I'm like that but know that I will regret it when I find a grandma fresh rsx 20 years from now. It will happen believe me.

    • OA5599

      I went to an auto show in 1991 and picked up a brochure for a Syclone. A couple years later, I tossed it knowing full well I was never going to get one being an unemployed student. A couple more years years later, I bought one.

      Tossing the magazines now (actually you should give them away instead) might help ensure you later get one of the featured cars.

  • owlman

    I have Motor (subsequently Autocar when the two titles merged) continuous from 9 May 1973. That's nearly 39 years. Its weekly. They are in the garage together with my 74 Citroen. I actually have older copies dating to '69 but not continuous. That May 73 edition road tested a Peugeot 104, new to the UK that month. I was 14 at the time. Their existance and safe keeping is not negotiable…

  • julkinen

    My parents are probably moving house in the next six months or so. There's a bunch of old Thoroughbred & Classic Cars, CAR Magazine and whatever, bought by me in 1997-2007. Letting them go to waste is simply not an option, so I'll just have to haul them here, 500km across the country.

  • You might just go directly to the publishers and ask if you can reproduce their articles here. A while back, I very nicely asked Rider magazine if I could post an article from 1981 online, and they said yes, with only one stipulation, that I include the copyright statement.

    • That's the plan, once I find some time. 🙂

  • SSurfer321

    The home I purchased in Toledo had four boxes of 60's-70's magazines hidden in the attic. Two boxes were of Car Craft and Hot Rod while the other two were of magazines to get your "other" motor running.

    I sold the car mags to a friend to add to his collection as the Mrs. didn't want them gathering dust around the new house.

    Also, female personal hygiene was a lot different back in the 60's-70's. :shudder:

    • OA5599

      I inherited one of these with my house.

      <img src="; width=500>

  • JayP2112

    I love the artwork and photography from that era.

    I've decorated the lad's room with the center spreads from some late 60's sports car mag. All were done by the same artist, same water color style. I think I paid $1 each- 2 at a time over the course of 3 years, buying them at a Ford swap meet.

    So I approve of this thread.

  • Roger

    This article brings up my current 2-3 year search for an auto related ad. In '71-72 I was given a gift subscription to C&D so that's where I've been concentrating. Picture in the back pages an ad maybe 3"x4" drawn by an artist's hand showing some inviting hills, twists and turns of the open road. Done in grayscale except for a prominent YELLOW arrow following the intended path. For 40 years I recall this as a Dunlop Tire ad but since searching I could be dead wrong. The ad was in three versions with the following captions: HANG IN, HAUL OUT or HOLD UP. Ring a bell with any fellow hoons ? Any info would be greatly appreciated by an aging hot rodder.

  • Fester812

    When I was 12 or so, my mother's friend's son closed some sort of automotive related business that had been around for a long time and my mother's friend called and asked if I was in to cars.

    A few minutes later she showed up with a trunk (like a 1976 Ford Thunderbird trunk) FULL of Road and Track, Car and Driver, Autoweek, SEMA's trade mag, Motor Trend, and the ocassional Hot Rod or Car Craft. There must have been thousands of them. There was at least a decade of Autoweeks without missing a single week, like 1975-1985 every single issue.

    It seemed like a huge score at the time. I read them cover to cover. Multiple times.

    Now looking back, I'm pretty sure it did irreparable damage to my brain.

  • Van_Sarockin

    A long time ago I bought a collection of R&T and C&D, from the early sixties to the mid-seventies, pretty much all complete. They're magnificent. They don't make cars – or writing – like that anymore.

  • R.L. Elliott

    I still have almost all of the car magazines (C&D/MT/CarCraft/HotRod from 1971-1980's. Throw in a few Autoweeks/Automobile/R&T/Musclecar Review. Currently, though, I'm down to just four: Motor Trend/Car & Driver/Hemmings Old Car/Hemmings Muscle Car. I wonder what storage in the basement has done to all those LARGE HEAVY boxes of magazines??? Oh, and did I mention that I STILL hang on to every issue of the four survivors?!? Somebody HELP ME!…PLEASE!!! 🙂

  • John Lumea

    NEARLY 40-YEAR COLLECTION OF CAR & DRIVER MAGAZINE — STARTING IN THE EARLY '70s

    My name is John Lumea — please forgive the bad form…

    My brother and I have our dad's collection of CAR & DRIVER magazines dating from the early 1970s until the present.

    The collection *may* be missing the odd issue — but it's a virtually complete archive of nearly 40 years of the magazine.

    Unfortunately, neither of us really has the space to store the collection, but we'd love to find someone who does — and who loves cars as much as dad did.

    Know of anyone who might be interested in purchasing this collection?

    Or: Can anyone provide info on a more appropriate forum for posting this info?

    Our guess is that shipping a collection of this size would be cost-prohibitive — which is why we're not putting it on eBay.

    But, right now, the collection is located at my brother's home in the LOUISVILLE, KY. area — so this could be a great opportunity for an auto historian or a Car & Driver enthusiast who lives within, say, a 3-hour radius of Louisville.

    Please feel free to drop me a line at [email protected]

    Thanks so much,

    JOHN LUMEA

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