Lotus Elan

The Road Rat Magazine

PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:02 am

Has anyone read either of the first two editions of the new 'The Road Rat' magazine yet?

It seems to be getting fairly good reviews. It also appears to be produced to a very high quality. Coverage promises to be inclusive to many interesting eclectic motoring topics, including past, present and future, on the road and the track.

For several years I have been dissatisfied with the current crop of monthly motor magazines. In the past I have taken regular subscriptions to Motor, Motor Sport, Thoroughbred & Classic Car, Supercar Classics (perhaps the best), Car and Octane. I dip in to the others if I see an article or two I like. On the whole I find todays mags rehash old stories, lack the wonderful story telling of some of the past masters and tend to be overly full of the same adverts.

I've had a look at another recent offering, 'Motorpunk', but my impression was of an orientation to informing a younger generation than mine on some of the great back stories we already have read tons about.

So I am hoping that in The Road Rat we may have a new magazine that I can take to!

Tim
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:29 am

I stopped buying almost all magazines for similar reasons some time ago. These days I take each one as it comes and it has to be an exceptional edition to prise open my wallet. The 'usual suspects' rarely do that.
The only one I've bought recently is Overland magazine, a publication aimed at the motorcycle travel market and whose editor I've met a few times. Many of the others are either too oily fingered or 'not for the likes of me' (full of articles about cars / hotels / lifestyles I either can't afford or wouldn't be interested in even if I could). The middle ground that I inhabit is a bit of a journalistic wasteland.

There is some irony in the fact that as I get less interested in reading the magazines I find myself more interested in writing for them. I'm just trying to decide atm whether to press send on an article I've promised the editor of another motorcycle publication or whether I should rehash it.

I've not seen Road Rat - I'll keep an eye out for it.
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PostPost by: Davidb » Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:22 pm

I had not heard of it until this. I just googled it and agree it looks interesting. My history/experience with car magazines seems to parallel the original poster. For whom I would add that I only recently learned that "Supercar Classics" was produced with no budget constraints-apparently they were told to produce the best car magazine that could be produced-and I think they succeeded-until near the end. I still get out my thirty year old copies and peruse them occasionally.
MotorSport used to be the gold standard but is so changeable now. T&CC is now mostly written by teenagers it seems. Octane is just hanging in there-hopefully it won't slip any lower in content quality. The watch adverts don't bother me...
I have lunch every Saturday with a group of similar aged, similarly interested car nuts and we pass around magazines for perusal. I think only one or two people out of the group of a dozen actually buys car magazines any more.
Things ain't what they used to be!

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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:01 pm

This past week I've cancelled my subscription to Octane, for the second, or third time. It's still aimed at "Goodwood Man" despite James Elliott being the new Editor and I've bailed out of the Historic Lotus Register, so I will not get their vastly improved magazine again. They move too slowly and are welcome to their tin-can cars and retired Colonel viewpoints; I gave them ten years but... Best regards to Tim and Alan; you really have an uphill struggle turning that particular juggernaut around.


My next subscription? The Automobile. http://www.theautomobile.co.uk/
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PostPost by: Chrispy » Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:04 am

All I read these days is EVO which I get on the iPad and Classic Cars which dad gets posted over to Aus.

Everything else I've picked up has been pretty disappointing, especially the local Australian stuff.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:17 am

elansprint71 wrote:This past week I've cancelled my subscription to Octane, for the second, or third time. It's still aimed at "Goodwood Man" despite James Elliott being the new Editor and I've bailed out of the Historic Lotus Register, so I will not get their vastly improved magazine again. They move too slowly and are welcome to their tin-can cars and retired Colonel viewpoints; I gave them ten years but... Best regards to Tim and Alan; you really have an uphill struggle turning that particular juggernaut around.


My next subscription? The Automobile. http://www.theautomobile.co.uk/


There should be an announcement from the HLR board of directors when they meet in the next couple of months. You may have jumped too soon, but it will be good to get you back.
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:25 am

I used to have Octane on subscription, but I found it was more than a bit biased towards high end priced cars, both classic and new. Car and Car Conversions was my magazine of choice for many years ( in my yoof ) and then I started taking Practical Performance Cars, which turned out to be not so practical although very interesting ( a Rover SD1 with a Meteor/Merlin engine is hardly practical).

I hear good things about Absolute Lotus and know that quite a few on here are religiously collecting the issues.

Will look out for The Road Rat today when I’m loitering at Charing Cross.
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: pauljones » Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:06 am

CCC,

I loved the Rave Talker bits in the back.
Kick the tyres and light them fires...!!!!!!!
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:51 am

Thanks for the insights on Road Rat. Just placed my subscription (shipping to the US was more than the annual subscription).

I used to subscribe to a large amount of car magazines. Over the years I’ve dropped all of them and now just go to the book store (Barnes and Noble has comfy reading areas) to read articles that interest me. The European magazines are far better than the US mags. Photography, writing and subject matter are all superior to what is available in the states (and this is from a 40 year subscriber of Road & Track).

Recently I subscribed to Absolute Lotus (only because of the specialty of the mark) and am enjoying the mag.

I’m not sure you would call “Waft” a car mag.......but it is well written and features very diverse automotive subject matter. It’s hard cover and more like a book, with volume number releases.
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:30 am

Certified Lotus wrote:
The European magazines are far better than the US mags. Photography, writing and subject matter are all superior to what is available in the states (and this is from a 40 year subscriber of Road & Track).

I’m not sure you would call “Waft” a car mag.......but it is well written and features very diverse automotive subject matter. It’s hard cover and more like a book, with volume number releases.


Back when I used to buy a lot of magazines I'd go out of my way to try and get hold of Cycle mag (a US motorcycle publication) purely for the quality of the writing. Similarly the early days of Bike ( another motorcycle mag, this time UK based). Journalists come and go from publications but for a few years both of those magazines seemed to have a group of writers that together were somehow more than the sum of their individual parts.

Waft sounds a bit like the 'golden years' of Motorcycle Sport magazine when Cyril Ayton was editor (60's / 70's). Very old fashioned (like the bikes they reviewed) but erudite, literary and strangely endearing in a kind of pipe and slippers way. Each January edition started at page 1 and continued through to page 700 or whatever in December. It was expected you'd buy the binder and make up an annual volume for your library rather than just throw it in the recycling. Sadly it couldn't last and while the mag's still going (unlike many) it's now far more at the glossy and hyperbolic end of the spectrum.
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PostPost by: prezoom » Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:07 pm

Most car magazines have disappeared from my mail box over the years. If I never see another magazine cover of a Porsche 911, with a ten page article on its newest ash tray, it would be too soon. I can remember pleading with my parents back in about 1950 to please give me a subscription to Road & Track for my birthday or Christmas. And the collecting started...... Today I find going back through some of the magazines I still have, R&T, Sports Car Graphic, Sports Car Illustrated, when taking a break from some of my projects, is amazing, informative and humorous. Usually this happens at lunch time. SCG became no longer published unfortunately, because I enjoyed the DYI type of articles, and real people driving real cars. SCI morphed into Car and Drivel, and its flippant attitude did not sit will with me. R&T changed radically with the loss of John Bond, and eventually became a back water publication with C&D. Every day, when I leave my home and crest a rise on my street, I can see the back of the monstrous garage John Bond built when he and his wife moved to our town after selling R&T. A little nostalgia creeps into my life and lifts my heart for a moment. A several years ago I started pulling old copies of what magazines were left that had articles on cars I had, lust over, or currently own and associating them with the history I create for each car. All of this lead to cutting out all of Bob Challman's Lotus ads by Jon Dahlstrom from R&T and framing them for garage wall art.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:11 pm

Alan, you will not find The Road Rat on the racks of WH Smith at any railway terminus. It is only available from their web site. I’ve ordered issue one to cogitate before going all in for an annual subscription.

I’ll report back once I have it in my grubby mitts.

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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:44 pm

Tim,

I haven't tried road rat, but as with Alan I find practical performance car an interesting read. Whilst a V12 meteor engine is hardly a practical proposition the owner Charlie does virtually all the work himself, as do many of the contributors. Whilst I am sometimes left wondering why someone would want to fit a particular engine into a car that it was not intended for I find the work and achievement impressive. To me, Dave Walker is worth the price of the mag, just for the contribution from his rolling road comments.

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PostPost by: ROADRUNNER » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:15 pm

No magazine has managed to achieve the high standards set, both journalistically and photographically, by 'Supercar Classics.'

It was a constant source of inspiration to me as I made a career in car photography and, like others on here, I frequently return to my old copies.

Imagine how thrilled I was when I recently bought a S3 SE DHC, and in the original buff logbook was the name Robert Horne. We subsequently made contact, and he confirmed that I own the very car he refers to when interviewed by Supercar Classics for 'Supercars I Have Known.'

A very special moment !
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