Archive for the ‘car magazines’ Category

Walter Groves – Cycling magazine’s cartoonist ‘conductor’

December 27, 2016
Cycling, the weekly magazine, from 6 June 1899

Cycling, a pioneering weekly magazine, from 6 June 1899

I frequently find myself on Steve Holland’s Bear Alley, a great blog for discovering artists who worked on magazines and comics. One post that caught my eye was about Raymond Groves, a motorsports cartoonist, who is described as ‘the second son of Walter Groves, the founding editor of The Motor‘.

Cartoon by Walter Groves from Cycling, 7 July 1899

Cartoon by Walter Groves from Cycling, 7 July 1899

Walter Groves did indeed found one of the first motoring titles, but he made his name on an earlier weekly magazine at Temple Press, Cycling, which he ‘conducted’ with Edmund Dangerfield. (Another keen cyclist who wrote for Cycling was Alfred Harmsworth; he later launched Answers and the Daily Mail and became the arch press baron, Lord Northcliffe.)

Titlepiece from Cycling & Moting, 20 December 1905

Titlepiece from Cycling & Moting, 20 December 1905, conducted by Edmund Dangerfield and Walter Groves

And Walter Groves not only ran Cycling, but did his own cartoons. He was clearly reluctant to leave the title after the advent of The Motor. By 1905 Cycling was called Cycling & Moting, and he was still conducting it with Dangerfield.

The Autocar, published by Illiffe & Son from November 1895 was the first magazine to specialise in motoring and The Motor followed from Temple Press in 1902, initially as Motorcycling & Motoring. Temple Press became part of IPC in the 1960s. Motor finally succumbed to Autocar in 1988.

Cycling now has 125 years under its belt. It is known as Cycling Weekly, and is published by Time Inc (UK).

 

Website for car magazine collectors

July 18, 2016

John Avis has emailed me about his new website for collectors of car magazines. Here’s what he says:

I have created a website for magazine collectors that is a bit like a Wikipedia where the community can build an index of car magazines. Anyone can add and edit magazines including covers and contents, which are searchable. People can also flag magazines they have, want or are selling and I’ve also added a forum for members to discuss topics related to car and motorcycle magazine collecting.

When a member contributes to the website the earn reputation points which result in new privileges like becoming a site moderator, so they can then approve new member’s contributions amongst other things.

I have created the website because collecting magazines is my hobby, and I wanted to track my collection and be able to search for articles. I hoped there would be other people interested who would help build the index and find it useful themselves.

Car magazines are widely collected and many hold their value well, as recent posts about  Practical Motorist and Autocar showed. And my Cars page on Magforum has always been popular.

So, click the link and take a look at what  John’s Magazine Collector has to offer.

To see almost 500 magazine covers and pages, look out for my book, A History of British Magazine Design, from the Victoria & Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design

What’s a magazine worth? – Practical Motorist

July 2, 2016

Mick has sent in a query about Practical Motorist, a car magazine from the publisher George Newnes that was founded in 1934 and specialised in general maintenance. It started as a weekly dated 12 May 1934, became a monthly from May 1954 and closed in 1997, a victim of competing titles that specialised in the various marques, such as Ford or VW. For part of the period, Practical Motorist also covered motorbikes. There’s a website that is gathering cover images of all the past issues. Here’s Mick’s question:

My 86-year-old father has around 2,000 Practical Motorist magazines dating back to approx 1958. Are they worth anything?

The answer is yes, but the issue is whether you want to spend the time selling them.

A quick search shows that Ebay has 70 lots of Practical Motorist sold in the three months since the end of March for £2.49-£23 each (inc postage) out of 192 listed (click through to see my search results). That’s better than a 1-in-3 selling rate. The copies at the top end are from the 1930s. Half the sales were in the £4-£6 range.

So, if you sold half of them for £5 with a cost of £2.50 for postage, packing and eBay fees, that’s 1,000 sales at £2.50 each after costs, or £2,500. The problem is the time to take the photos, do the listings, package them up, etc. Mind you, if you could get the work down to 6 minutes a copy, that’s 100 hours of work for 1,000 issues – 2½ weeks at a rate of £1,000 a week! At half that rate, you’d earn £100 a day, or £12.50 an hour. How much is your time worth?

If you don’t want to do it yourself, you could approach the online magazine shops listed on my Magforum.com Magazine Collecting page or contact the eBay sellers who specialise in car magazines. You will not get much for each copy that way (50p-£1?) but even at 50p, it would work out at £1000.

So, do some research using the eBay searching tips on the Magforum.com Magazine Collecting page and decide what you want to do. The research should give you an idea of which copies sell and which don’t. If you see issues that are particularly popular, you could cherry pick those and sell on the rest.

Another idea to consider is whether there is a keen teenager around or someone who has the time to do the listing and you could split the proceeds. Local charity shops might also be interested because the bigger charities have central teams with experience doing this.

>>Table of British car magazines


To see almost 500 magazine covers and pages, look out for my book, A History of British Magazine Design, from the Victoria & Albert Museum, the world’s leading museum of art and design

 

 


 

What’s a magazine worth – Autocar

January 14, 2015

A Magforum reader asks – I have a complete copy of a 1916 Autocar magazine in good condition, any idea what it is worth?

Autocar magazine from 1907

Autocar magazine from 1907 – colour covers did not come in until the 1920s

Copies of Autocar tend to sell on eBay for £10-£30, including postage. 1916 will be before Autocar used colour covers and the front will be semi-display advertising.

It’s a wartime issue, and these are relatively rare because of paper rationing and there may be some war interest. So I’d guess at the upper end of the range. Some useful Ebay.co.uk searches:

Notice that I don’t use the word ‘magazine’ in the search – because some listings don’t;. Also, I don’t specify the books and magazines category because some people list them under cars or collectables or vehicle parts; the use of the quote marks ensures the separate words ‘auto car’ are excluded.

Among the results:

  • The top-value single copy from the third search was for a September 1910 issue at £29.50, including postage, on a buy-it-now.
  • There were about 20 results above £20. These were pre-WW2 issues, except for one – a 1963 copy featuring a Jaguar E-type road test. They were buy-it-nows or had a starting price at £19.99 + postage.

When it comes to listing the magazine, leave out words that people don’t search on in the main description such as: ‘dated’ and ‘the’ (though ‘the’ can be useful for some other searches, such as The Face). In the photographs, be sure to show good adverts in the issue – though there may not be any bigger than half-page in a 1916 issue – as well as the main articles.

Car magazines at Magforum