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#751 ian senior

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 11:39

Going off at a slight tangent, what's Motorsport News like (is that its name these days? You know - the ex-Motoring News) ? Am I likely to be disappointed if I raise the money to buy a copy, or is it some kind of "Autosport lite"?

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#752 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 11:41

Well it does have a dedicated historic section now, news and reports, written by Paul Lawrence.
still far too much F1 and banger racing (BTCC) featured.

#753 Antoine Pilette

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 12:04

About the HRG article, the picture of number 46 is Andre Pilette.
I have plenty more pictures of that Spa race I could scan and post after I've finished with the Tour de Belgique ones if someone would like me too!

#754 mercw125

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 12:18

Originally posted by Andrew Kitson
A great magazine still, :clap: despite the awful 'red' and great value if you subscribe.
But a couple of doubts - Damien Smith might be an awfully nice chap - never met him- but is he not a bit on the young side as an editor for a specialist magazine that caters for racing history, virtually all of it before he was born?

He says he was six when Villeneuve went off in the '81 British Grand Prix (seems like yesterday to me although the photo caption on page 9 looks more like Stowe than Woodcote!) I think I have a fairly good knowledge due to my involvement with racing since childhood ( born in '59) but I dare not approach some of the threads here on the early 1960s and previous as I was not there. Same must go for the editor concerning the 70s and earlier surely?

Ideally we need Doug ;)


It used to be you knew you were getting on when the policemen started to look younger than you - my view is that now applies to Editors of Motor Sport. :)

On a more sombre note one of my monthly highlights is The Bod and , everlasting as he is , he's not going to be around forever. I know that MFQ has done an interview with him but one of the more sensible ideas I thought the Americans had were to record living histories of some of their cinema pioneers.

If BB was interested and willing that would make a fascinating series I reckon!

#755 Gary C

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 13:08

'If BB was interested and willing that would make a fascinating series I reckon!'
not wanting to let too many cats out of bags, but I think that's what David Weg HAS done!

#756 Mallory Dan

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 13:14

Is it just me, but the last few editions of MS appear to have more 1970s/80s/early 90s stuff than before. Is this a function of the Ed's age I wonder ? While the 70s is 'my' era, I very much enjoy articles from the 50s/60s too, and there seem to have been less of these recently.

As for BB, I rarely read him I'm afraid. Sorry ...

#757 David McKinney

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 13:24

I believe that, irrespective of the editor's age, the emphasis on more recent stuff is a policy decision.

#758 Antoine Pilette

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 13:47

I would be more interested about pre-WW2 subjects but, I agree, MS wouldn't sell much then :

#759 ian senior

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 14:03

Originally posted by Mallory Dan
Is it just me, but the last few editions of MS appear to have more 1970s/80s/early 90s stuff than before. Is this a function of the Ed's age I wonder ? While the 70s is 'my' era, I very much enjoy articles from the 50s/60s too, and there seem to have been less of these recently.

As for BB, I rarely read him I'm afraid. Sorry ...


I'm sure you're right, Dan. Not sure if going into the 90s is the right idea - my theory is that if you can remember it only too well (as it wasn't very long ago), it isn't really history - it's merely the recent past.

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#760 petefenelon

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 14:17

Originally posted by ian senior
Going off at a slight tangent, what's Motorsport News like (is that its name these days? You know - the ex-Motoring News) ? Am I likely to be disappointed if I raise the money to buy a copy, or is it some kind of "Autosport lite"?


If I buy a weekly these days it's MN, although I was somewhat disgusted with both MN and Autosport for using Michael Park's fatal accident as their cover pic last week (but I think we've had this discussion elsewhere on TNF).

I can't really get all that excited about the grassroots club rallying stuff in there, I'm sure it's of interest to the competitors, their sponsors and the hardcore anorak-and-beanie brigade, but the racing coverage is generally less sensationalist than Autosport and it at least tries to cover clubbies and the national scene in more depth.

There is a definite and unashamed British focus to it, so the less British drivers competing in a series the less attention it receives. And at least in my opinion it doesn't talk down to the audience to anything like the same extent -- there seems to be an assumption that if you read MN you do at least have some vague idea of how the sport fits together and who's doing what and why.

The trouble is, there isn't a print magazine covering in depth what I want to read about - sports cars and GTs, international single seaters below F1 (IRL, CCWS, A1, GP2, WSR etc), WTCC, DTM, major national series outside the UK - Autosport ignores them unless they're Bernie-blessed, MN skimps if there's no "local colour"...

#761 petefenelon

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 14:23

Originally posted by Mallory Dan
Is it just me, but the last few editions of MS appear to have more 1970s/80s/early 90s stuff than before. Is this a function of the Ed's age I wonder ? While the 70s is 'my' era, I very much enjoy articles from the 50s/60s too, and there seem to have been less of these recently.

As for BB, I rarely read him I'm afraid. Sorry ...


I had to go into town at lunchtime and picked up this month's (hidden right on the top shelf in Smith's, but they'd rearranged everything). (A) it was hard to spot and (B) I'd say over half of it covers stuff that I've got contemporary magazine coverage of....

Reading WB for the last decade or so I must say I've regarded as a duty and not a pleasure, I think he's reached a point where he's written about everything that's of interest to more than himself and a few VSCC purists.... There's the occasional snippet of fascinating information buried in his work, but he desperately needs editing! (I had the same problem with his history of Brooklands -- everything in WB-land is lit with uniform brightness, so Short Handicaps are as important as the Double Twelve, Chiribiris just as vital as the Napier-Railton... there is a lot of fascinating material buried in the chaff and it's a hard book to read cover to cover!)

#762 James Page

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 14:50

Originally posted by Andrew Kitson

But a couple of doubts - Damien Smith might be an awfully nice chap - never met him- but is he not a bit on the young side as an editor for a specialist magazine that caters for racing history, virtually all of it before he was born?


I have met Damien Smith, and he IS a very nice chap. I got interviewed by Paul Fearnley too, but you can't win 'em all.

I don't think his age should come into it. He's very knowledgable, and I don't think one should underestimate the passion and breadth of motorsport interest someone has purely because they're under 40.

You watch - he'll start filling MS with post-1975 stories now, just to prove me wrong...

#763 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 15:44

Fair enough James. Looks like a nice bloke and generally the magazine content has improved ( again despite that cover :mad: ) although I agree, a bit too much recent past.

#764 dolomite

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 16:45

He says he was six when Villeneuve went off in the '81 British Grand Prix (seems like yesterday to me although the photo caption on page 9 looks more like Stowe than Woodcote!)



The caption does not tell the full story. What actually happened was that Villeneuve spun off at the Woodcote chicane, but then managed to extricate the damaged car from the catch fencing and tried to drive it back to the pits. He got as far as Stowe before it terminally fell to bits and he was forced to abandon the smoking remains on the infield. That is what is shown in the photo.

#765 David McKinney

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 18:18

[QUOTE]Originally posted by James Page
[QUOTE]I don't think his age should come into it. He's very knowledgable, and I don't think one should underestimate the passion and breadth of motorsport interest someone has purely because they're under 40.
I agree
I am very interested in motor racing history from periods long before I caught the bug, and like to think I'm quite knowledgeable. By the same token I do not dismiss what people such as Robert Dick post here about pre-WW1 stuff on the basis that they weren't alive then (I presume)

#766 Scribe06

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 12:31

I have to agree with those who have voiced the opinion that age in and of itself should not be a benchmark by which to judge someone. I would think that those who hold the opinion that one much has experienced an era or a period of time are truly confusing nostalgia with history, their leanings obviously being towards nostalgia. Some of us are rather well informed on periods of history that passed into the mists of time long before we appeared on this earth. Some of us even feel so bold as to teach about these periods of time, no less!

I think that there has been both some subtle and noticeable improvement in the issues of late, although I have noted the shift towards the "recent past" with both a sense of dismay and a sense of inevitability. If a good balance can be achieved of the eras over the span of a few issues then I see no reason to do much more than lift an eyebrow. However, when it becomes evident that anything prior to, say, the 1970s, becomes the exception rather than the rule then I may have re-think things a bit.

Personally, I would enjoy seeing articles by Robert Dick or Gary Doyle on pre-1920s or 1930s racing on either side of the Atlantic. Some nice articles on some of the now lesser-known stars of the past, to include drivers, entrants, machines or circuits, would be a nice thing with a bit of a cosmopolitan flavor.

It is a bit odd, now that it has been pointed out that there is nothing column-wise from Nye, Lawrence or Gauld sort. That could be a good addition.

#767 bill moffat

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 07:20

I bought this month's edition out of curiosity.

Approximately 60 readable pages for £4-95 book-ended by an editorial about A1GP and Bill Boddy's contribution. The contents are a rambling mix of everything including a re-cycled Nigel Roebuck article on James Hunt.

I'm not sure that the magazine knows what it wants to be.

#768 KJJ

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 12:08

Originally posted by bill moffat

I'm not sure that the magazine knows what it wants to be.


I agree. If I was buying this off the shelf rather than on a sub I wouldn't have bothered.

#769 RTH

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 12:41

Agree with you both, this latest issue is a slide backwards after a bit of a pick up in recent months

#770 Mallory Dan

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 14:25

Had a v quick look this am before work. Didn't look as good as recent issues, what the heck is the A1GP editorial doing in there. It also seemed 'thinner' than before, perhaps its the time of year. And why such a big thing about the Revival meeting, the Oulton Gold Cup doesn't get the blanket coverage that Goodwood Revival/ FoS does ?

#771 Gary C

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 21:22

...it is very, very thin.................

#772 D-Type

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 22:22

Sadly I agree with the above, this month is very disappointing. I can't put my finger on what's wrong, but I have not learned anything new nor I have I had any memories rekindled.

#773 Twin Window

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Posted 12 October 2005 - 23:12

Originally posted by Mallory Dan

...what the heck is the A1GP editorial doing in there.

That'll be paid for.

#774 Barry Boor

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 06:20

Is this the November issue being talked about?

I ain't seen mine yet!

#775 David Beard

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 07:30

Originally posted by Barry Boor
Is this the November issue being talked about?

I ain't seen mine yet!


You're probably looking at it edgeways ....

#776 mercw125

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 07:49

Originally posted by David Beard


You're probably looking at it edgeways ....


:clap:

#777 KJJ

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 07:51

Yes it is very thin.................................... but still enough space for a double page photo of Paul Fearnley driving a car and a double page photo of Tiff Needell driving a car,.........oh and about a dozen other pics of Tiff driving a car....not to forget yet another article with some other journo driving a car.

#778 Macca

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 08:02

Yeah, it's rubbish this month - glanced at it, tossed it aside, read the paper instead.

Paul M

#779 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 08:35

Although I haven't checked the number of pages in previous issues, the thinness may be connected to the dreadfully thin semi-gloss paper the magazine is now printed on. With the wet weather yesterday, the paper seems to pucker up and looks of decidedly poorer quality than in the past IMO.

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#780 bill moffat

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 10:25

SomeBoddy must like it ?? ;)

#781 Darren Galpin

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 11:19

But did anyone notice the acknowledgement of TNF on pg 70?

#782 Scribe06

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 11:56

Originally posted by Darren Galpin
But did anyone notice the acknowledgement of TNF on pg 70?


Oh? Do tell....

#783 Darren Galpin

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 12:13

Richard Heseltine's article on the Ferrari 750 Monza - says "Thanks to Conrod Cars and The Nostalgia Forum (www.atlasf1.com)" in a small box at the left hand corner of the top image.

#784 RTH

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 13:27

Originally posted by bill moffat
I bought this month's edition out of curiosity.

Approximately 60 readable pages for £4-95 book-ended by an editorial about A1GP and Bill Boddy's contribution. The contents are a rambling mix of everything including a re-cycled Nigel Roebuck article on James Hunt.
I'm not sure that the magazine knows what it wants to be.

I ain't seen mine yet...........Barry Boor


You're probably looking at it edgeways...........David Beard


Yes , it is very thin.............KJJ




"Well the shareholders have got to have their Champagne......glug, glug, glug. "

#785 Gary C

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 15:40

'the thinness may be connected to the dreadfully thin semi-gloss paper the magazine is now printed on.'
I think that's it, the month before there were 138 pages, not including covers, and that issue was about a half as thick again as this months' issue, which is 130 pages.

#786 green-blood

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 20:40

yeah but if they can make it thin enough, and hence light enough, it might float, and then all those nasty supermarkets wont have an excuse for not stocking it alongside all the other red tops as it wont even need shelf space - genius!!!! :rotfl:

#787 johnwilliamdavies

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Posted 13 October 2005 - 23:03

Personally I think the current issue is the best in many a month. I'm glad to see cars on the cover (looking rather green I must say) and not a driver. I'm not really interested in the Rosberg story or whatever Formula 1 type they usually have, I would prefer to have the story told through the cars than the people. Liked the Cooper v Lotus, liked the Ferrari 750, especially liked the Sunbeam. Boddy was as good as ever, even mentioned the Sunbeams at Pendine in Wales which I went to (see photo). The X-ray piece was interesting, better than the Formula 1 stuff they've had recently, and Simon Taylor and Marcus Pye both wrote about smaller clubby events. Only negative was the American article which we always seem to have to have.
I want less Formula 1, less Americans and more old British stuff.

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#788 Darren Galpin

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 07:02

On the other hand, I like the american stuff as we usually get to hear so little about it in the UK....

#789 bill moffat

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 07:45

Originally posted by johnwilliamdavies
Personally I think the current issue is the best in many a month. I'm glad to see cars on the cover (looking rather green I must say) and not a driver. I'm not really interested in the Rosberg story or whatever Formula 1 type they usually have, I would prefer to have the story told through the cars than the people. Liked the Cooper v Lotus, liked the Ferrari 750, especially liked the Sunbeam. Boddy was as good as ever, even mentioned the Sunbeams at Pendine in Wales which I went to (see photo). The X-ray piece was interesting, better than the Formula 1 stuff they've had recently, and Simon Taylor and Marcus Pye both wrote about smaller clubby events. Only negative was the American article which we always seem to have to have.
I want less Formula 1, less Americans and more old British stuff.

Posted Image



John, I take your point but wish Motor Sport could have published a photo of Pendine that matched the quality of yours...

I'm sure many of us have enjoyed Pendine in the past, I remember travelling from Cardiff to explore the limits of my RS1600 on the sands several times (but away from the holidaymakers and local Constabulary...). predictably I believe the sands are now "closed".

John, I note you list Porthcawl as your home town. Was it the true birthplace of Welsh motor sport or did Caerphilly (or elsewhere) beat them to it ? Also does the Local Authority acknowledge this motor sporting history in any way (a few miles from my adopted Kentish home the Bexhill road signs are proudly labelled "the birthplace of British motor racing".)

#790 Scribe06

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 08:16

Originally posted by johnwilliamdavies
Personally I think the current issue is the best in many a month. I'm glad to see cars on the cover (looking rather green I must say) and not a driver. I'm not really interested in the Rosberg story or whatever Formula 1 type they usually have, I would prefer to have the story told through the cars than the people. Liked the Cooper v Lotus, liked the Ferrari 750, especially liked the Sunbeam. Boddy was as good as ever, even mentioned the Sunbeams at Pendine in Wales which I went to (see photo). The X-ray piece was interesting, better than the Formula 1 stuff they've had recently, and Simon Taylor and Marcus Pye both wrote about smaller clubby events. Only negative was the American article which we always seem to have to have.
I want less Formula 1, less Americans and more old British stuff.


Poor Motor Sport, damned if it does and damned if it doesn't.

In truth, there is simply no way that MS can satisfy Mr. Davies, Mr. Galpin or Mr. or Ms. Whomever. Mr. Davies wants essentially a magazine that is centered and focused on the Beloved Days when Albion was its own little world and none of that Yank or Continental stuff while also dwelling endlessly on the technical aspects of things, especially since those pesky drivers and other folks simply provoke much eye rolling and sighs. I think that there are more than a few who agree with him.

The curse that Motor Sport continues to labor under is that it is written in English and, therefore, has an audience to the West. This continues to confound and perplex many more comfortable with the world in Motor Sport was created and nutured, a distinctly national one. There is still an uncomfortable sense of xenophobia that percolates through the readership at times, often surfacing when the magazine strays too far afield from themes better suited to Wallace & Gromit go motor racing.

Motor Sport is a national magazine that has had an international audience for at least the past five decades. As the British began to assume a larger role in Continental racing, the American interest in "foreign" cars and road racing began to grow, and the talent of DSJ began to clearly emerge as being one of the small handful at the top of his game, MS developed a following that spread far beyond what was intended as its audience. In the ensuing decades, this has not changed very much. However, the specter of modernity has not dealt kindly with MS, especially with the concept of Business is Bussiness and the culture of BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) have conspired to make quaint acceptable only as a faux quaint which is marketable versus the truly quaint which is only marginally so.

I am not sure that Motor Sport can truly satisfy any particular niche of readers for any length of time and remain on the newsstands. Trying to keep its traditional base and yet expand it to include others is something more akin to magic than marketing.

I have taken a few steps back and accepted that we have to play the cards we are dealt. Not every hand is a winning hand, much less even a decent hand. Needless to say, some hands are less than wonderful. I am taking more of a longer view of things and seeing how things go over a span of months and even a year or so rather than emote about each and every issue. Not easy at times. Nor does this mean that criticism is not warranted. Indeed, criticsm is a form of feedback that can be very beneficial to keeping MS headed on the correct azimuth.

Despite my own dark mutterings concerning MS in the past, the lack of anything close to an alternative makes that hand we've been dealt look a bit better.

#791 RTH

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 08:29

Circulation figures dictate whether a magazine stays in business and they depend on satisfying the customer. The sales history and trend were charted earlier in the thread. Can someone give us the sales numbers for each of the last 12 months ?

#792 Vitesse2

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 08:54

Well, Stuart Forrest could, but I'm sure he won't. ABC figures are only revealed once a year for most monthlies and Motor Sport doesn't report until next Spring. Business confidentiality would preclude it anyway, I'd have thought.

However, the current general trend for all magazines is downward, since the slowdown in High Street spending in the UK has meant a consequent drop in casual sales. Monthlies are being hit harder than weeklies, mainly because of their higher prices and through new weekly magazine launches pillaging sales from them (see my comments re Nuts and Zoo and the boy-racer motoring mags). This is one of the reasons that magazines are focussing on subscription sales: another is the possible turmoil in the distribution chain if the current system is dismantled by the OFT.

#793 bill moffat

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 14:16

One thing that I'll always remember from the days of classic Motor Sport was the regular John Britten advert, a full page of Arkley Morgans (and SS's) peppered with a lot of good humour. Some of the lesser cars were described with scathing honesty, a pretty unusual approach in those days.

JB was also busy with his giant-killing Modsports Midgets, the motor sport trail then seemingly going dead until he popped up as co-owner of Brands Hatch and the other MSV circuits...

#794 petefenelon

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 16:27

Originally posted by bill moffat
One thing that I'll always remember from the days of classic Motor Sport was the regular John Britten advert, a full page of Arkley Morgans (and SS's) peppered with a lot of good humour. Some of the lesser cars were described with scathing honesty, a pretty unusual approach in those days.


I used to always enjoy Chris Alford's adverts (usually with some old dog of an FFord or 1.6l F3 that he'd obviously got in part-ex for something nicer being palmed off as "Alford's Affordable Automobile"), and when I was still reading MS regularly used to really enjoy the style of Stanley Mann's.

#795 bill moffat

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 16:34

..whilst another high profile advertiser would, on a monthly basis, be offering a unique opportunity to buy the "ultimate AC Cobra". It used to confuse me as to how the ultimate AC Cobra could be a different car each month...

#796 petefenelon

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 16:41

Originally posted by bill moffat
..whilst another high profile advertiser would, on a monthly basis, be offering a unique opportunity to buy the "ultimate AC Cobra". It used to confuse me as to how the ultimate AC Cobra could be a different car each month...


Rod Leach's Nostalgia, wasn't it?;)

#797 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 18:05

The ad at the top of page 105 is best..;)

#798 David McKinney

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 18:41

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
Until I checked the ad I hadn't noted who had made the posting

#799 Steve L

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 10:37

I agree with jwd - I think this month's MS is the best for a long time.

Good variety of articles (particularly like the Lotus/Cooper & Sunbeam features), nice cover (the "red" theme isn't so noticable this time - I cannot understand the argument that this colour makes the magazine stand out more in the racks and returning to green would make it much more noticeable and unique), and good coverage of recent historic motor sport.

The paper magazines is printed on these days is thin n' nasty - like C&SC, if you leave one open at a particular story for 10 minutes, when you come back the pages have all crinkled up!

I think comparing magazines now to how they were in the past is like comparing old and new Top Gear on television. Previously this was a fairly serious show - now it is entertainment.

I'd forgotten about the raising of the MS cover price until I was handed my change this time - couldn't believe I only got 5p back from a fiver! It surely can't be long before the £5 an issue barrier is broken?!

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#800 green-blood

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 09:42

I like November.

Why all the downers on anything post iceage(thats deliberatly thorny) I was 6 when Rosberg blitzed Silverstone in the damp on a slow puncture - thats fairly nostalgic to me... ;)

Anyway moan time... again, Nov arrived along with my sub renewal form, which is quoting 2.50 more for next year than the haymarket flyer is offering the next 12 months for... somebody at Haymarket is losing the plot.. I understand introductory offers but this is nuts.