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'Motor Sport' magazine


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#51 TonyKaye

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Posted 20 October 2000 - 21:37

Yes, National Speed Sport News is on microfilm. If I remember correctly, you can buy it, reel by reel, from Gordon White, who wrote the Offenhauser book. I have his address if you're interested.

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#52 Barry Lake

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Posted 21 October 2000 - 14:39

Tony
Yes it would be handy to have the address. You never know when you might need these things and then, when you want the address, you can't remember who had it.
Please tell me.

#53 Barry Lake

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Posted 21 October 2000 - 14:55

Apollo4
You're dead right in your assessment of what sells and what doesn't.
For many years now I have been in the awkward position of having the same interestes for history, accuracy and detail that the people on this forum love, while earning my living by producing magazines and magazine stories that have to sell in commercial quantities.
They are not the same thing.
For a long time I managed to edit a magazine that gave the majority what they wanted, while slipping in some in-depth material - including chassis numbers, history, circuit maps etc - that would please the minority.
It was a balancing act that was very difficult to perform - and the sad thing was that a lot of the people who would have liked the detailed stories didn't realise they were there.
I also once edited and published a quarterly magazine devoted entirely to the detailed history of motor sport in Australia. Despite having letters of praise from all over the world (including from people like "Jenks", Doug Nye and others of their ilk) I managed only three isues before going broke! The fourth issue was ready to go but there was no money to print it.
Paul Sheldon has found the answer with his results books. That is, print very few of them and charge enough to make the numbers come out right.
The publisher of a book I wrote on the history of Australian motor sport (a pictorial overview rather than the full history and results) published in 1998 used the same method and he did quite well out of it.
The sad part of all this is that we true enthusiasts are faced with having to pay dearly for our interest.
Now we have the web, Atlas F1 and the various sites where people are publishing a lot of this information is available to a lot more people.
My belief is that it will encourage more people to have an interest in this subject.
Look at the number of young people coming onto this forum already. I think it shows a lot of promise for the future.

#54 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 07:47

Well, it dropped on my doormat this morning. The cover is as expected (I still have my reservations). I have not had a read of the contents yet but my first impressions can be summed up in one word - scrappy.

#55 2F-001

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 12:27

Yep - mine's here too. Only had a quick skim, but visually very disappointing. It's lost the elegance and clarity that he had (although that had slipped since the "historic" relaunch) and befitted the content. Now it's just like so many other mags out there.
There will be those who say they are more concerned about the content, but to me the quality and clarity of presentation, be it layout, typography, production are a part of communication and have a profound effect on the imparting of knowledge, the educative experience and the entertainment, whether people realise it or not. (I must confess my view is not wholly impartial, since it is also my trade).



Oh - and another "Top 50". This one I think, is an iteresting idea - "partnerships". But, for me, the obligation to grade everything into a qualitative list is unnecessary and distracting. They could have much more mileage from this by spending less energy on the ranking, adding a bit more depth and detail and running a handful at a time, every so often, over the coming year or so.

I was going to post here that to me one glaring ommission from their list (all readers will doubtless have their own "glaring ommission") was Penske-Donohue... but they are there in a colour feature panel. I just didn't spot it... which rather bears out Eric's point. (On the other hand, it's nice to pick up a mag again and read bits that you didn't dwell on the first time.)

#56 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 12:35

Well, my initial scepticism about Haymarket's argument that they wanted to make the magazine stand out appears to have been justified. It now looks just like so many others.

And the "Top 50 Partnerships" leaves me cold (even if the No.1 is more or less in line with my own opinion). But what a lazy way to launch a "new look". What will next month's "Top 50" list be - "Best Pit Babes"?, "Best F1 Sponsors"?. "Best Magazine Re-Launches"?


Lets hope they improve as they go.

#57 KJJ

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 12:53

I've just skimmed through my copy and it is very disappointing, lots of bits and pieces and a paucity of longer articles. I guess they have a very low opinion of the attention span of the new readers they are hoping to win.

One point in the editor's comments where he equates British Racing Green with the "summer of love" by which I suppose he means all that Sixties Hippy stuff. Now if my memory serves me right part of the charm of the Sixties Motor Sport was that it belonged to an earlier era altogether and had no truck at all with the contemporary Britain of Harold Wilson, the Beatles, long hair etc etc. Interesting to note how the younger generation (Fearnley was born in 1967) can get the past so wrong.

#58 ian senior

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 13:05

Originally posted by Eric McLoughlin
Well, my initial scepticism about Haymarket's argument that they wanted to make the magazine stand out appears to have been justified. It now looks just like so many others.

And the "Top 50 Partnerships" leaves me cold (even if the No.1 is more or less in line with my own opinion). But what a lazy way to launch a "new look". What will next month's "Top 50" list be - "Best Pit Babes"?, "Best F1 Sponsors"?. "Best Magazine Re-Launches"?


Lets hope they improve as they go.


Just hope that it isn't "50 greatest crashes"......but no, no magazine would ever do that.........

#59 subh

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 14:22

How about the best fifty lists compiled by motorsports magazines?

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#60 Ted Walker

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 15:40

Whoever re-designed it wants to re think their job. ITS AWFULL. All the multi coloured type face etc. Its very difficult to read.

#61 Don Capps

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 15:53

This isn't looking good....

#62 smarjoram

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 16:28

I hardly dare return home tonight for fear of what awaits me on the doorstep.

#63 LB

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 17:49

Originally posted by smarjoram
I hardly dare return home tonight for fear of what awaits me on the doorstep.


Must resist obvious fluff type reply....


Funny thing is about this new motorsport cover is I am genuinely intrigued almost to the point of actually buying the mag to see what the fuss is about. You might actually boost sales here.

#64 RTH

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 18:09

Ghastly,.........you no longer need a magnifying glass to read much of the text - you now need a microscope.

.........And look at that photo of the editor , - it looks as if he has just crawled out of bed late on a Sunday morning, unshaved, hair all over the place, in a vest ! - You really would think some effort should have been made .

The hideous "Rust " coloured cover looks cheap , very down market and shoddy , gone from the best looking magazine to the worst in one go ..........its all just horrible.

#65 ensign14

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 18:22

Originally posted by Eric McLoughlin
Well, my initial scepticism about Haymarket's argument that they wanted to make the magazine stand out appears to have been justified. It now looks just like so many others.

I wonder if the point was to have it placed with the similar-looking Autosport and thus get more casual buyers.

Unfortunately, for me, Autosport ruined its covers back in about 1992 when they ditched the very clean white covers with photo.

Then again, the mock-up cover of MotorSport did not look as bad as the horrid ones in the mid-90s...

#66 Paul Taylor

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 18:24

Luckily, I have not subscribed. The question is, "Shall I bother buying it? :confused: "

#67 JohnS

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 20:02

Originally posted by 2F-001
Oh - and another "Top 50".


Wasn't Simon Taylor quite dismissive of such lists in the last issue? And what do we get in the new look mag - another list!

John

#68 MCS

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 20:09

Originally posted by JohnS


Wasn't Simon Taylor quite dismissive of such lists in the last issue? And what do we get in the new look mag - another list!

John


And worse still, he still has his own column :mad:

I've just got in and not really had a decent look, but would I be correct in saying that there are more advertisements - or is that just an initial impression?

MCS

#69 Bob Brzezinski

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 21:12

Interesting, as Simon indicated in last month's issue that it was the last appearance of his column.

As an ignorant colonial I had never heard of Motorsport until 1998 or so, when I believe it first began being widely carried on certain U.S. booksellers' newsstands. I subscribed within a very short time. I am apprehensive about seeing the new issue (which is crawling towards my mailbox now and should appear by the end of the month) because it sounds like the antithesis of the things that attracted me to it in the first place. The cover jumped off of the newsstand the first time I saw it. Maybe it's different in the "Land of Racing Green," but we just don't have many U.S. car magazines in that color. Before I subscribed I used to be able to tell from across the room whether a new issue had hit the stands, just by virtue of the color of the cover and that recognizable title script. Also, Motorsport has always struck me as avoiding to some extent the practice of English car mags of having "information overload," i.e., so many snippets of info and sidebars on a page that it becomes distracting and detracts from the reading experience. Doesn't sound like that's the case any more. I will open the coming issue with trepidation...

Bob

#70 Doug Nye

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 21:33

You all might be amused to know that Simon Taylor tells me he quite regularly trawls TNF to receive what he describes as a mandatory "reality check". He was giggling with me in the commentary tower at Goodwood about the recent post which acclaimed the faultlessly soporific effects of reading his column....

So - all together fellers - Hi Simon... :clap:

DCN  ;)

#71 Vitesse2

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 21:36

:wave:

#72 David Beard

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 21:47

I wonder how Bill Boddy feels about all this? ( I notice he gets a nice green edging to his pages)

The green Motor Sport logos looked very fitting around Goodwood, the mag's natural market place.

I still think it's a disaster.

I have just joined the National Trust to make up for all this. Lots of nice green letterheads. Perhaps that's safe.

#73 2F-001

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 06:38

Originally posted by Bob Brzezinski
[B... i.e., so many snippets of info and sidebars on a page that it becomes distracting and detracts from the reading experience.
Bob [/B]

Well, that's exactly what they've done, Bob.

#74 2F-001

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 06:44

Originally posted by MCS
... but would I be correct in saying that there are more advertisements - or is that just an initial impression?
MCS

I haven't counted either... but by their nature many of the specialist advertisements carry a lot of pictures and snippets of information (for eg. when a load of cars are offered by a dealer). Unfortunately, a lot of the articles are now much less distinguishable from those advertisements.
Whether this leads to a) an 'editorial' credence rubbing off on the ads; b) a cheapening and 'commercial' slur tainting the editorial; or c) just an unholy mess, will be a personal matter for each reader.

#75 2F-001

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 06:57

Originally posted by David Beard
...I have just joined the National Trust to make up for all this. Lots of nice green letterheads...

Although it is a wholly different kettle-of-fish -- quarterly, subscription only etc -- the National Trust magazine is a rather elegant looking journal. It has a familiar problem of tackling both current and essentially nostalgic attitudes to integrating and preserving the past within a remit to safeguard the present too. It presumably has a readership ranging from the impecunious and concerned 'green' to the monied classes. It makes a good stab at looking modern and restrained and looks rather lovely. It may be in danger of becoming a little too cool and style-aware, but is a pleasing thing to have fall on the mat, David.

#76 smarjoram

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 09:35

I agree with those who say there seem to be more ads - but look more closely and you'll see they are the articles. What a nightmare - I don't know where to start reading it - there's just loads of silly 2 sentence blocks all over the place.

I'm going to miss being able to sit down and read a well written 4 or 5 page article about a subject I knew nothing about simply illustrated with a few beautiful photos.

I'm as much for keeping up with the times as the next person but somehow it just doesn't seem fitting for motorsport. Seems to me the main reason most of us were drawn to it was because it wasn't like all the others.

Oh well. Would a petition be any use. Or how about a protest in the house of commons. We'd have to use racing green flour bombs though - not those modern purple ones :)

#77 Philip Whiteman

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 10:11

Just browsed the all-new Motor Sport in my local newsagent: A regular buyer of the magazine, I left it on the shelf. What a disaster. In a stroke, it makes Octane look like a masterwork. I would write directly to Haybale publishing if I thought for one second my input might make any difference...

Mr Taylor: to make such bull-in-a-china-shop changes to a title with such a long-established, distinct and distinguished character seems to be tantamount to corporate execution.

Seriously, the design changes are crass in the extreme. Those awful stencil-style headings have a home in a skateboard magazine, but in Motor Sport...? The whole thing reminds me of Key Publishing's short-lived 'yoof' aviation magazine (so short lived, the title escapes me; something like 'Air Action').

I 've an idea of where such own-goals originate: round-table discussions among publishing execs, all clutching market surveys or focus-group pocus that reveals (shock) that the average reader age is something like 50 and that there is a pressing need to bring in new readers. However, the usual decision is to start some process of evolution in the publication concerned, not a crash-bang-wallop make-over. As the Goodwood Revival meeting demonstrates, lots of people appreciate real style...

Motor Sport: the Guyson E-Type of the 2000s.

(Note to youthful readers: the 1970 Guyson E-type was a standard series 3 E-type Jaguar on to which was bonded an angular fibreglass body designed by Towns. It looked like a great lump of cheese; hideous.)

#78 ian senior

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 10:31

The Guyson E-type........yes, a fine example of how to make a pig's ear out of a silk purse....

I haven't seen the new Motor Sport yet; indications so far are that I won't like it.

Others have made the very valid point that the use of "sidebars", or whatever they are called, is (if nothing else) distracting. I'd like to know who came up with this bright idea in the first place, we've seen it for some time now in lots of magazines (and even books) and frankly it's a pain in the arse. I find myself distracted by them, I wonder what I should be reading next, and it just spoils the enjoyment. Perhaps its my fault, perhaps I am easily put off and my concentration levels are low (all very likely, in fact).

I can only assume that publishers are convinced that we can now only accept information if it is wrapped up in bite-sized pieces. This may well apply to the Play Station Generation, but that ain't me. So listen here, Haymarket et al - it's not just 20 year olds that buy magazines these days. We grumpy old men have purchasing power too.

#79 smarjoram

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 10:40

Just did a search for the guyson (it was made in the year of my birth) - you might have warned me. I quite like cheese - that was something much more frightening.

At least the Jaguar was untouched beneath the shell and could be returned to it's old looks. Let's hope the same is true of Motorsport.

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#80 2F-001

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 10:57

Thinking more generally (not knocking MotorSport in particular - although they have gone completely overboard in this respect) I wonder if the proliferation of bite-sized chunks is a genuine response to an understanding that readers' attention spans have become very short, or is that cause rather than symptom... that is, as a result of nobody being able to write engagingly and in-depth any more?

(He said, in a bite-sized, side-bar friendly chunk.)

#81 KJJ

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 11:04

I suppose Sidebars are for journos who can’t structure an article and for readers with the attention span of an absent minded goldfish.

My better half takes a magazine called “Classic Rock”, a bit like MotorSport except it seems to concentrate on the drug antics of 70s and 80s rock bands. The editor of MS should take a look. Firstly the design is clean and uncluttered, secondly there are proper readers’ letters, not the truncated points you get in MS. Secondly there are plenty of in-depth well-illustrated articles of four or five page length, and this with smaller type and bigger pages than MS. Thirdly you get decent reviews – why on earth can’t MS print decent length book and video reviews?

I’m not a fan of historic racing, but if MS printed well written, feature length articles on the subject, I might be converted. The current historic pages are an absolute mess.

#82 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 12:24

Originally posted by KJJ
I suppose Sidebars are for journos who can’t structure an article and for readers with the attention span of an absent minded goldfish.....


I cannot agree with that...

I could point immediately to my story of the life of Eldred Norman, as published in Motor Racing Australia... it was absolutely loaded down with 'breakouts' or 'sidebars' for the very good reason that there were many incidents in the man's life, many sides to his character, that meant the story couldn't flow properly with these details contained in the main text.

The story went something like 4500 words, IIRC, plus the breakouts... it was five or six pages in each of two successive issues of the magazine.

I won't go so far as to pass judgement on the readability of the story, but there will be others around here who might think it appropriate.

#83 SEdward

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 13:22

Do the MS editors read this forum? While we do not account for much of MS's readership, we may at least provide a (free of charge) sample of feedback. Haven't got mine yet, but, from what I've read, it doesn't look good.

Edward.

#84 David Beard

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 14:19

I think it's always best to assume that anyone you refer to here reads TNF...or gets told about it.

#85 Arturo Pereira

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 14:32

I did not like what I saw :rolleyes: Imho, TNF can very well replace Motorsport :wave:

#86 Keir

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 14:48

Can someone scan and post the new cover??

I'd like to see what all the fuss is about!!

#87 smarjoram

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 15:12

It's a bit like this...

#88 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 15:21

As a US subscriber I haven't seen it yet....probably won't for another week or so. I can only hope it isn't as bad as everyone is saying, but I've learned to trust the judgement of contributors to TNF, so hopes are not high!

Jack

#89 Bob Brzezinski

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 15:58

I don't mind sidebars within an article. I understand that they can highlight interesting, related topics that are not necessarily completely germane to the main story. Let me say that I have for years enjoyed the "English viewpoint" about all things related to cars and racing, and I have consequently been a subscriber/newsstand purchaser of a good many UK journals for the last decade or so.

The thing that has irritated me about magazines like "Classic and Sportscar" or "Thoroughbred and Classic Cars" (I can't tell them apart as I sit here--perhaps they should merge into "Thoroughbred and Classic Sportscar") is that the editors seem to have a penchant for sticking twelve or fifteen one-paragraph "articles" on the same page, for page after page, scattered throughout the magazine, to the point where there are so many fragments of info contained in one issue that I finish reading it and am immediately unable to recall what I've just read. Could be early-onset Alzheimer's Disease, but I don't feel that way when I set down a copy of Motorsport (at least, not up to now), or even the aforementioned "Octane."

I recognize that "Motorsport" has a broader mission in life, but I'm growing more and more to appreciate the layout of the American mag "Vintage Motorsport." Editorial columns and letters up front, a substantive article about some historical aspect, a very nice salon article on a significant car, then write-ups of recent vintage races accompanied by photos. No fluff, nicely spare copy layout, beautiful color photos throughout. Maybe that's all too simple for the "short attention span" theory of magazine editing?

#90 Doug Nye

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 17:21

:mad:

...is there any chance of agreeing that the magazine in question is entitled 'Motor Sport' and NOT that horrific corruption 'Motorsport' - which would have some of the editorial luminaries from this publication's glittering past bouncing off the rev limiter if they could see this today....

:mad: DCN

#91 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 17:23

Oops - guilty , your honour :o

#92 David Beard

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 17:25

Originally posted by Doug Nye
:mad:

...is there any chance of agreeing that the magazine in question is entitled 'Motor Sport' and NOT that horrific corruption 'Motorsport' - which would have some of the editorial luminaries from this publication's glittering past bouncing off the rev limiter if they could see this today....

:mad: DCN


I would be happy with "Motorsport" if the cover was still green...;)

#93 2F-001

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 18:46

from the Pashley Pedantry department:

The copy that landed on my doormat is called neither "Motor Sport" nor "Motorsport", but "MotorSport". (Wasn't it ever thus?)

#94 MCS

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 18:51

Originally posted by Doug Nye
You all might be amused to know that Simon Taylor tells me he quite regularly trawls TNF to receive what he describes as a mandatory "reality check". He was giggling with me in the commentary tower at Goodwood about the recent post which acclaimed the faultlessly soporific effects of reading his column....

So - all together fellers - Hi Simon... :clap:

DCN  ;)


:blush: well, I was only giving my honest opinion.

I haven't read his latest piece...

MCS

#95 2F-001

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 18:57

Originally posted by Keir
Can someone scan and post the new cover??

I'd like to see what all the fuss is about!!

There must be a law against that?!
But frankly, as much as I am disappointed by it, the cover isn't the problem...

#96 Twin Window

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 18:57

Originally posted by Doug Nye
:mad:

...is there any chance of agreeing that the magazine in question is entitled 'Motor Sport' and NOT that horrific corruption 'Motorsport' - which would have some of the editorial luminaries from this publication's glittering past bouncing off the rev limiter if they could see this today....

:mad: DCN

:up:

#97 David Beard

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 19:21

Originally posted by 2F-001
from the Pashley Pedantry department:

The copy that landed on my doormat is called neither "Motor Sport" nor "Motorsport", but "MotorSport". (Wasn't it ever thus?)


Yes, Tony, I thought the cover was ever thus...

#98 KJJ

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 19:23

Just checked my Motor Sports from the Fifties and Sixties, it had Motor Sport at the top of every page. The new mag can't make up its mind, at the bottom of some pages it's MotorSport while others have Motorsport.

To be fair though I really must get around to reading the articles!!

#99 David Beard

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 19:32

Originally posted by KJJ

To be fair though I really must get around to reading the articles!!


I refuse to open mine.

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#100 2F-001

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 19:37

Yes, we are becoming like those folk who listen to hi-fi rather than listening to the music (I used to be one of them) -- however, in this case our "hi-fi" has an unfocussed cartridge giving poor stereo separation, speakers that lack clarity and a mushy amplifier. What we need, is VALVES...!

(Sorry everyone - my stylus seems to have attracted a large ball of FLUFF...)