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Revamped (May 2013) 'Motor Sport' magazine


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#1 tokyonagaremono

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 12:24


Any thoughts on the new-look (May 2013 onwards) Motor Sport magazine?

While Roebuck, Taylor and Nye are the rocks that keep the mag anchored and worth reading, is it still worth buying every issue and/or subscribing and collecting?

The most obvious and disappointing thing I noticed (and noticed immediately) is the poorer quality of the paper. After a recent price hike to a fiver per issue too. Thin and wrinkly, not the sort of stuff people usually put in binders (and, serious question, how long does this kind of paper last? Will it last 20, 40, 60 years?).

Also, the unavoidable (and now industry-standard) short attention span factboxes scattered all over. I can personally accept this, by holding my nose and remembering that the longer articles are still there, for now, but my second major niggle, after paper quality, is the tiny space devoted to reviews of books and DVDs. People who buy a mag like MS are the same people who buy motor sport books and DVDs etc, so I ENJOY reading decent reviews, the longer the better. May 2013 devotes half a page to reviewing 4 products, including thumbnails!

Specific to May 2013, Simon Arron's bit on Donington 93 is VG, but why suddenly go off on a tangent wasting space and reader time detailing the fact that an American journo (Mitchell?) missed a chunk of the race because he was yapping with Mike Andretti's missus? Not interested. Journos are not the story (unless, like Jenks in 55, they're sitting in the car) so please don't talk about yourselves any more. Otherwise, great, especially because Arron avoids making it the usual Senna walks on water love-fest.

And well done for not going red again on the front cover.


*Posted as a new thread because the original MS mag thread was closed down by, ahem, MS's own staff (who appear to control Autosport's forum too - why? when MS has its own forum too?) Yes, there were a few critical (but honest) posts, but show me a mag that can't take criticism, and I'll show you a mag that's running scared, and that's not the case with MS, is it?



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#2 Alan Cox

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 13:32

While Roebuck, Taylor and Nye are the rocks that keep the mag anchored and worth reading, is it still worth buying every issue and/or subscribing and collecting?

As you appear to be a regular reader, judging from this and your previous comments on the original Motor Sport thread, surely that's a judgement that only you can make, Tokyo.

PS It's some time since Motor Sport was part of the Haymarket group and is currently privately owned. TNF's moderator is not employed by Motor Sport, as far as I am aware.

Edited by Alan Cox, 30 March 2013 - 14:02.


#3 Tim Murray

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 13:43

*Posted as a new thread because the original MS mag thread was closed down by, ahem, MS's own staff (who appear to control Autosport's forum too - why? when MS has its own forum too?) Yes, there were a few critical (but honest) posts, but show me a mag that can't take criticism, and I'll show you a mag that's running scared, and that's not the case with MS, is it?

How do you know that anyone from Motor Sport had any influence in the closing of the earlier thread?

#4 Vitesse2

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 14:24

How do you know that anyone from Motor Sport had any influence in the closing of the earlier thread?

It had, I believe, reached the 4000-post level, at which point all threads are now closed due to database indexing problems with the software.

As with the previous version of the forum software we have been requested to keep threads to a manageable size, so we will be closing all threads when they get to around 4000 posts and if required starting new ones labled Part II, Part III etc. Appologies if this causes any problems.



#5 Roger Clark

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 14:56

Cutaway Drawings and Northern Meetings threads?

I thought the original Motor Sport thread was closed temporarily by the moderator because of some silliness.

#6 kayemod

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 14:59

It had, I believe, reached the 4000-post level, at which point all threads are now closed due to database indexing problems with the software.


Wasn't the old Motor Sport thread closed temporarily (he said) by TW after a series of increasingly unpleasant argumentative posts about the magazine ?

#7 tokyonagaremono

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 15:34

How do you know that anyone from Motor Sport had any influence in the closing of the earlier thread?



I don't know for sure, but he claimed to be MS's picture editor, or former pic editor - go check if you want.



#8 tokyonagaremono

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 15:37

Wasn't the old Motor Sport thread closed temporarily (he said) by TW after a series of increasingly unpleasant argumentative posts about the magazine ?



Well let's make sure there's nothing unpleasant or argumentative here then. Just criticism of, or praise for, the mag's new format.

#9 D-Type

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 15:44

I don't know for sure, but he claimed to be MS's picture editor, or former pic editor - go check if you want.

It isn't a claim, Stuart Dent, alias Twin Window, was Motor Sport's picture editor at one time.

Edited by D-Type, 30 March 2013 - 15:47.


#10 tokyonagaremono

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 15:44

As you appear to be a regular reader, surely that's a judgement that only you can make, Tokyo.



Er, yes, of course, personally. But I'm still interested to hear what others think. After all, isn't that the point of a forum? There are opinions on everything and anything all over this forum, and every opinion could be dismissed as 'that's a judgement only you can make'. I want to hear others' opinions about this too. You know, like, wot usually goes on in forums...

No need to read, certainly no need to contribute, if the topic seems redundant to you.

Edited by tokyonagaremono, 30 March 2013 - 15:55.


#11 tokyonagaremono

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 15:53

It isn't a claim, Stuart Dent, alias Twin Window, was Motor Sport's picture editor at one time.



Fine. I was replying to the guy asking the 'How do you know...' question, and now you've given us both a definitive answer. Thanks.


We are talking about just a motorsport magazine here, right? Not the Koran. Mere mention of wanting to talk about it appears to compel people into making very defensive, almost kneejerk, replies.


The mag has changed its format. Have you seen it? Do you like it? Is it better/worse/the same? That's all I'm interested in hearing. People who don't care or don't want to answer need not get involved. It is a popular motorosport mag. This is a popular motorsport forum. These things should be able to be discussed freely.


Edited for typo.

Edited by tokyonagaremono, 30 March 2013 - 16:08.


#12 Tim Murray

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 16:02

I don't know for sure, but he claimed to be MS's picture editor, or former pic editor - go check if you want.

I did of course check before I posted. To confirm what Duncan said, here's the relevant post:

Indeed.

I know that DCN and I are both immensly proud of our respective time spent working for the magazine in question.

Therefore it's an unpleasant experience to witness the bickering herewith.

To be blunt, the magazine shouldn't even exist now! So, be grateful that it does...

Thread temporarily closed.

A decision made by a former MS picture editor.



#13 john aston

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 17:22

I am not sure about the font size - bit small. Don't like factoid snippets but they are ubiquitous now. Otherwise , still the last magazine I would cancel . Erudite , well written and written unashamedly for the enthusiast ( and by enthusiasts too). Does not spend as much time plugging silly lifestyle accessories for the millionaire - watches, daft suitcases etc- as most magazines feel they have to .Roebuck, Arron, Nye and Taylor especially are heavyweight journalists who have been around the block when it comes to writing about our sport and whose opinions are always to be respected for that reason alone. Price ? Whatever- it costs more to buy a large glass of so so plonk in the pub!

#14 Charlieman

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 17:33

The layout is definitely more readable -- black text on a white background is boring but works. Some of the photo captions are as bad as ever -- white text overlays. I dunno how long the paper will last but it should be good for 30 years which will do me.

On content, I haven't noticed much difference (but Simon Aaron's presence is welcome). The modern road car reporting does nothing for me but I understand its commercial necessity. I'm saving the Lunch with Tony Brooks article to savour over a fine single malt.

The shortness of reviews of books and DVDs surprises me too. There must be some way to commercialise reviews and associated advertising. Do publishers still send out review copies to Motor Sport?

#15 kayemod

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 17:37

Roebuck, Arron, Nye and Taylor especially are heavyweight journalists...


I notice you didn't include Andrew Frankel in that list.

I'm still waiting for my copy, but he seems to be getting a few more pages each month. I don't particularly want to read about road cars in a magazine about the sport, and I don't think much of Frankel's writing talent or opinions in any case, but they obviously think that a significant number of their readers, in addition to their interest in racing, are anxious to learn all about the latest Ford Fiesta etc.


#16 tokyonagaremono

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 19:51

I notice you didn't include Andrew Frankel in that list.

I'm still waiting for my copy, but he seems to be getting a few more pages each month. I don't particularly want to read about road cars in a magazine about the sport, and I don't think much of Frankel's writing talent or opinions in any case, but they obviously think that a significant number of their readers, in addition to their interest in racing, are anxious to learn all about the latest Ford Fiesta etc.



The road car section is at the front of the re-vamped mag and seems to be growing, three or four full-page or double-spread driving reviews this month (a Bentley, an R8 V10 and a Cayenne of some sort - and maybe something else that's slipped my memory already - can't comment on the content of these, rarely read them.) Getting more like TG magazine's roadcar section (or at least what TG was like a couple of years ago when I stopped buying it). Does Frankel still appear in the Sunday Times In Gear section, and if so is there any repetition or overlap, I wonder?

Roebuck is now in the middle of MS, with Taylor and Nye (and Arron). All the good stuff in one place.

Agree with what Charlieman says about the photo captions (The Donington 93 article begins with white print on a pale bluey-white, water spray, background - aargh) and I've noticed the fonts seem to have gotten smaller and thinner, but that could be my age/eyesight affecting things.

PS. Don't want to spoil anything for people who haven't got it or read it yet, but one thing about the Tony Brooks Lunch With... left me scratching my head and I'm wondering if anyone can shed some light: namely, why did TB leave Ferrari? Taylor describes what sounds like a pretty successful time at Ferrari, very close to a driver's WC, then suddenly for 60 he's in customer Coopers. (Yes, I know I could dig a book out, or go to wiki, but just asking on the off chance that someone here can save me the bother...)






#17 retriever

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 20:00

All forms of media need a revamp sooner or later to present a refreshened, new image than fits in with modern thinking. Current ageing readership may not necessarily agree with changes made but the proprietors have to look at maintaining circulation by attracting new, younger readers.

Overall I consider the new presentation a success, although I think that cartoon section is an unwanted detraction.
If you want to moan - you only have a look at Autosport. Once Pit & Paddock was full of solid short articles, pictures and fascinating news filed by an enthusiastic, investigative and knowledgeable editorial team which extended up to eight pages on occasions. It was always positioned at the beginning of the magazine reflecting its importance, now it has diminished to the level of soundbite floss - grabbed from the wires and PR releases - that wanders to different positions week by week.

After nearly 50 years I have finally given up on that magazine and stopped my subscription but I still look forward to Motor Sport being delivered each month - even if sometimes in less than A1 condition thanks to Royal Mail.

Edited by retriever, 04 April 2013 - 21:37.


#18 crooky369

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 20:02

If you have a subscription to Motor Sport is it possible to download all the back issues (since it was made for iPad) or just back to the date you subscribed from on the iPad app?

Just wondering because I tried to sign up on a trial basis last year to find out, but had problems with subscribing and their customer support didn't seem interested in giving me a reply...

#19 tokyonagaremono

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 20:10

If you have a subscription to Motor Sport is it possible to download all the back issues (since it was made for iPad) or just back to the date you subscribed from on the iPad app?


I'm a 'don't know' on that one, but I'd guess the latter. After all, I think they're still selling the back-issue CD ROMS (Archives?), so I'd guess they'd want to at least retain the possibility of getting people to buy back issues in future, whatever the future technology formats are.




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#20 jj2728

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 23:44

We are talking about just a motorsport magazine here, right? Not the Koran.


I dunno, I tend to think of it more in biblical terms........ ;)

#21 Charlieman

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 03:25

I dunno, I tend to think of it more in biblical terms........;)

It is the only magazine that knows what a Fuzzii is.

#22 john aston

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 05:05

I notice you didn't include Andrew Frankel in that list.

I'm still waiting for my copy, but he seems to be getting a few more pages each month. I don't particularly want to read about road cars in a magazine about the sport, and I don't think much of Frankel's writing talent or opinions in any case, but they obviously think that a significant number of their readers, in addition to their interest in racing, are anxious to learn all about the latest Ford Fiesta etc.


Only because he doesn't cover the sport as much as the others.There is a lot of animosity towards him on here and I must admit to struggling to understand why as he writes well and can drive well too. The one time I spoke to him I felt as though I was something unpleasant he had on his shoe but that doesn't affect my enjoyment of his writing. I'd prefer Steve Cropley but hey ho...

#23 tokyonagaremono

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 09:30

I dunno, I tend to think of it more in biblical terms........;)


Yes, I know you're joking, but I think that's, seriously, the problem the mag is struggling with, and which the editor alludes to in the editorial to the 'new' mag. There are a lot of people who'll go on buying it until Hell freezes over, whatever format it takes, whatever the 'quality', whilst the publisher obviously wants (or needs) to attract as many buyers as possible, whether they're going to read every word or just flick through on a train journey (there's reference to the new format making it easier for people to read/get into at the newstand, for example). Then there are those like me, the majority (I'd guess), caught in the crossfire somewhat - I subscribe, I do want a high quality mag for my fiver, and I do think it's been a pretty decent magazine, a very worthwhile read most months (albeit a complete dud once or twice a year), but in no way do I revere it and it cannot take me, or people like me, for granted. My two main concerns about the new format, the poor paper quality and the comically frugal space devoted to book and DVD reviews (who doesn't enjoy spending half of every Sunday reading the book, film and music review supplements in the Sunday broadsheets?) have, I must say, pushed me a step closer to not renewing the sub and taking it on a month-by-month basis, after first checking in WH Smiths (or on the web site) who Taylor is taking lunch with. But my two concerns will probably be different to other people's - they may not like the re-jigged boxes and so on (just because the DTP package makes things possible, doesn't mean you have to use them, right?), I dunno. Hence the thread.



#24 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 10:13

I ignore the bits that I don't like. I detest the habit of so many magazines of having "factoids" which are invariably bits from PRs! I did dicuss Frankel with one of the MS staff at Race Retro and the reply was that by having a road car section they get a significant number of manufacturers adverts which makes a huge difference to the profitability. I've yet to meet anyone who likes Frankel's writing style. Also interesting that those who have met him have found him less than courtious! I would suggest dumping him and letting Ed Foster do the road tests. Having the youngest staff member do more might bring in younger readers and Ed is an genuine enthusiast.

#25 kayemod

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 10:15

There is a lot of animosity towards him on here and I must admit to struggling to understand why as he writes well and can drive well too.


On Frankel, you're probably right about the second part, but his writing style reminds me of the Robert Glenton 'road tests' I remember reading in my mother's Daily Express as a teenager, laboured and portentious.


#26 D-Type

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 10:25

I think you've summed up the situation very well. The times have changed.

Back in its heyday mainstream media coverage of motor racing was minimal. At best the quality dailies would have a brief report while the popular papers would only cover serious accidents with a heavy emphasis on British participants. The BBC did provide very limited coverage of Le Mans but I think that was the only race they covered. So the enthusiast was left with magazine reports. These were more complete than now - Motor and Autocar covered not only international racing but also major national races in addition to Autosport. Being a monthl;y, Motor Sport was not subject to the same deadline pressures as the weeklies so there was time to reflect and to find out what really happened and DSJ was the ideal man for the job. Looking back at the CD-ROM versions, the coverage is very patchy. If DSJ was there, a minor continental race might get a full report while a major race such as a World Sports Car Championship qualifier might get ignored or just have the results listed. On the other hand, a British club race meeting and the major hillclimbs might be fully covered if WB or someone else had been there, or someone they trusted had submitted a report. But that is what the then readership wanted - to be told about the international scene and to read about meetings they had attended or had missed because they took the kids to the seaside that day. They probably had a certain nostalgia for Brooklands and the prewar scene so they tolerated WB's coverage of VSCC racing and remeniscences of Brooklands, Donington etc.

Today we have saturation TV and newspaper coverage of 'effwun' but the rest of motor racing is ignored including Le Mans, Daytona and other sports car races. but this is what the modern motor racing fan wants. I'm sure many watch the GP on the TV and read with interest about some of the contraversial incidents they have seen. But, I suspect, many of these fans would never dream of putting on anorak and boots and going to watch a clubbie live.

I do wonder where, in 50 years' time, our successors will be able to find the detail of what really happened. Particularly in the case of things that the 'Official' Grand Prix reviews and publications have been ordered to, shall we say, sanitize.

#27 Simon Taylor

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 14:45

PS. Don't want to spoil anything for people who haven't got it or read it yet, but one thing about the Tony Brooks Lunch With... left me scratching my head and I'm wondering if anyone can shed some light: namely, why did TB leave Ferrari? Taylor describes what sounds like a pretty successful time at Ferrari, very close to a driver's WC, then suddenly for 60 he's in customer Coopers. (Yes, I know I could dig a book out, or go to wiki, but just asking on the off chance that someone here can save me the bother...)


Mr Tokyonagaremono, I'm happy to save you the bother, as you put it, of digging out a book out or, heaven forfend, resorting to wikipedia. But I'm surprised that you didn't find that Tony made it pretty clear in the interview in Motor Sport.

Read the section on page 108 that starts, middle column, "At the end of 1959 Tony intended to retire..." Having made his decision to leave Ferrari, and racing altogether, at the end of 1959 and set up his garage business, he was then, as he put it, "swayed by the prospect of a rear-engined Vanwall." Tony Vandervell worked very hard to persuade him, but then - as he also explains - Vandervell was a sick man and a saddened one, and the rear-engined Vanwall never happened. So rather against his better judgement ("I regret to this day, etc"), having decided to carry on racing in 1960, all he was left with were the year-old Yeoman Credit Coopers.

And because that year was so disappointing, and because he didn't want his career to end on such a low note, he accepted the 1961 offer from BRM. That, too, did not go as planned, and at the end of 1961 he really did retire. All this is set out in Tony's own words in my "Lunch With...." interview.

But if you do want to dig a book out, make sure it's Tony's own first-class autobiography Poetry in Motion, which I can't recommend too highly. Unlike so many so-called autobiographies, he wrote every word himself, and its depiction of what motor racing was really like in the 1950s, from club level right up to Formula 1 and World Championship Sports Cars, is simply wonderful.

But the Motor Sport feature should have answered your question. And I don't think you'll find wikipedia much help.

Edited by Simon Taylor, 31 March 2013 - 14:47.


#28 cdrewett

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 15:02

On Frankel, you're probably right about the second part, but his writing style reminds me of the Robert Glenton 'road tests' I remember reading in my mother's Daily Express as a teenager, laboured and portentious.


Well, I think Andrew Frankel deserves some defence. His writing style seems ok to me, certainly much better than the overblown portentious stuff that Setright used to write, mostly in self admiration, which people still praise. Whenever I have met Andrew, sometimes in passing, but more than once for in-depth Goodwood interviews, he has been a model of courtesy and patience.
And for hillclimb enthusiasts, his article in last month's MS about Trevor Willis and his championship winning car was a real treat, and should encourage more people to come and experience a great branch of the sport.
Chris

#29 PCC

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 15:08

All this is set out in Tony's own words in my "Lunch With...." interview.

Simon, while we have you on the line (so to speak), I want to tell you how much I enjoy your "Lunch with..." features. Some years back, after not having read Motor Sport for years, I picked up the copy that featured "Lunch with Frank Gardner" at a newsstand. Even if that had been the only piece in the magazine. I'd have signed up immediately. I've been a subscriber ever since, and have looked forward to "Lunch with..." every month. Thank you for a wonderful series!

#30 tokyonagaremono

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 15:39

Mr Tokyonagaremono, I'm happy to save you the bother, as you put it, of digging out a book out or, heaven forfend, resorting to wikipedia. But I'm surprised that you didn't find that Tony made it pretty clear in the interview in Motor Sport.

Read the section on page 108 that starts, middle column, "At the end of 1959 Tony intended to retire..." Having made his decision to leave Ferrari, and racing altogether, at the end of 1959 and set up his garage business, he was then, as he put it, "swayed by the prospect of a rear-engined Vanwall." Tony Vandervell worked very hard to persuade him, but then - as he also explains - Vandervell was a sick man and a saddened one, and the rear-engined Vanwall never happened. So rather against his better judgement ("I regret to this day, etc"), having decided to carry on racing in 1960, all he was left with were the year-old Yeoman Credit Coopers.

And because that year was so disappointing, and because he didn't want his career to end on such a low note, he accepted the 1961 offer from BRM. That, too, did not go as planned, and at the end of 1961 he really did retire. All this is set out in Tony's own words in my "Lunch With...." interview.

But if you do want to dig a book out, make sure it's Tony's own first-class autobiography Poetry in Motion, which I can't recommend too highly. Unlike so many so-called autobiographies, he wrote every word himself, and its depiction of what motor racing was really like in the 1950s, from club level right up to Formula 1 and World Championship Sports Cars, is simply wonderful.

But the Motor Sport feature should have answered your question. And I don't think you'll find wikipedia much help.



Hello Simon,

Wow, a response from the man himself! (unless there's identity theft going on...) Thank you.

Yes, I registered the bit about him intending to retire, but why, after what sounds like a more than decent year at Ferrari? OK, I get that he had an eye on the garage business, but, again, straight after just a single year with Ferrari? I suppose I should've asked the question from the other angle: why didn't Ferrari do all it could to keep him and persuade him to stay on? Even if not straight away, I'd have thought as soon as they got wind that he wasn't retiring after all, that he was talking to Yeoman Credit, they'd make him an offer to come back. I get what you're (he's) saying about wanting to go out on a high, etc, but he can't have wanted to retire that much; after all, Vandervell talked him round and he did end up going on for two more seasons. Were there things political going on at Ferrari, perhaps, in 60/61, with Hill and von Trips? Or was Tony a patriot, like Sir Stirl, and not really at home in Italy (can't imagine that to be the case, seems he enjoyed himself very much there..) It's still a bit of a puzzle tbh..
Also, did he ever go into dentistry? Having qualified, it'd seem a waste if not. And finally, the interview hints tantalizingly at a darker, political, side of Graham Hill at BRM - I would have liked to have heard a bit more on that, having never heard any negative stories about any scheming shenanigans involving G Hill before (his infamous short temper being a different matter).

But yes, I'll have to get hold of TB's autobiography. He's way before my time, but the beauty of your Lunch With... articles, surely the best thing to happen to MS (or any motorsport magazine) over the past decade or two, is that they grab our interest and inspire us to dig deeper, expand our horizons and travel to places and books far outside our comfort zones. So thank you for the articles, and thank you for this reply, it's much appreciated. Finally, (I'm sure you get suggestions all the time, but...) please do one with your colleague, Mr Roebuck, soon. I'm sure he'd be a fountain of interesting anecdotes. Or maybe he could write one with you as the subject? I caught him on Sky's Formula One Show last week and was waiting for Johnny Herbert to turn to him and ask what was the matter, or at least slap his cheeks and say 'cheer up, mate, it might never happen'. Rarely have I seen a more miserable looking demeanour on TV (was it having to sit with Ted Kravitz and Pinky? Sebastian's shafting of Mark?) - good writer though...

Edited by tokyonagaremono, 31 March 2013 - 16:59.


#31 Simon Taylor

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 16:35

Tony said that he was happier at Ferrari even than at Vanwall, where after all Stirling was always very much the No 1. And he loves Italians - after all, he married one in the shape of the delightful Pina. In return, the Italian mechanics adored him.

As for dentistry, he recounts in the book how Alfred Moss, Stirling's father, who was of course a dentist, performed an introduction for Tony to a high-powered Harley Street practice, but Tony decided he'd rather run his garage business. And as for the darker side of Graham Hill, you're right: the space allocated to my article didn't allow us to go into much detail on this, but Tony covers it very graphically in the book.

Edited by Simon Taylor, 31 March 2013 - 16:38.


#32 tokyonagaremono

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 17:01

Tony said that he was happier at Ferrari even than at Vanwall, where after all Stirling was always very much the No 1. And he loves Italians - after all, he married one in the shape of the delightful Pina. In return, the Italian mechanics adored him.

As for dentistry, he recounts in the book how Alfred Moss, Stirling's father, who was of course a dentist, performed an introduction for Tony to a high-powered Harley Street practice, but Tony decided he'd rather run his garage business. And as for the darker side of Graham Hill, you're right: the space allocated to my article didn't allow us to go into much detail on this, but Tony covers it very graphically in the book.



Simon, I'm off to Amazon to order the autobiography. Thank you.

#33 RTH

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 17:03

I thought it was the one magazine that did not need a revamp.

#34 elansprint72

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 20:35

I'm at a loss to see why this whole discussion is not being conducted here:

http://forum.motorsp...ums/history.12/

If it were possible to obtain a copy of Motor Sport without any contributions from Frankel I would subscribe tomorrow. Perhaps that is possible with on-line magazines; if not, then it should be. :smoking:



#35 elansprint72

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 21:51

:smoking: I'm at a loss to see why this whole discussion is not being conducted here:

http://forum.motorsp...ums/history.12/

If it were possible to obtain a copy of Motor Sport without any contributions from Frankel I would subscribe tomorrow. Perhaps that is possible with on-line magazines; if not, then it should be. :smoking:

:rolleyes:

Edited by elansprint72, 31 March 2013 - 21:52.


#36 john aston

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 04:20

Isn't that a bit like refusing to buy a TV because you cannot stand Strictly Come Dancing ? (A popular televison programme I understand m'lud)

#37 dwh43scale

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 07:19

Only read Lunch with and Richard Williams TF articles so far. Both very good. Usually skip the road tests unless relevant cars (they rarely are these days). As Mr Aston implies - the TV has an off button - the magazine has a "turn the page without reading" option. Will be renewing my subscription when the time comes ...

#38 RCH

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 08:31

On the subject of Tony Brooks and the 1960 season, I doubt that having been persuaded back to drive a Vanwall, which didn't happen, Ferrari would have been interested in giving him a drive no matter how good 1959 had been. Also I doubt that Tony's decision to stop and check for damage at Watkins Glen and thus, arguably, loose the championship would have gone down well.

Regarding Andrew Frankel, maybe not my favourite writer, but he must have committed some dreadful sin that I know nothing of to arouse so much animosity. Just ignore him if you don't like him.

#39 Stephen W

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 08:47

I ignore the bits that I don't like. I detest the habit of so many magazines of having "factoids" which are invariably bits from PRs! I did dicuss Frankel with one of the MS staff at Race Retro and the reply was that by having a road car section they get a significant number of manufacturers adverts which makes a huge difference to the profitability. I've yet to meet anyone who likes Frankel's writing style. Also interesting that those who have met him have found him less than courtious! I would suggest dumping him and letting Ed Foster do the road tests. Having the youngest staff member do more might bring in younger readers and Ed is an genuine enthusiast.


Totally agree with the above comments and I would add that dropping Frankel would also help in reducing the costs of producing the magazine. I did try reading one of his pieces when he first started writing for MS but gave up. Can't say I have completed reading any of his reports/articles since as I find his style tedious to say the least.

Motor Sport as a magazine has to change to keep attracting readers BUT it could do so without compromising its form. The old green cover stood out on the magazine shelves of WH Smith now it is lost in the dross of Ford and Porsche mags. As for the 'factoid approach' this was part of the old tradition of the magazine but they did appear in a more formal setting rather than splashed all over the place.

A former subscriber & avid reader.



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#40 tokyonagaremono

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 10:06

The more I think about it, the more baffled I am by the tiny space given over to book and DVD reviews - I really can't understand it. I'd've thought it'd be dirt cheap for one thing (especially if publishers send out review copies - and even if they don't now, perhaps they'd start doing it if a mag started writing proper in-depth reviews!) and has the advantage that it call all be done in the comfort of the journo's own home/office. Easy, very cheap space filler. As I mentioned already, the Sunday papers are full with book and film reviews and they're the most popular sections of the papers. More space devoted to reviews would, I'd imagine, attract more advertising too.

I can understand the move to cheaper paper, even if I don't like it, I can see it's an attempt, perhaps necessary, to cut costs. But this one is counter-intuitive. I can only guess that either a) for some reason nobody on the staff wants to do bigger and better reviews, or b) reviews have been rated as unpopular or unnecessary in the regular reader surveys they run. I find it hard to believe that either would be true, tbh...

Does anybody out there know the answer to this? Is it an industry-wide phenomenon, and if so, what's the reason/logic behind it?


PS. I'm also finding the anti-Frankel feelings being expressed here slightly OTT. Truth is, I hardly ever read his road car stuff, and I do think MS would be better off without it (or with fewer pages of it) and if it he moved to a mag like TG or Car where this kind of thing belongs, but the personal stuff? Reading some of the comments about his manners, etc, I don't think I'd ever want to meet the guy. I doubt he really is such an oaf all the time, so let's give the chap a break, eh? It's the editor who wants the road car stuff, clearly, and I doubt I'd read much of it whoever was writing it, so let's agree to ignore it (admittedly, while cursing the fact pages of MS have to be given over to it), and not shoot the messenger. Frankel isn't holding a gun to the editor's head...

PPS. On the subject of road car reviews, the new format includes a reprint, double-page spread, of a DSJ review/road test of the Lotus Elan back in the 60s. Very good, too, though I can't help thinking I almost certainly already have it somewhere on one of the Archive CDROMs... I think they're going to run a regular series of them, too, so it does show that road car reviews, in moderation, were a part of the mag's history going way back.


Edit for PS/PPS

Edited by tokyonagaremono, 01 April 2013 - 10:10.


#41 tokyonagaremono

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 10:13

On the subject of Tony Brooks and the 1960 season, I doubt that having been persuaded back to drive a Vanwall, which didn't happen, Ferrari would have been interested in giving him a drive no matter how good 1959 had been. Also I doubt that Tony's decision to stop and check for damage at Watkins Glen and thus, arguably, loose the championship would have gone down well.



That crossed my mind too. I hope the autobiography sheds more light on the episode, warts an' all...

#42 Philip Whiteman

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 10:37

For my two penny's worth, I have read Motor Sport on and off since the 1960s: I enjoyed the modern road car stuff of the Bill Boddy era, and I've enjoyed Andrew Frankel's writings of late on the same subject - as I did his description of driving the Porsche 917 and Alfa 158.

Never mind Motor Sport magazine: one thing that has gone off is the general tone of Nostalgia Forum postings, once so informative and gentlemanly, which have drifted progressively from abrupt, through rude to (all too often) downright offensive.

Nostalgia just ain't what it used to be...

#43 RTH

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 10:39

Perfectly reasonable for consumers to give feedback. One would hope the company would take notice and make a better product, in this as with everything else.

#44 David McKinney

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 11:35

This reference is clearly to Sebring, not Watkins Glen...

#45 bradbury west

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 12:35

I do not know Andrew Frankel other than when I read his stuff in his journo guise. However, on 4 occasions at various Revivals I have had the chance to chat to him when he was looking at the same car as I. It was just casual smalltalk between interested enthusiasts. I found him pleasant, courteous, knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and this towards an unknown casual potential anorak making demands on his time. There are those who also know how he helped to hold together MS, along with others of equally steadfast demeanours, through what were difficult times. I have found him amenable on the telephone too. I can only speak as I find.
Usual disclaimers
Roger Lund

edited for spelling letter omission

Edited by bradbury west, 01 April 2013 - 12:35.


#46 Simon Taylor

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 12:35

This reference is clearly to Sebring, not Watkins Glen...


Yes, David. In a ghastly and infuriating error - the sort of silliness I flatter myself that I don't usually perpetrate - in my "Lunch With....Tony Brooks" my fingers input Watkins Glen when my brain was saying Sebring. Unforgivable, and there will be a grovelling apology in Motor Sport's next issue. Tony asked to see the copy before it went to press, so we both read through it without picking it up. But it is entirely my doing, not remotely his. My heartfelt apologies to everyone. I am now standing in the corner, thoroughly ashamed of myself.

While grovelling, I should mention that in Poetry in Motion, which I have been lauding on here, the only thing that Tony didn't do himself was the excellent and very complete appendix of all his race results, which he delegated to the comprehensive historical knowledge and researches of one D. McKinney.

Edited by Simon Taylor, 01 April 2013 - 12:53.


#47 kayemod

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 12:46

I do not know Andrew Frankel other than when I read his stuff in his journo guise. However, on 4 occasions at various Revivals I have had the chance to chat to him when he was looking at the same car as I. It was just casual smalltalk between interested enthusiasts. I found him pleasant, courteous, knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and this towards an unknown casual potential anorak making demands on his time.


I've never met Andrew Frankel, and don't wish to impugn his character, but as I was the first to name him in this thread, I'd like to point out that the only things I'm unenthusiastic about with regard to MS content are his sub-William Court/LJKS writing style, and his opinions, but most of all his writing style. Also, I can't quite understand the comment attributed to someone from the magazine that his road car stuff helps to bring in necessary advertising, there's hardly any road car-related advertising in MS, was there ever?


#48 BRG

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 13:50

Regarding Andrew Frankel, maybe not my favourite writer, but he must have committed some dreadful sin that I know nothing of to arouse so much animosity. Just ignore him if you don't like him.

I agree. Why do some seem to have a visceral dislike of the guy? Personally, I find his road car reviews interesting and a good read and I like his honesty. H eis prepared to say that a particular car simply isn't good enough or has no proper rationale if that is what he thinks. Compared to the "buy me a good lunch and I will praise your heap of rubbish to the heavens" style of many motoring journalists, he is refreshing.

But if you don't like his reviews, just turn the page. I don't find the auction news pages of much interest - they are just advertising fodder as far as I can see - but I just pass over them. That way, you get to Doug Nye's page sooner!

And now I must nip out and get my copy afore the shops close.

#49 john winfield

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 13:55

I've never met Andrew Frankel, and don't wish to impugn his character, but as I was the first to name him in this thread, I'd like to point out that the only things I'm unenthusiastic about with regard to MS content are his sub-William Court/LJKS writing style, and his opinions, but most of all his writing style. Also, I can't quite understand the comment attributed to someone from the magazine that his road car stuff helps to bring in necessary advertising, there's hardly any road car-related advertising in MS, was there ever?


Yes, there was Rob. I'm working through post 1960 Motor Sports preparing packs of articles by topic. The 1960s magazines, as well as carrying adverts for sportier cars (Morgans, Austin Healeys, MGBs, Jaguars, Alfas etc.), also contain plenty for more everyday makes (VW, Ford, Vauxhall etc.). All these seemed to be covered too in either Road Tests or 'Road Impressions'.


#50 D-Type

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 13:57

Coming back to the magazine: I was not particularly impressed by the cartoon Achille Varzi life story. Not because of the cartoon format, which is justified by the lack of available photos, but by what appeared to be a certain lack of deep research. Without checking, as I recall, some threads on here contradict the tale as told. And some of the cars look 'a little wrong'.