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Autocar digitised archives


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#1 terry mcgrath

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 00:40

Can anyone help with regard to the digitised Autocar archives noting that also Autosport and Motor coming soon . How do you actually join and how do you access the digitised magazines? Terry

 

The Motoring Archive

 

 

https://www.themotor...ampaign=archive



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#2 jtremlett

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 06:20

Surely you click the red start button in your link, fill in your details, pay your £7.99 for the first month (or £4.99 for C&SC) and get sent a code so you can log in.  Or are you saying that doesn't work?  Can you clarify.



#3 Rupertlt1

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 06:54

I've left — the search doesn't work and the system constantly asks you to sign up when you are already a member. There are gaps in the coverage. Disappointing.

 

RGDS RLT



#4 jimturner

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 07:58

It is a very good resource.

 

I have had none of the issues outlined below.

Once registered, I have stayed logged in each time I return. I have never been asked to ‘sign up’.

The Search function works fine - as with all such functions, you need to work around its few idiosyncrasies.

 

As for coverage, yes - there are a few gaps - 1938 for instance - but this is not a ‘deal breaker’ for the serious researcher.

they have clearly digitised LAT’s collection of Autocar bound volume - as reference numbers for Autocar’s photo archive can be seen marked on the pages.

 

I've left — the search doesn't work and the system constantly asks you to sign up when you are already a member. There are gaps in the coverage. Disappointing.

 

RGDS RLT

 



#5 Rupertlt1

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 08:08

It is a good resource — that is why it is disappointing. I've sent feedback a number of times — no response whatsoever.

Can you find anything on Edenvale?

https://forums.autos...the-full-story/

 

What browser are you using?

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 02 August 2022 - 08:12.


#6 Roger Clark

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 09:09

I find it easy to subscribe and use with Safari on Mac and iPad.  It is sometimes very slow and I wish I could work out issues within a year are presented.  Perhaps I am missing something.

 

My biggest problem is that having had a monthly subscription and later upgraded to annual, I find they are still taking monthly payments. They have not replied to my messages.



#7 timjim

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 09:24

It is a truly wonderful archive.

 

Yes - a bit difficult to use at times, but the pre-war issues of Autocar are ‘pure gold dust’

My interest is strictly pre-war - I already have Motor Sport (from their CDs), now Autocar, and, hopefully soon, per their promise, Motor.

I have had no issues with logging in,

 

Tim



#8 RAP

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 12:24

For me too many issues are missing, eg second half of 1948 as well as 1938 as mentioned and odd copies in other years.  Surely they have these ??

Some issues are also wrongly dated.

 

Very slow compared with other archives like l'Auto and Automobile Revue.

 

I find the search useless but it must be me from what jimturner says eg how do you search for Bira in 1939?



#9 Rupertlt1

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 12:32

Indexing should be YYYY/MM/DD

 

RGDS RLT



#10 rudi

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Posted 02 August 2022 - 13:57

Very interesting archive.

Unfortunately often after going through the numerous publicity pages at the beginning of each issue I lost the connection and my pc went into trouble.

The support tried to help but could only give me my money back.



#11 terry mcgrath

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Posted 03 August 2022 - 00:55

the reason for the question I wasn't sure goiing ahead paying the money was for a subscription to the new magazines or to the archive? terry



#12 Roger Clark

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Posted 09 August 2022 - 13:12

Has anybody managed to contact the administrators of the archive?  I used the Contact Us form on the website which generates an email as I expected.  The email was returned undeliverable.



#13 a_tifoosi

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Posted 14 September 2022 - 09:39

Apparently the Autocar archive is no longer available: https://www.themotoringarchive.com/

 

The feedback from Jim Holder, editorial director of Haymarket, can be found here.


Edited by a_tifoosi, 14 September 2022 - 09:43.


#14 Allen Brown

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Posted 14 September 2022 - 12:36

It wasn't a great implementation but the scans themselves were very good so if they can improve the interface, it should be a very valuable archive. 



#15 Doug Nye

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Posted 14 September 2022 - 12:44

Oh my - does this mean I should now free up some 40-feet of shelf space?    :cry:

 

DCN



#16 Vitesse2

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Posted 14 September 2022 - 13:15

It wasn't a great implementation but the scans themselves were very good so if they can improve the interface, it should be a very valuable archive. 

And fill in the gaps. The absence of the whole of 1938 has been mentioned but there were quite a lot of other issues missing from other years too.

 

Probably worth mentioning here that the magnificently appointed library of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London has complete runs of both Autocar and Motor up to (IIRC) 1949. All in excellent condition. The staff were very helpful and welcoming when I spent three days researching there some years ago. No charge, even to non-members, although by appointment only.

 

https://www.imeche.o...ive/members-hub



#17 RAP

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Posted 14 September 2022 - 15:40

Sadly this was an example of how NOT to produce a digital archive. Too many gaps, slow to operate, poor search, no facility to select & print.

To be frank. whoever implemented seems to be an amateur who had never tried to use a digital archive; there are so many good ones to emulate that there is little excuse.



#18 Unsorted

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Posted 16 September 2022 - 09:39

If it helps anyone, I bought Graham Robson's Autocar, Motor and Autosport magazine collection from his sons. Most are bound in six month blocks. Was also supplied with a two to three foot pile of A4 which was his record of the contents of every issue. This has been scanned in and OCR'd. The upshot, is that a PDF folder search can find much info and if a specific date or date range is known the magazines are there to be looked at. Autocar and Motor from 1948 onwards. Autosport is some fifties and sixties, seventies and some eighties.

 

The above notwithstanding, there will be a charge to look up info and am happy for suggestions from here as to what that should be. I am keen for the resource to be used and this is not a money making exercise. The reason for a charge, is that I have done so much research for free for people over the years and mostly never received a thank you message, telephone call, email or letter in return let alone some folding. Makes me wonder sometimes why I bothered.

 

Anyway. If anything is needed by all means DM me.



#19 Charlieman

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Posted 16 September 2022 - 10:49

Sadly this was an example of how NOT to produce a digital archive. Too many gaps, slow to operate, poor search, no facility to select & print.

To be frank. whoever implemented seems to be an amateur who had never tried to use a digital archive; there are so many good ones to emulate that there is little excuse.

In the 1990s, whilst the internet was finding its feet, I looked after some library systems for accessing periodical archives on CD. CD-ROMs were designed for delivering data to one person so multi-user access was tricky. There were a wide range of English language publications -- UK national newspapers, MLA bibliography, UK/USA sci/eng institution proceedings. A couple of proprietary content delivery engines were used by archive providers, so once I figured out the engine for one publication a couple more would quickly follow. Search was clunky because you had to apply Boolean logic, which library readers usually comprehended immediately or never.

 

Given how many print archives have been successfully scanned for internet access, there is no logic to inventing a new content delivery engine. Just find one which serves up similar content at the scale which you require, which does it really well, then license it. Spend more of your money on cleaning up the scanned data.



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#20 Roger Clark

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Posted 25 April 2023 - 12:09

Does anybody have news of the digital archive?



#21 Vitesse2

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Posted 11 July 2023 - 10:55

This just turned up in my spam inbox, from noreply@email.autocar.co.uk, sent to the email address I signed up with to the archive:

 

 

Dear Valued Customer,

We are excited to announce the return of the Autocar Archive. By way of thanking you for your patience during our behind-the-scenes work to create a vastly improved archive, we would like to offer you free access to our new platform until 9th August.

We are delighted to have partnered with best-in-class digital publishing services platform Exact Editions to deliver immediate and fully-searchable access to Autocar’s full archive, dating back to 1895. This can now be accessed across web, iOS and Android devices so you can explore over 6000 archived issues.

To enhance your browsing experience, we have organised the archive into stacks of decades and years, making navigation more intuitive. The search function allows you to instantly find articles referencing specific keywords, providing you with a wealth of automotive knowledge at your fingertips. Additionally, you can download issues for offline reading using the Exactly app*.

We believe that the new archive offers an incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in Autocar's 127-year history, presenting its extraordinary riches in an easy-to-use format.

Don't miss out on this exclusive offer! Start exploring the Autocar Archive today and rediscover automotive excellence.

Register here to access the full archive click here.[personalised link removed - when you click on it, your email is auto-filled]

We would really value your feedback when using the archive. Whilst we are very proud of the new archive there will inevitably be some missing or corrupt scans from digitising so many pages so we would really appreciate you emailing us at autocar.archive@haymarket.com with any observations and feedback.

We hope you enjoy delving even deeper into Autocar’s history and if you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

:)



#22 GLaird

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Posted 11 July 2023 - 19:41

Slightly off topic, but Autosport would be of more interest to me, any sign of it being made available?



#23 john aston

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Posted 12 July 2023 - 06:07

Understood , but Autocar's coverage of the sport was extensive in the Sixties when I started reading it. The '67  Nurburgring 1000k report  was 2000 +words and included full class results , including FLs. F1 , of course was covered  extensively , with not only GP reports , but page after page of tech analysis of  innovations like the H16 and DFV stuff, and  F2 also well reported, 


Edited by john aston, 12 July 2023 - 06:07.


#24 Vitesse2

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Posted 12 July 2023 - 06:35

Having now had a chance to play with it, it is indeed 'vastly improved'. The previously noted file name and display problems have been fixed, although for some reason issues are displayed in reverse chronological order, December to January. Still a few missing issues from years I'm researching, but the previously missing 1938 is now there in its entirety.

 

Interface is much better, pages load quicker and now with a text search facility which can - in theory - be narrowed down to a particular year or issue. There is also an OCR scan of each page - just scroll down to see it. However, it suffers from the usual problems of OCR scans of older small print text on less than pure white paper, in that much of it was simply unreadable by machine, so has come out as gibberish. So the search may not come up with everything - or even anything!



#25 Roger Clark

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Posted 12 July 2023 - 06:46

I was a subscriber but I haven’t received an email. I have checked spam.   Could someone post a link or email address so that I can follow it up?



#26 Vitesse2

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Posted 12 July 2023 - 07:31

I was a subscriber but I haven’t received an email. I have checked spam.   Could someone post a link or email address so that I can follow it up?

The only links I have are personalised to my email address, so the one in the email I received - autocar.archive@haymarket.com - seems to be the most obvious possibility. The archive is hosted on Exact Editions - support@exacteditions.com - but if Haymarket haven't notified them that you're eligible for a free month then that's probably not all that helpful.



#27 jimturner

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Posted 12 July 2023 - 14:44

TNF members who are not one of the ‘favoured few’, who have been sent a link, can sign up for a subscription here :-

https://shop.exacted....com/gb/autocar

 

As has already been noted, many of the problems with the previous iteration of the Autocar Archive do seem to have been fixed.



#28 a_tifoosi

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Posted 12 July 2023 - 18:07

I was a subscriber but I haven’t received an email. I have checked spam.   Could someone post a link or email address so that I can follow it up?

 

Same here. It seems that we need to re-subscribe again with no free trial.



#29 nexfast

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Posted 12 July 2023 - 20:58

Slightly off topic, but Autosport would be of more interest to me, any sign of it being made available?

 I also would be interested to know whether the announcement of the incoming digitalization of Autosport  (2021? 2022?) will ever become reality. Concerning Autocar I was one of the lucky ones to receive the link and can confirm that without it you cannot access the scans. Agree the interface has improved considerably and navigation is easier, although with the quirk mentioned by Vitesse that the the years are presented in reverse chronological order.



#30 Vitesse2

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Posted 12 July 2023 - 21:24

The original project wasn't - AFAIK - authorised by Haymarket, who still own Autocar, Classic & Sports Car and the residual copyrights of Motor and who presumably threatened legal action when the digital versions were first put on line and (I guess) came to some sort of financial settlement to take the project over, so it will be interesting to see if the previously announced scans of Motor and C&SC also appear in due course.

 

However, like this forum, Autosport magazine is now owned - along with, presumably, copyright in all issues back to 1950 - by Motorsport Network, so the announcement that Autosport would also be available almost certainly means it will not be digitised as part of this project. Whether Motorsport Network will ever do it is another question.



#31 jimturner

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Posted 13 July 2023 - 09:07

The original project wasn't - AFAIK - authorised by Haymarket, who still own Autocar, Classic & Sports Car and the residual copyrights of Motor and who presumably threatened legal action when the digital versions were first put on line and (I guess) came to some sort of financial settlement to take the project over,

This is simply incorrect.

 

The copies of Autocar which were used to create the scans both on the original motorracingarchive, and on the newly released site, are Haymarket’s own set of bound copies, which used to be held at LAT, but no doubt are with Haymarket now, after the MSN sale.

The copies are clearly marked with the negative numbers of many of the Autocar photographic images.

I consulted these volumes when I visited LAT some 15 years ago.

 

See the May 13th 1938 issue, page 849 for an example of this.

 

So the suggestion that the original project was ‘not authorised by Haymarket’ is clearly false.

If this were the case how would motorracingarchive have obtained these bound volumes to scan?

 

This cross referencing is of course very useful if you are looking to purchase Autocar images from Motorsport Images.



#32 Roger Clark

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Posted 13 July 2023 - 09:23

I had an annual subscription at the time the old service was suspended.  I was told there would be a pro-rata rebate but didn't receive it.  I've written to the email V2 quoted with a copy to the Support team from last year, no reply yet.  It's early days on that.  

 

It seems tha the subscription price has increased by about 75%; is that correct?  It seems that Archive access is bundled with a magazine subscription.


Edited by Roger Clark, 13 July 2023 - 09:27.


#33 Roger Clark

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Posted 13 July 2023 - 09:57

Since posting the above I have received an email giving me extended access to the new service so that issue is resolved.



#34 Vitesse2

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Posted 13 July 2023 - 09:57

This is simply incorrect.

 

The copies of Autocar which were used to create the scans both on the original motorracingarchive, and on the newly released site, are Haymarket’s own set of bound copies, which used to be held at LAT, but no doubt are with Haymarket now, after the MSN sale.

The copies are clearly marked with the negative numbers of many of the Autocar photographic images.

I consulted these volumes when I visited LAT some 15 years ago.

 

See the May 13th 1938 issue, page 849 for an example of this.

 

So the suggestion that the original project was ‘not authorised by Haymarket’ is clearly false.

If this were the case how would motorracingarchive have obtained these bound volumes to scan?

 

This cross referencing is of course very useful if you are looking to purchase Autocar images from Motorsport Images.

No point in arguing about it, but it may be the case that at the time they were scanned the magazines were in the possession/care of LAT, which, like Autosport, is now owned by Motorsport Network, who may have assumed the magazines were theirs to do with as they pleased. However, it is surely beyond dispute that the copyright of Autocar is owned by Haymarket.



#35 JimMcneath

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Posted 13 July 2023 - 11:04

What a great resource!

 

Thanks for sharing.



#36 Roger Clark

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Posted 14 July 2023 - 07:15

The new platform and interface are very impressive. 



#37 Allen Brown

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Posted 14 July 2023 - 08:22

I agree that the new website is most impressive.  Firstly, it is very quick, which is essential when you are searching for information.  The OCR has worked pretty well as a search for "Postlethwaite honeycomb" threw up all the expected articles about the Wolf WR7, the Fittipaldi F8 and the Ferrari 126C2. However, I did see it return "The cir was not totally reliabl6 as Jodv Scheckter's Ferrari" so it will benefit in due course from a bit of context-aware AI to recognise that "reliabl6" must be "reliable" and "Jodv" must be "Jody".  It is mainly photo captions (in smaller italicised type) that it is struggling with, so the main articles should be fine, especially if you are aiming for spmething in a heading.  
 
Search would be even better if it was possible to specify a date range.  I tried to find early mentions of alumnium honeycomb but was offered results from 1902.  Overall, it's an excellent resource.  



#38 nexfast

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Posted 09 August 2023 - 20:55

Since my courtesy subscription got to an end, I plunged and subscribed Autocar in order to keep the access to the archive (yes, you have to buy the magazine to reach the archives). The process could be easier, seems it was mainly conceived for those who use an app in a cell phone (I prefer my laptop), but in the end after fiddling a little bit I got there. If you have the financial means to buy it, it is worthwhile as you have access to a minefield of information. I wish Autosport would take the same route and scan its issues. 



#39 Roger Clark

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Posted 10 August 2023 - 07:23

 
Search would be even better if it was possible to specify a date range.  I tried to find early mentions of alumnium honeycomb but was offered results from 1902.  Overall, it's an excellent resource.  

If you open a decade, a year or en edition it will only search that subset.  A search for honeycomb in the 70s returned 110 matches.

 

I've spent many happy hours recently reading articles by Harry Mundy when he was technical editor.  Incredibly impressive.



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#40 Doug Nye

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Posted 10 August 2023 - 15:51

Harry was indeed The Best...  He beat waffly, often pretentious, posturing old 'Pom' of 'The Motor' into a cocked hat.

 

In 1955 he had identified the cockpit area of Mercedes's 300SLR as a weak point in the spaceframe chassis structure.  He told me once that the Sunday after the Le Mans disaster 'Pom' met him in the paddock there and remarked "Most percipient of you my dear..." - typical 'Pom' - "...to recognise that chassis design shortcoming - that's where 'Levegh's car broke apart...".  Grim but in some ways true.  Mind you, it would have taken a sturdy frame indeed to resist the load of impacting belly first at such high speed against the edge of that bank top.

 

I have always considered that if one combines Harry's role in BRM, Coventry Climax and Jaguar engine design with his accomplished, albeit brief, tenure as Technical Editor of 'The Autocar', he is surely a strong candidate for having been the most significant 'motoring journalist' of all time.  

 

Most of us - in truth - have been just a free-loading irrelevance, getting away with fulfilling a personal enthusiasm.

 

Something I always highly recommend...     :smoking:

 

DCN


Edited by Doug Nye, 10 August 2023 - 16:10.


#41 Odseybod

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Posted 10 August 2023 - 22:39

I may have misheard/misunderstood (not unknown) but was there not a certain amount of huffiness at Browns Lane about some of the confidences Harry Mundy passed on to his new magazine chums, and thence to their readership? 

 

I do think The Autocar archive is a great resource, despite the amount of time it gobbles up (the penalty of not having to wait a week to find 'what happened next'). I'm currently ploughing through the mid-40s issues, with all the immediate post-WW2 hopes/ambitions/disappointments taking shape. Also some attitudes that surprisingly still resonate, such as this 1945 Editorial about The Bicyclist 

 

[![Bicyclists.jpg](https://i.postimg.cc.../Bicyclists.jpg)](https://postimg.cc/R6JHLv76)

 

 

[Wasn't me, guv - it was them wot said it]


Edited by Odseybod, 10 August 2023 - 22:42.


#42 Vitesse2

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Posted 11 August 2023 - 08:52

That cycling stuff goes to way back before the war! Suffice it to say that the CTC were - unbelievably - against the introduction of rear lights for bicycles. They weren't even all that keen on rear reflectors. The correspondence pages are filled with arguments for and against, as well as the usual stuff about cycles needing registration plates ...

 

I think it was only the blackout and the consequent vast increase in road accidents in late 1939 that changed their minds - albeit reluctantly.



#43 Roger Clark

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Posted 11 August 2023 - 13:00

In February 1959, Motor Sport published one of DSJ's biennial articles on the Trend of Racing Car Design. In it, he was quite disparaging about Coventry Climax engines. This drew a letter from Harry Mundy, published in May with further comments from DSJ. Part of the debate concerned a plate inserted between head and block on some versions of the engine. This was wrongly reported by Des Hammill in Coventry Climax Racing Engines as concerning the 2.7-litre engines which came several years later.

#44 john aston

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Posted 12 August 2023 - 06:18

I wonder if they will do the same with Motor Archives . For younger readers , The Motor ( later,  just Motor ) was established in c.1903 and  was Autocar's weekly rival . Autocar took them over in the late 80s , from memory and became Autocar and Motor before reverting to just Autocar. 

 

I often read both in the late 60s and 70s . Motor was a little bit racier , a bit more dressed down than  Autocar, which then  was very stuffy and  had an unhealthily close relationship with British manufacturers. Motor had some excellent journalists including  Roger Bell, a great racer as well as writer. 



#45 Roger Clark

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Posted 12 August 2023 - 09:04

There are a few copies of The Motor in the Autocar archive, see 1956 for example. I don’t know why. 



#46 Odseybod

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Posted 02 December 2023 - 19:14

A dangerous discovery but Haymarket are currently offering a useful Christmas discount on Autocar subscriptions, which includes unlimited access to the Archive - a quarterly sub (13 issues) in digital form, for example, is down from £39.99 to £29.99, after which renewals go back to the normal price. Similar savings if you want to receive the printed version of the mag. Details at https://www.autocar....e-subscriptions

 

No, I'm not on commission.