Gunners Garage

Fun With Old Car Magazines

One of my first retirement projects is to sort out and organize my car magazines. Over the years I have collected thousands of publications from classic issues of Speed Age to the lastest Old Cars Weekly. Years ago I had nice book cases built by a friend to store my library, but then things slowly got out of hand. I found myself stuffing magazines in file drawers and cabinets. I have plastic bags and canvas bags stuffed with periodicals. I have cardboard boxes full of magazines that publishers handed out at the last three SEMA Shows. I have copies of Auto Trim and Restyling News, Modern Tire Dealer,Undercar Digest, Car Life, DUB, etc. I have just about anything you could imagine in car magazines.

Other folks say “throw them out” or “take them to the pulp factory,” but I have been a car magazine lover since I hid Hot Rod in my math text book and read it in Miss Whitney’s eighth-grade home room. If old Miss Whitney didn’t get my HRM, the pulp factory won’t either. 

Now that I’m working for myself, I’m trying to get my magazines oranized into 3-drawer plastic storage units that I stack on wire shelves. So far I have filled about 60 of these on seven wire shelves and I figure I might be 20 percent done at best. The magazines will be stored in my car building. They’ll be a bit cold, but I don’t think that will hurt them. A few bugs will get in the plastic drawers, but the alternative was stacks of magazines all over the house, and I don’t think that was better.

The fun thing about this project is re-reading all those great old stories from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. The sad thing is looking at the original prices of those cars and thinking how much I could make today if I could buy the same cars for those factory prices. Wow!

My magazines may not stay mint, but at least I’ll be using them and enjoying them again.


One thought on “Fun With Old Car Magazines

  1. John Griffith


    Haven’t written in to your blog for awhile. Hope you’re enjoying your "retirement" but am glad to see you’re sticking around.

    Reading about your magazine collection, I have to write in to say I can’t throw away any of my magazines either, although I have at times thrown or given some away when they just get to be too many. However, I have large plastic tubs and numerous brown grocery bags full of magazines down in my cellar as well. I have the first issue of Motor Trend I bought at age 11 in 1961. I saved a lot of Mechanix Illustrated with Uncle Tom McCahill – who I thought was terrific – some from the mid 50’s. Goodness knows what else is down there. My recent magazines are just piled up here and there as I need to get more tubs for storage. I keep telling myself that I’ll have a lot of re-reading to do when I retire, but my wife teases me that we’ll probably end up using them to keep warm, what with the price of fuel oil.

    I guess all of us car guys are the same. If it has to do with cars, we just can’t throw it away !


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