Hooniverse Asks- Would You Read a Single Marque Magazine?

Print Is Dead

When you’re wedged into those impossibly uncomfortable and socially awkward commercial aircraft seats, do you ever attempt to escape into the pages of the Airline magazine in the seat pocket ahead of you? Even though they are filled with stories about restaurants, civic events, and nemonic tricks to help frequent travelers remember their children’s names, all of the articles are packaged with the veneer of whatever airline has commissioned their publication. 

You may not even be aware, but a number of car brands do the same thing. Whether in electronic form or an actual physical magazine made out of thin sheets of dead trees splashed full of edgy four-color photography, you can read about all kinds of things, all from the Audi point of view. Or Mercedes, BMW, or maybe Hyundai now that they want to be all fancy and whatnot. But regardless of marque, would this be something you would want to receive and read?

Sadly, I’ve almost entirely given up on the print editions of the buff books – Road & Track, Car and Driver, and their ilk. They used to be staples at my house and I still have a huge collection of back issues keeping company in the garage. But Iam far less interested the paper form today, and when the subject is a single marque, well, that’s even less a thrill. What about you, would you subscribe to, and potentially read with regularity a single marque magazine, especially a print edition?  

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54 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- Would You Read a Single Marque Magazine?”

  1. dukeisduke Avatar


    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      Although years ago (in the early '80s) I did buy a few issues of Hot VWs & Porsches.

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        Pretty much what I came here to say. I subscribed to Dune Buggies & Hot VWs for about five years.
        <img src="http://i.ebayimg.com/t/JUNE-1989-DUNE-BUGGIES-AND-HOT-VWS-vintage-volkswagen-magazine-/00/s/MTYwMFgxMjA2/$%28KGrHqN,!gsF!pBL2GMKBQdq8spFww~~60_35.JPG">
        EDIT: Of course, that's an independent publication, not manufacturer sponsored, so it might not be in the spirit of the question posed.

        1. JayP2112 Avatar

          I think this gets a pass.

  2. IronBallsMcG Avatar

    I actually read a couple, but they're not published by the marques themselves. (JP and BMW ON)

  3. LTDScott Avatar

    I already do. My wife got suckered into buying a magazine subscription from our neighbor's kids so I now get Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords. I pretty much just skim through it because much of their content is for newer Mustangs that I don't have much interest in.

  4. muthalovin Avatar

    I remember buying a 911 magazine in my teens, though I cannot remember the name.
    As of today, there is no marque that I am that interested in. That, plus the amazing amount of information on the webz, there really isn't any point.

  5. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

    Only in waiting room for dentist or doctor.

  6. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

    We do have Hooniverse so why read magazines?

  7. HoondavanDude Avatar

    I was a BMWCCA member for a few years post-E30 ownership mainly because I liked reading their Roundel magazine. The Monthly mag had/has some great columns and interesting personalities. I'd say the general consensus of many writers/readers was that BMWs have grown (literally) to be too heavy, complex, expensive, and poorly engineered. BMW owners/fans I could actually relate to.
    Unfortunately, the rest of the publication was filled with reviews (puff pieces) toting the newest latest greatest iteration of an ugly expensive car or SUV that goes very fast until it self-destructs out of warranty.

    1. M44Power Avatar

      I am getting ready to non-renew my BMW CCA membership (and I have a 15 year member pin!). I live in podunkville with no local chapter, so the magazine is my only link to the CCA. Worse, they have destroyed the club magazine. The columnists that you might remember liking are gone or occasional-only, they refuse to acknowledge that any marque other than BMW can produce a decent car (they still refer to Hyundais as cheap econoboxes), letters written by the nouveau riche describing how other drivers hate them for driving a 528i, and they even have a non-automotive related crossword puzzle. It really reads more like a free publication from BMW Financial Services written for new lessees than a real club magazine.
      I have subscribed to Bimmer magazine, which is more like what Roundel used to be. Lots of tech column space for people that enjoy wrenching on cars, honest assessments of flaws and goodness in the new cars, and a mix of coverage on vintage/modern BMWs. Highly recommend it if you are still interested in the topic.

      1. GregKachadurian Avatar

        I still have my membership for the discounts I get on parts, but I agree that the magazine isn't as awesome as I thought it would be. I can still enjoy a few articles in most issues, but for the most part it's not worth it to me. But the classifieds are fun sometimes, and if I was ever looking for a used BMW that (probably) wasn't run into the ground I'd go there.

        1. M44Power Avatar

          Outside of Penske Parts (online), I've not been able to take advantage of the parts discount. It is just so much cheaper elsewhere. But yes, the classifieds can be fun (in both dream shopping and playing "find the wacko"). Why shouldn't a 200K mile E36 with an automatic be worth $15K? 🙂

      2. HoondavanDude Avatar

        The fact that the membership cost has increased so much in the last few years also played a factor. The discounts on parts & other things was occationally helpful. I'll admit I didn't use the 20% of at Brooks Brothers too often.
        I'll check out Bimmer magazine. If you're not already subscribing to Hemmings Sports & Exotics I strongly suggest you take a look.

        1. M44Power Avatar

          Hemmings Sport & Exotic is probably the best car magazine ever printed. It is also the only car magazine I keep after reading.

  8. JayP2112 Avatar

    Hot Rod Mag- pretty much SBC Monthly.
    I used to get AUDI magazine and was about 10% Audi content, 90% lifestyle, 100% boring.
    Edit: The AUDI mag I got was from Audi USA. There is a separate AUDI Magazine from the UK. They were OK. Didn't smell as good as the ones from Audi US.

  9. Maymar Avatar

    I might pick up the odd issue, and I've sort of read a handful of manufacturer published rags. Other than that, it'd have to be a pretty big marque like British Leyland to have enough variety.

  10. 1slowvw Avatar

    Guilty, as the name indicates I'm a bit of a VW enthusiast. As such I did have a subscription to a particular performance oriented VW magazine.
    After a couple years though I found it too repetitive and cyclical. The same writers writing about the same cars that often have the same modifications just became a bit much for me to handle.

    1. JayP2112 Avatar

      Speak for yourself- I can't get enough SoCal style!

      1. 1slowvw Avatar

        I shamefully admit that all my ventures have been water cooled. Although my current mk1 16vt project is almost old enough not to need water.
        I've occasionally picked up the odd aircooled mag. I don't consider myself a real VW guy yet as I haven't had a bug or bus. I must admit I'd do dirty things for a squareback to call my own.

        1. JayP2112 Avatar

          I've had both and the aircooled cars are calling me again.
          Calling me dirty words…

  11. P161911 Avatar

    Many years ago I think I had a subscription to Corvette Fever, this was when my daily driver was a 77 Corvette. I was known to buy a copy of Bimmer magazine from time to time when I owned or was looking to own BMWs. I think I have even picked up a copy of the Ferrari magazine (Forza?) if it happened to have an article about the 308GT4.

    1. JayP2112 Avatar

      Corvette Fever?
      I can't imagine a better name for a 'vette mag.

      1. P161911 Avatar

        Still around: http://www.corvettefever.com/
        I had a subscription for a year or two in the early 1990s.

  12. Al Navarr Avatar
    Al Navarr

    I get the Acura and the BMW manufacturer pubs and the Acura one is unreadable while the BMW one is not.
    I also get Roundel, which is single marque…comes with BMW club membership. Fairly readable.
    I have dabbled in Forza and Excellence, when those marques interested me — and of course Low Flying, the Lotus UK club mag. That I would read cover to cover.

  13. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    <img src="http://www.kawasaki.com/ImagesMain/ROK/accelerate_issue4-09.jpg"&gt;
    Kawasaki's Accelerate owners' magazine is one of the better one-marque house organs. It includes a real variety of topics that might actually be interesting to knowledgeable riders; it's not just an insultingly simplistic printed infomercial.

  14. Arco777 Avatar

    I would read a Ford-centered magazine. But it would have to be one that embraced all Fords, not just the latest shiniest thing. From odd 80s models (Ford EXP, Taurus SHO) to Model T technical aspects, nifty 50s optional equipment, long term reliability reports on 90s models. Military and special service vehicles. Stories and "readers rides" of collectors who aren't working on $50,000 budgets. ZERO ads for weathertech mats, discount tires or male enhancement pills.

  15. danleym Avatar

    I don't have a real passionate interest in any manufacturer other than AMC. As far as I know they never put out a magazine, but even if they did it's been 26 years since the last copy would have been out.

  16. pj134 Avatar

    Yeah, I have no true brand loyalty so it would be a little weird if I decided to subscribe to a one brand magazine.

  17. Maxichamp Avatar

    I used to get Acura and BMW magazines. Let's just say they are more of a lifestyle magazine format. Trips to exotic lands and the virtues of having the dealer work on your car.

  18. Irishzombieman☆ Avatar

    Having worked in advertising for a while, I've got this sort of mental allergy to being marketed to. When I read a normal magazine, I put a lot of brain energy into ignoring the advertisements.
    So if the entire magazine was basically one giant ad, I'd ignore the whole thing.
    Sounds like the print version of an infomercial. No, I wouldn't read it. Might look at the pics.

    1. ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
      ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

      You would not like the Geo one I have then, more the reason for the karma of the universe to make you my HSNC recipient next time around!

      1. Irishzombieman☆ Avatar

        NO! WAIT!
        If it's old and interesting, it's not an advert anymore!

    2. HoondavanDude Avatar

      My wife gave me a subscription to Maxim last year…99% advertisements, 1% lingerie/bathing suit photos

  19. mallthus Avatar

    I already do. Multiple times over.
    <img src="http://www.coverbrowser.com/image/bestselling-magazines-2008/539-5.jpg&quot; width="200/"><img src="http://image.superchevy.com/f/toc/sucp_1010_thismonth/34315953/sucp_1010_01_z+october_2010+issue_of_super_chevy_magazine.jpg&quot; width="200/"><img src="http://image.chevyhiperformance.com/f/17192634/0903chp_07_z top_10_chevy_street_machines 2008_january_cover_of_chevy_high_performance_magazine.jpg" width="200/">

    1. mallthus Avatar

      But, and here's the thing…a single marque magazine devoted to what the brand's doing now (since we have other news conduits) doesn't sound very appealing. I'm interested in how I can make what I have better and more capable. For me, that means engine and suspension mods mostly.

  20. mallthus Avatar

    And I really used to dig this one (back in the pre-Internet days)…
    <img src="http://www.saabhistory.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/soundings.jpg&quot; width=600>

  21. ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
    ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

    I am subscribed to one but it's an enthusiast one instead of put out by the manufacturer. There is a lot about how great the current models are, but some info that is critical in times about the direction. The best part though is the articles about the old models and reports from various car shows and drives around the world. That's why I keep getting it.
    I used to read more, even manufacturer published ones, but the marques are not around anymore, so that's why I am down to one. (Let's see, no more FSO, BMC, GEO, or SAAB, what's left…) And I've seen a few issues of the official one, it was pretty revolting actually, so many trophy wives going on trips with their wealthy husbands involving shopping!

    1. ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
      ˏ♂ˊ mzs zsm msz esq

      I swear there was a photo in each one of a thin forty year old woman, designer shops just out of focus in the background, with lots of bags near a brand new car with the back open. It must have been a formula.

  22. Alff Avatar

    No. The closest I come is visiting the Alfa BB. I only do that when I have mechanical issues, so pretty much every week.

  23. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    <img src="http://www.spanishmotorcycles.org/images/newphoto.jpg&quot; width="540">
    La Voz de SMOG is not quite a single-marque publication. Maybe since Bultacos, Montesas and Ossas are so similar in design (and comparable in their horrific build quality), it could count…except for the fact that every so often one of those wacky Sanglas four-strokes shows up in it and throws everybody into a tizzy!

  24. BlackIce_GTS Avatar

    Back when I had my grocery store job and got to read car magazines off the rack at lunch, I always left the single-interest (JP, Mostly Mustangs and Fast Fords, Red '69 Camaros Owned by Guys Named Steve Quarterly*) until the end of the month when there was nothing else. What I like about cars is variety, single marque magazines often focus on only a handful of that marque's cars. Also Mopar Muscle is excruciatingly technical.
    I used to get Toyota Owners and Lessees of Canada Quarterly Magazine (or whatever) from my mom, but I can't remember that ever having any information about cars in it.
    *Joke stolen from Hot Rod, I think.

  25. Devin Avatar

    Only if the marques were dead.
    I have a general aversion to being advertised to, but I do enjoy reading about old stuff and looking at styling bucks and that kind of thing. Something that chronicled the many development tales of AMC – for example – could be fun for as long as they could find content.

  26. rovingardener Avatar

    I used to have a subscription to Christophorus, Porsche's brand mag, but ran out of money and went back to college. Once I can afford to buy a Porsche again, I'll probably re-up. There are plenty of decent articles written about places in Europe to visit (conquer), so this suits me. Also, it comes out every two months, so there at least four marginal improvements to the fleet that are noted.
    The last time I subscribed, an American woman was the editor, so it isn't quite as septic and dry as it could be. More like a California Merlot than a German Riesling.

  27. scroggzilla Avatar

    I've been know to pick a copy of this magazine when they feature Heckflosses and W108/109s…..
    <img src="http://www.mercedesenthusiast.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/ME0513.jpg"&gt;
    …..like they are in the current issue.

  28. SSurfer321 Avatar

    I think I got a lifetime subscription to DRIVE and DRIVE PERFORMANCE magazine from Subaru for purchasing a new car from them.
    Their readable but I don't stalk the mailbox awaiting their arrival. The PERFORMANCE issues usually have an interview with one of their team drivers (this months is Bucky Lasek).

  29. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    It does seem that, if you spend time reading the letters pages in any of the buff books (always good for a belly-laugh or two) every now and again many of the blue chip publications (CAR, Autocar etc) are accused of displaying a boner for a specific marque; it seems to rotate from BMW to Jaguar with Ford geting the occasional look-in.
    Single-marque mags are useful to me only for drooling over performance upgrades that I'll likely never buy.

  30. sunbeammadd Avatar

    I've got a few prized copies of Modern Motoring & Travel, the Rootes Group's in-house magazine.
    <img src="http://www.sunbeam.org.au/mmt/mmt865.jpg"&gt;
    There's a bit too much lifestyle content in there for my liking, and they are basically just one big advertisement, but still a better read than their modern equivalents.

  31. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    For old VWs or British cars, sure. For a Swedish marque, probably. Otherwise, doubtful.

    1. Vairship Avatar

      I believe these days Saturn is more focused on Fantasy and Fiction, less on Science…

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