January 9, 2010

Super & Etc:: The Death Of American Car Magazines

Well I decided to add something new in my blog I'd like to call a Super Rant. It's basically spontaneous ideas that come into my head. I figure I might as well write about it. Well here it goes....

I remember in the late 90s early 2000's I was an avid reader of import car magazines. I would be reading turbo, import tuner, sportscompact car, and superstreet. I notice quality began taking a dip in the mid 2000s around 2004.A lot of factors have to be taken into account for this dip. Possible reasons blogging, mass sharing in the internet, high speed cable being easier to attain for the masses, digital photography being easier to access, automotive forums, more user friendly video and photography editing software and the economy. When Prime Media began buying all the Import branches thats when death happened. Magazines began thinning and more women and advertisements where on pages. It didin't help that the economy was doing poorly as well. Many publications began getting axed such as sportscompactcar(An Actual Quality Magazine! and the only one I can think of getting cancelled at the moment). If I wanted to be teased I would be in the early stages of a relationship. I'm a car enthusiast, just because I am one doesn't always translate to one being a meathead. Many of us are articulate just look at all the blogs as an example. I'm also not in high school anymore. I don't really want almost naked women near car photos. It just looks really tacky. I stopped reading car magazines in the states since 2006 when my super street subscription ended. I had to deal with other priorities in life and put my passion on hold until 2009 it reimmerged.

I realized a lot of car magazines here try to persuade 15-25 year olds. Look at every cover from modified magazine to import tuner etc. etc. How they manage to sway people is their winning forumla as I'd like to call it.
The winning forumla for them : Almost naked woman showing her tummy, chest,back or legs somewhere in the cover or she could be the cover, bright colored vechicle putting out X amount of horsepower, GIANT FONT EMPHASIZING WHAT THE CAR IS ABOUT, and a captivating font to get your attention to buy this crappy $6.00 magazine. The worst part is when they interview the model for a magazine and when your a young pubescent boy or loser reading the model interview.(Yes I admit I fell victim as both)
The following is a mock Q & A they always do such as this:

Q: What do you look for in a guy?
Model: He has to smell nice, a good sense of humor, a head on his shoulders
Q:How could a guy approach you?
Model: He should just be confident and not cocky.
Q:What ethnicity are you
Model: Well, to be "technical about it" I am laotian, thai, filipino,chinese,german,peruvian and rat.

The reason for this generic answer is to give the boy hope and keep reading the magazines. That way it can give hope for him in his dreams that the girl he yanks his hank to could one day like him.

Gee this doesn't have all the things I just talked about...

The worst magazine of all. Import Tuner is pretty JDM look the Tokyo skyline at night and flag is in the back!

Yea I'm curious to see the GT-R as the street king or I can see a whole page of the girl in the bikini.

Are you buying import tuners for colored cars or c-cups?

Why is the woman on the top left cover anyway? Does it have to do with coilovers?

The point of all this? With the horrible quality of magazines what's the point of their publications? Magazines are slowly slowly dying but not.I don't think these magazines will ever die because there are still morons picking up and buying these magazines who think this is the hotness. Until people become selfaware that anytime you buy something its not just buying a product but an idealogy. Colorful cars, almost naked women and articles a seven year old can understand is something you want to buy??
Not to knock on anyone but there are nice quality rides that pop up now and then in the magazines after they been all over the internet..... So I do have to give credit to the owner of the car not the magazine. It's just another exposure for him or her..

I see everyone blogging doing a better job and coverage than the content I see in magazines. None of that watered bs and such. Blogging is already a force. Import Tuner I've seen has recently been asking readers to give photos of their projects and such. They even ask for links of ones website and such. Also look at Super Street asking Risky Devil for a feature. So we do have the power people.


N/Aontherun said...

I can't agree more Mickie.

The only mag I actually buy is Project Car mag because its a whole mag full of DYI's. Some things I don't need, but I always find something to for me in it. Also its low budge builds and cars.

The only times I buy Super Street or any of the other one's listed. Is when as you said it features a car that I've seen online.

Nuckin' Futs said...

What a great post. Its about time you put this up! These magazines were the main source of all import info for a majority of people in the import scene especially in the late 90s and early 2000s. Import tuner had a lot of respect...especially amongst the fast and the furious jdm tight crowd. I remember when you and I were in highschool at the time and we were already complaining about how each car there looks the same (always some crappy overly colorful and stickerd up drag civic with a nasty body kit) and they never covered the stuff that we really wanted covered (high speed highway racing on the wangan, drifting, and REAL tuning outside the realm of drag racing). We were one of the very few kids at that age especially on the east coast to be up on Option magazines at that time! OG STATUS! To be fair, that was a heavily american trend, but it never catored to our ever growing market. Once the internet really really came into its own with highspeed internet like you stated, shit popped off. Blogs started sprouting and more fast and the furious movies came out and suddenly everyone hopped on the band wagon of the drift craze and we all became JDM Tight. WAY TOO MUCH POSING! I know im ranting here on your blog, but one cannot state one without the other. These magazines needed something to get all of our attention and sex sells. Look at the import tuner demographic....14-25 year olds. The young, carefree, and seemingly rebelious crowd. At that age, all we want is fast cars, good music, cheap thrills and most of all sex...sex with HOT women! Import Tuner exploited the shit out of that and now its almost like your reading Maxim and not a car magazine. I guess if they are still around then they are doing something right and enough morons are out there buying it. The women on those covers are no worse than what you said. One is another carbon copy of the next which we all dont get tired of because...well...frankly, large breasts never get old. However, the personality and comments of these girls does. Its like...whats the point of even interviewing these birds? Just like the Miss America contest...they all say the same thing "if i can have one thing in this world...it would be world peace". JUST SHUT UP YOU COW! ughh...im sorry, I just took over your blog here. You can have it back :-P

deft said...

Well said!

I think besides the cars they featured on those mags being all over the net months before, the thing I hated the most out of mags like superstreet was the writing style. I hated how it was always the same story: "so and so here thought 600hp wasn't enough so in comes x part, oh but that wasn't enough for a car that would see serious track duty so in came so and so parts" It was always a boring story on how the owner has this parts and those parts...same info available on the sidebar. Why not write how they got into cars or maybe share some stories about their life as "car guys"....

rollingrepublic said...

Great read!

Nuckin' Futs said...

Deft, to answer your question...its really simple. The guys who write this crap are no different then the average person writing an english paper in your local community college. Dont expect Tolstoy or Steinbeck when you read these things. These are just rich kids with a magazine that everyone is going to keep buying regardless of how crappy the articles are because the majority of people who buy them only get it for the pretty pictures and in turn, they get this mentality of "oh well, i can get away with writing the same shit without anyone complaining" because of it.

deft said...

yeah you're right, I actually know people who in fact will just look at the pictures...even if its in fact a DIY article or something "helpful"

Meg said...

ROFL, Nuckin' Futs, that Miss America cow comment was an epic WIN. That's just plain awesome, hahaha.

Otherwise, you guys, I think I totally love you all. <3<3 Like, seriously. The models always annoy me, but I figured that was just me being a non-lesbian girl and having my own set of breasts to play with if I were so inclined. They're also always car retarded... To the point where you wonder if they need help starting a car or putting gas in. If you're gonna be a car model, is it too much to ask for you to be somewhat educated in cars?! (Especially when it comes to shows, I think....)

I've picked up an issue or two of Modified, usually because of something highly intriguing on the cover. Otherwise, the only mag I read faithfully is Project Car Tuner, which is awesome. Well, that and skimming SportsCar (the SCCA's mag) and there's Grassroots Motorsports. (Probably one of the best, longest-running car mags ever.)

Overall, awesome rant, I agree completely. :) I'd love to see what else you would rant about!!


I'm glad you all agree. I would love for all of you to let me know your thoughts and opinions. The more the merrier :)

I can't say all the magazines are horrible but the ones I generally did cover fall into this shamed category.

A lot of the women who do model in the "import scene" shouldnt even be modeling. Wearing fishnet stockings and a school girl dress is not modeling... I am not one to judge but blame 15 year old high school kids for them even having jobs haha.