Car and Driver

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Car and Driver
Car and Driver September 2009.png
Car and Driver, September 2009
Categories Automobile
Frequency Monthly
Publisher Hearst Corporation
Total circulation
(2013)
1,231,065[1]
First issue 1955 (as Sports Cars Illustrated)
Country United States, Spain
Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Language English (USA), Spanish (Spain)
Website www.caranddriver.com(USA)
www.caranddriver.es(Spain)
ISSN 0008-6002

Car and Driver (CD or C/D) is an American automotive enthusiast magazine. Its total circulation is 1.23 million.[2] It is owned by Hearst Magazines, who purchased prior owner Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. in 2011. Originally headquartered in New York City, the magazine has been based in Ann Arbor, Michigan since the late 1970s.

History[edit]

Issues Owner
Ownership
Jul 1955 – Feb 1956 Motor Publications
Mar 1956 – Apr 1985 Ziff-Davis
May 1985 – Dec 1987 CBS Magazines
Jan 1988 – Apr 1988 Diamandis Communications
Apr 1988 – May 2011 Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.
May 2011 – Present Hearst Magazines

Car and Driver was founded as Sports Cars Illustrated in 1955. In its early years, the magazine focused primarily on small, imported sports cars. In 1961, editor[clarification needed] Karl Ludvigsen renamed the magazine Car and Driver to show a more general automotive focus. 2005 marked the 50th anniversary of Car and Driver.

Car and Driver once featured Bruce McCall, Jean Shepherd, Dick Smothers, and Brock Yates as columnists, and PJ O'Rourke as a frequent contributor. Former editors include William Jeanes and David E. Davis, the latter of whom led some employees to defect in order to create Automobile Magazine.

Rather than electing a Car of the Year, Car and Driver publishes its top ten picks each year in its Car and Driver 10Best.

Car and Driver is home to the John Lingenfelter Memorial Trophy. This award is given annually at their Supercar Challenge.

Today, Car and Driver is also published in Spain and Brazil. The Spanish version just makes use of the Car and Driver name; no editorial direction is shared.

Editorial direction[edit]

Issues Editor
Editors[clarification needed]
Jul 1955 – Nov 1955 George Parks
Dec 1955 – Feb 1956 Arthur Kramer
Mar 1956 – Dec 1956 Ken Purdy
Jan 1957 – Nov 1959 John Christy
Dec 1959 – Jan 1962 Karl Ludvigsen
Feb 1962 – Feb 1963 William Pain
Mar 1963 – Jan 1966 David E. Davis, Jr.
Feb 1966 – Oct 1966 Brock Yates
Nov 1966 – Jan 1968 Steve Smith
Feb 1968 – Dec 1969 Leon Mandel
Jan 1970 – Mar 1971 Gordon Jennings
Apr 1971 – Nov 1974 Bob Brown
Dec 1974 – Sep 1976 Stephan Wilkinson
Oct 1976 – Oct 1985 David E. Davis, Jr.
Nov 1985 – Feb 1988 Don Sherman
Mar 1988 – May 1993 William Jeanes
Jun 1993 – Dec 2008 Csaba Csere
Mar 2009 – Eddie Alterman

The magazine is notable for its irreverent tone and habit of "telling it like it is", especially with regard to underperforming automobiles ("Saturn folks like to point out that the L200 has little in common with the Opel Vectra from which it borrows some platform architecture, and we have to wonder why. Could the Opel be worse?"—Feb 2003). The magazine also frequently delves into controversial issues, especially in regard to politics. The editorial slant of the magazine is decidedly pro-automobile. A major theme of Patrick Bedard’s articles in the past year[when?] has been climate change, specifically that it is not occurring, or if it is, then automobiles have nothing to do with it. In similar fashion, the letters editor states in the May 2007 issue that "going to a caveman lifestyle is the only way to cut CO2 emissions." However, the intrusion of politics into editorial columns rarely intrudes into reviews of cars themselves or feature articles. For example, the columnists have been highly critical of SUVs on the basis that minivans or car-based utes are almost always better, more drivable choices.

The magazine was one of the first to be unabashedly critical of the American automakers. However, it has been quick to praise noteworthy efforts like the Ford Focus and Chevrolet Corvette.

The magazine has been at the center of a few controversies based on this editorial direction, including the following:

  • Their instrumented testing is extremely rigorous compared with other automotive magazines.[citation needed] It has twice revealed false power claims by manufacturers: Both the 1999 SVT Mustang Cobra and 2001 Mazda Miata tests showed these vehicles not producing performance equivalents to their claimed power output. In both cases, the manufacturers' claims were proved wrong, forcing buybacks and apologies.
  • Their tests of radar detectors often declare the Valentine One detector, a major Car and Driver advertiser, the total point winner.[citation needed] The magazine contends that its tests are accurate, while some question its objectivity.[3] Yet, other major advertisers, such as Escort, the winner of C/D's sister pub radar detector test, usually finishes alongside the V1 in the same test.

Car and Driver and Road & Track are sister publications at Hearst and have for many years shared the same advertising, sales, marketing, and circulation departments. However, their editorial operations are distinct and they have separate publishers.

Car and Driver Television[edit]

Car And Driver Television was the television counterpart that formerly aired on SpikeTV's Powerblock weekend lineup from 1999 to 2005. It was produced by RTM Productions and usually hosted by Larry Webster, one of the magazine's editors, with Csaba Csere adding occasional commentary and news.

Car and Driver computer game[edit]

In 1993, Car and Driver licensed its name for a PC game to Electronic Arts entitled Car and Driver: The Ten Best. The game was in 3D, and the courses included twisty racing circuits, an oval, automobile route racing with traffic, a dragstrip, and an autocross circuit.

The ten vehicles included the Porsche 959, Ferrari F40, Lotus Esprit, Eagle Talon, and classic Ferrari 512.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]