Max Power (magazine)

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Max Power
Frequency Monthly
First issue May 1993
Final issue January 2011
Company Bauer
Country United Kingdom United Kingdom
Website (now closed)

Max Power was a British magazine, based in Peterborough, which covered the performance-tuning car market, boy racers and softcore pornography.

Launched in 1993 by EMAP, it was also published under license in Greece, Denmark, Norway, South Africa, and in France under the name ADDX.[1] After EMAP acquired Petersen in 2000, a U.S. edition was published based on its existing title MaxSpeed and featuring cars from America and the UK. This ceased publication in 2001 when EMAP sold its U.S. arm to Primedia, but lives on as Euro Tuner.[2]

The magazine was the first to feature cruises and the more notorious side of the modified car scene, as well as being instrumental in introducing UK readers to Japanese and American car culture. Feature cars were heavily customised, including powerful in car entertainment (ICE) systems, custom body-work and performance-focussed changes to the chassis and engine. The format would also go on influence other magazines including Fast Car, and the now defunct Revs and Redline.

Former staff members include Fifth Gear presenters Jonny Smith and Vicki Butler-Henderson, who was one of the original staff in 1993.

Criticisms[edit]

Max Power quickly became notorious for its outspoken attitude to motoring issues, and one of its main criticisms was its promotion of unauthorised cruise events.[3] The magazine had a rating system that scored these in several areas including the size of the police presence, the behaviour/attractiveness of the girls and the number of "burnouts" performed.

The magazine also occasionally campaigned against the presence of speed cameras and elderly drivers, and despite disclaimers was often criticised for printing articles about dangerous driving on public roads,[4][5] including drifting and exceeding 200 mph on the A1.[6] Another critcisim, despite being not the first magazine to do so, is due to a large content of half naked women the publication is often referred to as bottom-shelf porn. The 2007 relaunch[7][8] was aimed at reversing this criticism, but glamour shoots were reintroduced towards the end of its life.

Its laddishness meant it was also seen as non-serious by enthusiasts who prefer to solely focus on the engine/handling modification side of car tuning.

Max Power went through various changes in its editorial visions, resulting in some readers criticising the magazine for losing its way. Mark Guest was unable to revive Max Power's fortunes due to an audience which was increasingly moving online, decreased consumer spending during the 2009 recession and budget cutting. Max Power eventually closed its doors in February 2011 after bringing out a special edition of the magazine to mark its production from 1993-2011.

Other Ventures[edit]

Max Power started the Max Driver advanced driving scheme in 2006 in conjunction with: the Institute of Advanced Motorists, Adrian Flux Insurance Services, Honda and Ripspeed. It was designed to offer young, inexperienced drivers the chance of professional tuition in handling their cars responsibly. Those who pass are guaranteed at least 25% discount on their insurance by Adrian Flux.

The title also had its own annual modified car show, Max Power Live - attendance figures peaked in excess of 50,000, but it was cancelled from 2007 onwards.

In the UK, Infogrames PS1 title C3 Racing was named Max Power Racing and branded to match the magazine.

In the 2005 Election, staff member Dan Anslow was put forward as a candidate for the Southend West constituency.[9]

Closure[edit]

In November 2010, Bauer announced it was suspending the magazine and website. Its circulation had fallen from 237,894[10] to 20,589[11] according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations (UK) amid tough market conditions and a digital-savvy audience.

The final monthly magazine was released in January 2011[dated info],[12] but Bauer said it "intends to keep the Max Power brand alive in the future with a series of “one shots” and special issues".[13] To date, none have been released.

Editorial Staff[edit]

  • Mark Guest - Editor
  • Nick Thackray - Art Editor
  • Ben Hackney - Production Editor
  • Alex Grant - Consumer Writer
  • Mark Riccioni - Staff Writer

Notable Max Power staffers:

Grahame Steed, Jim Blackstock, Vicki Butler-Henderson, Nigel Grimshaw, Peter Comely, Damian Smith, Greg Emmerson, Nigel Ambrose, Andy "Fly" Tipping (freelance), Bill Thomas, Jon Walsh (aka. Proby, Father Jon and Proby Wan Kenobi), Emma Bradshaw, Jonny Smith, Roger Payne, Andy Mills, John Sootheran, Paul Lang, Lee McAteer, Daniel Sherwood, Dan Anslow, Richard Beach, Ben Barry, Andrew Baxter, Matty Graham, Dan Sherwood, Neil Hunt, Andy Shipley, Max Paterson, Jonathan Coull, Paul Stratton (aka. Rusty), Hans Seeberg, Simon Penson, Nick Trott (aka. Trotto, Hugh J. Teens), Damon Cogman (aka. Half-Cog, Half Man), Stuart Gallagher.

Editors of Max Power; Grahame Steed Nigel Ambrose Emma Bradshaw Nigel Grimshaw John Sootheran Simon Penson Mark Guest

Max Power certainly seemed to be a breeding ground for talent. Many of the staff have gone on to develop fruitful careers post Max life. While VBH and Jonny are obvious successes with their many TV appearances, others have branched out into automotive and beyond.

Greg Emmerson moved to the US and edits a number of European themed websites and magazines.

Nigel Ambrose went to become editor of men's monthly title 'Maxim' and launch the masthead in other territories before becoming a publishing consultant.

Bill Thomas went on to have a varied publishing career, writing for numerous titles including a stint at Top Gear magazine before editing 'WHEELS' in Australia. He is currently PR Manager for Hyundai in Australia.

Jim Blackstock became the driving force behind 'REVS' magazine; a title inspired by his technical background as the tech guy on Max Power magazine. The grass roots title was put on sale to fill in the gap left by a rising Max Power. As the Max cars and lifestyle became more expensive there was a need to publish more about the grass roots of modified cars and REVS (aka. TREVS) was it. Jim went on to work in PR for the Hyundai World Rally Team as well as Mitsubishi World Rally Team at the height of their success.

Hans Seeberg went on to play a pivotal role in the development and launch of weekly lads mag 'NUTS'. He then became editor of 'F1 Racing' magazine and has recently launched a new business focussed F1 title.

Nick Trott developed a fruitful freelance career, contributing as motoring editor to another weekly lads mag and rival to NUTS, 'ZOO'. He is currently editor of 'EVO' magazine (EVO being the spiritual successor to 'Performance Car' magazine.

Jon Walsh moved to Future Publishing and newly launched rival magazine Redline where he helped redevelop the target audience and increase market share. He also worked as a freelance journalist before moving into automotive PR for Mercedes-Benz (UK), Kia Motors (UK) and Kia Motors at their global head office in Seoul.

John Sootheran went on to be a distinguished editorial and publishing consultant and was pivotal in launching Max Power in many other markets around the world under licence.

Simon Penson now runs a digital marketing agency called Zazzle Media

Paul Lang (designer) joined Max with experience at a number of motorcycle magazines and went on to work at many others.

Damon Cogman went on to be art director of world famous MotorSport magazine. Here he fulfilled his passion for old motorsport tin boxes and slapping big pictures on the front cover.


Notable Max Power Babes:

References[edit]