Automobile (magazine)

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This article is about a magazine named "Automobile". For other uses, see Automobile magazine.
The June 2008 cover of Automobile.
The June 2008 cover of Automobile.
Editor Michael Floyd
Categories Automobile magazine
Frequency Monthly
Publisher TEN: The Enthusiast Network
Total circulation
Founder David E. Davis
First issue April 1986 (1986-04)
Company TEN: The Enthusiast Network
Country United States
Based in Los Angeles
Language American English
ISSN 0894-3583
OCLC number 31735584

Automobile is an American automobile magazine published by TEN: The Enthusiast Network. A group of former employees of Car and Driver led by David E. Davis founded Automobile in 1986 with support from Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation[1][2] – using the credo No Boring Cars.[3] Automobile distinguishes itself as more of a lifestyle magazine than the other automotive publications, an editorial theme that Davis greatly expanded upon from his tenure as the editor of Car and Driver, though it is a sister publication to Motor Trend.

Unlike most other automobile magazines, Automobile does not often do instrumented tests of cars or provide much technical data. Instead, the reviews of vehicles are subjective experiential reports with the cars in their naturally intended, real world environment. Additionally, Automobile reserves a good portion of each issue covering vehicles no longer in production, but still relevant to collectors or automotive history as a whole. For example, the magazine includes features such as "Collectable Classic," an in-depth review of a particular older car, and reports from recent classic and antique car auctions. Automobile also has a regular column by former General Motors designer Robert Cumberford, who analyzes styling elements of current production models and show cars, often linking their design to those of older cars.[4]

For its first 25 years, Automobile was headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the building of the former The Pretzel Bell, a college dive bar.[5][6]

In May 2014, Automobile relocated from Ann Arbor to Los Angeles and cut staff significantly, including longtime editor-in-chief Jean Jennings, who had helped David E. Davis found the magazine. Jennings remains editor-in-chief of the website

Celebrating Automobile's 30th anniversary, the April 2016 issue was titled the "30th Anniversary Issue". One of the issues main features was a revisiting of a two car comparison test that the magazine had published 30 years prior, putting a 1985 Ferrari 308 up against a Toyota MR2. Once readers realized Automobile had recycled the story, word for word and photo for photo, from a 2014 issue of Motor Trend Classic, the editorial leaders received strong criticism over the magazine's loss of integrity and individuality. One Facebook commenter offered "Automobile Magazine as we know it is dead. When an editor has such lacking regard for authenticity and journalistic integrity, for an issue honoring the history of the magazine no less, the damage is infinitely deeper than creating a reputation for plagiarism."

Since taking lead as editor in chief, Michael Floyd continues to steer the direction of Automobile Magazine further from the unique and acclaimed publication it was, and closer to becoming a repackaged version of Motor Trend for the parent company to bundle in ad sales negotiations. From the printed magazine, daily news articles on, and social media postings, Automobile and Motor Trend are becoming one in the same, with Automobile losing the editorial voice and visual exceptionalism it was long known for.

There is no relationship between Automobile and the similarly titled French publication L’Automobile Magazine, which was founded in 1946 and is published by Motor Presse France.


Dates Publisher
1986 – 1991 News Corporation
1991 – 2007 Primedia
2007 – present Source Interlink Media



  1. ^ Grimes, William (2011-03-28). "David Davis Jr. Dies at 80". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  2. ^ "Auto Magazine Founder David E. Davis Jr. Dies". SFGate. Hearst Communications. 2011-03-28. [dead link]
  3. ^ "David E. Davis, Jr., Automotive Journalism's "Hemingway on Wheels," Is Dead". 2011-03-28. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Vile Gossip", Jean Jennings, Automobile, November, 2007
  6. ^ "Liberty Street - ArborWiki"

External links[edit]