Max Power (magazine)
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|First issue||May 1993|
|Final issue||January 2011|
Launched in 1993 by EMAP, it was also published under license in Greece, Denmark, Norway, South Africa, and in France under the name ADDX. 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.
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.
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. 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, including drifting and exceeding 200 mph on the A1. Another criticism, 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 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. What was not in dispute was, for a large time, Max Power was the biggest selling motoring magazine in Europe, outstripping Top Gear and CAR magazine, much to their frustration. As a result, motor manufacturers and savvy PR teams within courted Max Power in a specific way, providing them with test cars, exposure to new product and creating special opportunities for the magazine to cover their brands. Citroen were one of the most active and, as a result, the Saxo VTS and VTR went on to achieve cult status within the car modifying community.
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.
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 November 2010, Bauer announced it was suspending the magazine and website. Its circulation had fallen from 237,894 to 20,589 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[needs update], but Bauer said it "intends to keep the Max Power brand alive in the future with a series of “one shots” and special issues". To date, none have been released.
- Mark Guest - Editor
- Saiful Alam - Executive 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, Adam Rayner (ICE Editor), 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
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.
Lee McAteer went on to find Invasion Group which included such brands as AmeriCamp, Camp Thailand, Camp Canada, Film Bible and AusJob.
Saiful Alam went on to launching Car lifestyle and www.grandturismo.tv which is one of the most well known names in social media. He has consulted for many start-ups and focuses his efforts on YouTube and Instagram.
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 rediscover 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 Corporation at their global head office in Seoul. After a brief return to the UK, he moved to Hong Kong where he worked with Audi and Porsche on their motorsport schedule across Asia Pacific. Infiniti Motor Company Ltd. relocated their global head office to Hong Kong in 2012 and Walsh joined their global communications team in 2013, putting his journalism skills to use.
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.
Adam Rayner was ICE Editor for four years, before moving to Fast Car in the same job for seven years. Since then, he has edited the magazine on www.talkstuff.co.uk
Notable Max Power Babes:
- Katie Price aka Jordan
- Jakki Degg
- Lauren Pope
- Lucy Pinder
- Michelle Marsh
- Amy Green
- Kerri Parker
- Chantelle Houghton
- Marie Sarantakis
- Deans, Jason (2001-06-06). "Emap buys out French partner for £16m". The Guardian. London.
- Burrell, Ian (2000-03-21). "Police target underground world of 'car cruising'". The Independent. London.
- BBC News http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/vote2005/html/529.stm. Missing or empty
- 20 February 2003, 12:00am (2003-02-20). "ABC FIGURES BRIEF: Emap's Max Power achieves best performance - Media news". Media Week. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- Daniel Farey-Jones (2010-11-15). "Bauer takes Max Power off the road - Media news". Media Week. Retrieved 2011-01-30.
- Max Power ceases publication http://speedhunters.com/archive/2010/11/12/news-gt-gt-publisher-suspends-max-power-magazine.aspx
- "Max Power Announcement". Bauer Media. 2011-01-12. Retrieved 2011-01-30.