Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Best Car Magazine... in the World

From the time I could read until I was seventeen years old I spent my entire allowance and all my meager earnings on car magazines.  I never missed an issue of Road & Track, Car and Driver, Automobile, Motor Trend, European Car or Sport Compact.  I mowed lawns, shoveled snow, painted garages, cleaned swimming pools and scanned the sidewalk for change - if I wasn't reading a car wrag I was hustling for that next three dollar hit, the fiendish gearhead monkey on my back always demanding more specs, more trivia.  It was all hard work and dedication for which I was greatly rewarded with encyclopedic knowledge, no girlfriend and no cash with which to buy an actual car.

Then in 1998, I discovered evo and everything changed.  I was attracted to the large format, superior art direction and photography, exotic European hot hatches, JDM gray import Skylines, turbo rally homologation specials and other domestic unobtanium.  I justified its $8 price by putting a stack of the usual suspects back on the racks - I've never bought another issue of any of them.

I learned the importance of nuance and delicacy, both in writing and in a car's handling - things that were never conveyed in the workman-like compositions and endless recycling of performance numbers that made up the typical American mag's reporting.  evo made me feel I had actually driven the new 996, felt its nose bobbing gently through the steering wheel rim, experienced its amazing traction on corner exit, heard the new wasserboxer wail to redline - things a skidpad g number just don't illustrate very well.  It was also incredibly refreshing to find no boring, contrived articles attempting to make a new minivan or vanilla family sedan seem interesting - every car covered within evo has always adhered to their subtitle "The Thrill of Driving".

Thought provoking editorials, humor, controversy and continual innovation are all part of what makes it the best car magazine on earth.  And the photography - did I mention the photography? 

evo elevated me from a pedantic geek to a cultured and worldy enthusiast.  I own every issue ever published, and frequently dig out old issues for re-reading - articles written a decade ago still read fresh, even if the cars themselves have aged less gracefully.

For an introduction, I recommend picking up a Car of the Year issue - the fifty page plus "eCOTY" tests are simply epic.

Oh yeah, there's a Zonda and a Countach on their fleet of long termers...

3 comments:

  1. sweet mate, as a fellow evo fan, i have the same thoughts too! Ive been bitten by the evo bug since '02 when I discovered a magazine did a story on the zonda, edonis, carrera gt and the enzo on the same issue!

    10 years later im still hooked on em and dont miss an issue. Even Jeremy Clarkson declares evo's editorial to be 'manly' in terms of their opinion on cars and driving.

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    1. I remember that issue, it was overwhelming. I just looked up the Clarkson quote - classic!

      Cheers, Kuhen.

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