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Car and Driver Magazine - November 2008
PDF Format, 175 pages | English | 22 MB
Car and Driver is an American automotive enthusiast magazine. Its total circulation is 1.31 million.
It is owned by Hachette Filipacchi Magazines.
Originally headquartered in New York City, the magazine has been based in Ann Arbor, Michigan since the late 1970s.
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 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.
The current editor-in-chief is Csaba Csere. Other current staff members are Patrick Bedard, who raced in the Indianapolis 500 in 1983 and 1984, John Phillips, Mark Gillies, Aaron Robinson, Mike Austin, Patricia Eldridge Maki, Cora Weber, Dan Winter, Juli Burke, Tom Cosgrove, Jeff Dworin, Steve Spence, Tony Swan, and Tony Quiroga. The - now deceased - Andr Idzikowski was also a staff writer.
Rather than electing a Car of the Year, Car and Driver picks ten "best" cars each year.
Car and Driver is home to the John Lingenfelter Memorial Trophy.
This award is given annually at their Car and Driver Supercar Challenge|Supercar/Superfour Challenge.
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?" (in Car and Driver February 2003) is one good example.
However, critics of the magazine state that this somewhat pejorative nature has diminished in recent years, and the editors are quick to praise the cars they feel are deserving ("The M45 rocks. Game over." -May 2005).
The magazine has not shied away from delving 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 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.
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.
The magazine contends that its tests are accurate, while some question its objectivity (see RadarTest.com article.) 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 Hachette 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.
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