Old Cars – Old Magazines

The cold nights have had me looking for something to read…

Luckily, a friend has loaned me a bag full of old car magazines (he knows me so well) and I’ll share some thoughts and images of them with you here.

Practical Motorist was a magazine which I vaguely remember (it ran from 1934 to 1997) with the issue pictured published in November 1960 – a mere 64 years ago!

The cover tells us you needed to part with ‘One Shilling & Sixpence’ to take it home and enjoy its contents and that compression testing was the order of the day.  It’s worth remembering that this was a contemporary car magazine and not a ‘classic car’ magazine so the contents are very much concerned with keeping your car running or improving it.


Tudor is a brand name that owners of 50’s & 60’s British cars will know well, generally because it’s emblazoned across the screenwash bottle, but did you know they offered a range of car accessories?

It’s an insight on how cars came ‘equipped’ back then that aftermarket rear window demisters, parking lights and even ‘fresh air heaters’ were required – and yes, the ever popular windscreen washer was also advertised.

Can you imagine buying a new car and having to pop to Halfords to add a screen washer to your pride and joy?

Or a heater for that matter?  Not in Scotland thanks!


Like all good magazines, there was a letters page to enjoy.

The first thing that jumped out was every contribution starting with the intimation ‘Sir’, which would today be considered overly formal and even sexist.

Maybe little has changed beyond that.  The first letter complains about ‘loyalty schemes’, the advert below offers subscriptions to the magazine and the next letter is from a reader looking to trace a vehicle from the past to ensure an example survives.  All familiar in today’s magazines.

The remaining letter cover new legislation, safety equipment and the ineptitude of government.

Like I say, the more things change, the more they stay the same….


Maybe the advert that will be seen as most surprising will be the one you see to the left.

It’s regarding the famous ‘Earls Court Motor Show‘ and one of its exhibitors, ‘Schrader‘.

The premise of the advert is that their ‘Schrader Tyre Valve‘ is now the ‘accepted world standard’.

When was the last time you even considered that there might be something other than that valve in your tyre?

Formative years indeed !

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