ALL ABOUT MOTOR
MOTOR is the joy of driving; an unashamedly indulgent, long-form celebration of the beckoning road ahead.
MOTOR is that cold morning, your car ticking cool by the roadside as the dawn explodes into a thousand colours. It’s the moment when the road opens to the perfect deserted hairpin. It’s the magic of perfecting a corner entry on track. It’s laughing out loud that you’re still allowed to do this. It’s that feeling when you stop with friends at the top of the mountain and you don’t need to say a word. It’s a shared passion; a discrete tribe. Like most passions, it’s powerful, it can rarely be rationalised and the rules are usually unwritten, but when you see it, you’ll know.
We’ve come a long way. On Monday March 22, 1954, in a bare office in Bridge Street, Sydney, Jules Feldman, 35, and Colin Ryrie, 24, formed Modern Magazines Pty Ltd and launched their new magazine Modern Motor. Both had worked for 11 months on Wheels and had decided there was space in the market for another title. They were right.
Instantly drawing a circulation of more than 50,000 per month, the magazine was rarely referred to by its formal title, more colloquially known just as ‘Motor’, although it took another 38 years before the prefix was formally dropped.
The formula then was one of foresight and diversity, with a unique and pithy take on advice, opinion, reviews and travel. Always keen on a scoop, Feldman and Ryrie dressed in greasy overalls and waltzed into GM Holden’s Pagewood plant back in May 1956 after GMH had denied the whispered existence of the first all-new Holden since 1948, snapping scoop photos of the FE, and scooping every locally-made model thereafter.
When Ford flew Feldman over the You-Yangs proving ground as part of the fanfare around its official opening, he noted a vantage point where a spy photographer could oversee the proving ground. In February 1972 they scooped the complete range of Falcons.
Things have changed a great deal from the days when a new Ford or Holden was a guarantee of huge circulation. Editors like Ged Bulmer, Michael Taylor, Ewen Page, Jesse Taylor and Dylan Campbell oversaw a transition in focus. Audiences have fragmented and tastes have changed from the local to the international. What hasn’t changed is the focus on delivering the most immersive stories, the most beautiful photography and the most thought-provoking opinion.
MOTOR is now in a stronger position than at any point in its recent history. We continue with the printed page not because we have to, but because we want to. It’s an integral part of who we are and it reaches a different customer with different motivations than online journalism. What’s more, the magazine is growing in size, with better quality paper and a bigger editorial budget to bring both retail and subscription buyers alike a truly premium experience.
Performance Car of the Year, MOTOR’s annual celebration of the finest fast cars grows space, this year enlarging the event to deliver an even more definitive and prestigious award. Since 1996, landmark enthusiast cars such as the Porsche 911, BMW M3, Lamborghini Gallardo, Audi R8, Nissan GT-R and Honda Civic Type-R have carried off the PCOTY crown.
The future of Wheels Media’s ode to joy is one of ever closer engagement with its readers. It’s about turning subscribers into members of a close-knit club, delivering quality member-only events, doubling down on website development and guaranteeing the fastest and most richly featured online experience possible.
Above all MOTOR’s about never losing the joy, the sense of wonder and the boundless possibility of exploring the road ahead.
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