I have a theory that computer cables like to breed like rabbits. Every time I look behind my computer desk I’m sure there are twice the number of cables from the last time I checked. It’s true no?…. I have a similar relationship with car magazines. They breed and multiply when I’m not looking are always threatening to overrun my flat. In the past 2 weeks the situation has got a bit out of hand with car magazine overload. This is further compounded by a recent trip to the international magazine shop yesterday!
Here is a slice of mags from my current stack: Clockwise from top left: Sport Compact Car from the USA, BMW Scene Live from Germany, Tuning Autotechnik Und Design from Germany, Banzai from the UK, and Auto Salon from Australia.
Of these magazines the one that really stands out for me is Australia’s Auto Salon. Picking it up, I get a real sense of quality in art direction, photography, paper stock, printing and layout. Absolutely top calibre.
You can see across the bottom of the magazine cover the types of cars they feature. Its a mix of performance tuned cars like the RSX/Integra, Skyline and Imprezza, but also Dub style 300Cs and mad ICE hyper bling show cars. In the North America scene the movement is firmly away from outlandish show cars towards performance tuned/styled machines or clean and minimal cruisers. From what I can tell this is not the case in Australia. The “show” and the “go” scenes appear to be happily running in parallel at this point in time.
As you open up Auto Salon you are greeted by this fantastic table of contents. Look at the use of negative space. Fantastic.
Skipping ahead to the feature on the Jun EvoX…. you again can see the luxurious usage of negative space with this full photographic spread.
I commend their Art Director Michael Papandrea and Graphic Designer Garth Ivers. Normally you’d see such sophisticated design in architecture or urban culture magazines.
I have to critique one element though: I have a pet peeve with magazines that photoshop interior shots so the car looks like it’s at speed. You can see here quite clearly that the image was shot stationary inside a garage, why make it look like the car is travelling at 150 mph? Seems odd to me.
This 300C isn’t something I would normally expect to see sharing a magazine with the Jun EvoX!
Ahh normality is restored. Great composition in this photo…. This particular is RSX is not an Australian car but is an American machine owned by Rudy Falcon.
I also like their usage of studio shoots…. Something that you don’t see very much in aftermarket focused car mags. For more info about Autosalon magazine check out their website.
Ok let’s turn our attention to Banzai. This mag is the mainstay of the Japanese scene in the UK. For our American readers, the established UK tuning scene does not have its roots in Japanese cars, but has more been built on the modification and styling of small, low cost FF European hatchbacks. This scene is slowly being replaced by a more performance oriented crowd centered on Japanese cars.
A few of the big UK tuning magazines who have previously focused themselves into the boy racer culture are going through some real challenges as the scene shifts into this new direction. Banzai has none of these troubles though as it clearly represents the fast developing UK Japanese performance scene.
Open up Banzai and low and behold we see a familiar car hahaha. Coverage of Japanese builds and scenes is the one common factor I see in the various mags from different parts of the world.
I’m fairly certain that these import mags I’m buying in Canada are 1 or 2 months out of date. This cool article on Bosozuku cars was shot in the parking lot at the Tokyo Auto Salon in January of this year. It’s taken a bit of time to reach my hands here huh? None the less it’s a fun read.
I have to say that that layout and graphic design style of Banzai is a bit unrefined compared to the sophisticated elegance of Auto Salon. None the less, the content is worth digesting.
More Bosozuku fun. There are some cars here that i haven’t seen previously on my internet crawls.
Banzai also review new cars…… Here they present a showcase of Infiniti models soon to be launched in Europe.
Check the coverage on the UK Time Attack series…
… and the sister European Drift Championship. All in all, one can get a good overview of the UK Jap scene from Banzai magazine.
Ok let’s turn out attention to the German BMW Scene Live magazine. It’s part of a group of magazines focused on full explorations of single manufacturers such as Porsche Scene Live, Audi Scene Live etc. The magazine shows new BMWs, Tuned BMWs, prototype BMWs, BMW racing news; basically everything you could want for fans of Bavarian Motor Werks machines.
So you’ll see typical tuned up modern 3 series…..
… reviews of the new M1 prototype… a car I’ve seen reviewed in several mags on the current newsstands….
… and retro cars like this done up 1982 BMW 323i E21.
The rim choice feels a bit outside my own field of view, but overall I like the stance and style of the car. It carries many of the styling cues Antonio likes to see on his beloved AE86s. Some parallels there.
And finally let’s look at the second German magazine in this group: Tuning Autotechnik Und Design. We have this magazine on subscription at the NFS office so I brought it home to get a flavour for the German tuning scene. Looking at the cover I am a little worried by what I’m seeing.
Opening the mag up reveals this S2000 feature…. Pretty nice car that is somehow connected to the Grand Turismo video game… not sure how exactly as my German is rather non-existent!
The rest of the magazine though is filled with feature after feature on extreme visually styled FF Euro cars. This is the style of car that the UK scene is moving away from, but in Germany this look appears to be alive and well.
The oddest car in the magazine is this “Tiki Style” VW Derby that combines lowrider style with a Hawaiian theme park ride.
Its a bit strange to me to see these cars being built and featured in Germany. This is the land of the unlimited Autobahn, famous tracks like the Nordschliefe, Avus, Hockenheim and tuning houses like AMG, Alpina, Ruf, 9ff, Gembala, Schnitzer and Brabus. In my mind Germany is the land of speed so I really wonder what is going on in the minds of these car builders. Strange no?