VAMI – Vintage Automotive Magazine Index (VAMI: 1941-1960)


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Spring 1954 - One Issue Only of Motor America - Full of Forgotten Fiberglass Information

Hi gang..

Never ask a question like this….

I have a 1953 Grantham Stardust…what automotive magazines, trade journals, and club magazines were published in 1953 where articles may have been printed?”

That question ultimately led me to a 3 and 1/2 year project of culling together all known automobile publication information from over 50 sources and combining them into a new database that Rick D’Louhy and I could use – to scour eBay and find obscure auto magazines like:

  • Auto Sportsman (4 issues only)
  • Sports Car Guide (4 issues only)
  • Sports Car Pictorial (San Francisco, 2 different publishers, 2 different formats)
  • Special Design (two issues only)
  • Throttle (1941 – 12 issues only)
  • Northwest Rods (4 issues only)
  • Motor America (Spring 1954 issue only)
  • And…many many more that you’ve never heard of

Ultimately, this was used to produce not only a database, but bring together all known written information on vintage fiberglass cars.  This source, along with the interviews we have personally conducted with many of the folks we ferreted out and visited concerning vintage fiberglass, should make the research in our book the best it can be.

Auto – September 1953

We needed to obtain information so I could search relevant magazines for specific material related to the 1940′s Sport Customs (the heritage of the fiberglass cars of the 1950′s) and the 1950′s fiberglass cars.  For example, there is an article on plastic / fiberglass cars that appears in Volume 1, No 1 of “Mechanics Today” published in November 1953.  Without knowing this title and the years it was published, I wouldn’t have known to look in this magazine for possible material related to the research of the “Forgotten Fiberglass” book.  And you would be surprised how much new information is found in these obscure magazines – From “Modern Man” to the “Sensualist” and even a defunct club or two like the “Four Cylinder Club of America”.

So….with little fanfare I introduce to you the new section of our “Forgotten Fiberglass” website – VAMI or the “Vintage Automotive Magazine Index”.  In subsequent months, I will translate my notes and excel spreadsheets to web pages broken out by year so that anyone doing automotive research will benefit from having this resource available to them.

Northwest Rods - October 1957 - Only 4 Issues Before It Closed

There are many people I would like to thank who have helped with this project.  The list is not complete at this time, but this is my first attempt at it – so here it goes.    Many thanks to the following individuals for their help in creating a useful and navigable index of magazine titles, names, volumes, and years:

Ron Kellogg of Kellogg Auto Archives, Jim Miller of  NHRF, Greg Sharp curator of the NHRA museum, Leslie Kendall curator of the Peterson Automotive Museum, Dan Kirchener, the staff at the Detroit Public Library who gave me access to their National Automotive Collection, Thom Taylor, Bruce Perry, Tom Brierly, Mark Brinker, Harold Pace, Jonathan Stein, Tom Saal, Jim Sitz, Tony St. Clair, Tony Miller, Mike Wittman, Rick D’Louhy (yes you too Rick), Raffi Minasian (Special Design Magazine), Derby Ahlstone, Robert E. Lee of California, and others whose names will follow as I encounter my notes and translate them from me….to you here in this website.

This will just be an index of magazine names and publication start and end dates (and some historical footnotes too).  But if you are a curious person like me….and if you ask the question that I did (which started this 3+ year research project), then you will be on more solid footing than I was at the start of my quest.

Remember….Be careful what questions you ask of yourself gang….

I hope you find this unfolding resource useful and helpful with your research and interest areas.

Geoff Hacker
April 18th, 2010


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