Car and Driver

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Car and Driver
File:Car and Driver September 2009.png
Car and Driver, September 2009
Categories Automobile
Frequency Monthly
Publisher Hearst Corporation
Total circulation
First issue 1955 (as Sports Cars Illustrated)
Country United States, China, Brazil, Greece, Middle East, Spain
Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Language English (USA, Middle East), Chinese (China), Portuguese (Brazil), Greek (Greece) and Spanish (Spain)
ISSN 0008-6002

Car and Driver (CD or C/D) is an American automotive enthusiast magazine. Its total circulation is 1.23 million.[2] It is owned by Hearst Magazines, who purchased prior owner Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. in 2011. Originally headquartered in New York City, the magazine has been based in Ann Arbor, Michigan since the late 1970s.


Issues Owner
Jul 1955 – Feb 1956 Motor Publications
Mar 1956 – Apr 1985 Ziff-Davis
May 1985 – Dec 1987 CBS Magazines
Jan 1988 – Apr 1988 Diamandis Communications
Apr 1988 – May 2011 Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.
May 2011 – Present Hearst Magazines

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[clarification needed] 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.

Rather than electing a Car of the Year, Car and Driver publishes its top ten picks each year in its Car and Driver 10Best.

Car and Driver is home to the John Lingenfelter Memorial Trophy. This award is given annually at their Supercar Challenge.

Today, Car and Driver is also published in Brazil, Greece, Middle East, and Spain. and The Spanish version just makes use of the Car and Driver name; no editorial direction is shared. China had edition called 名车志 Car and Driver. The Middle Eastern edition is issued by ITP Publishing based in Dubai.

Editorial direction

Issues Editor
Editors[clarification needed]
Jul 1955 – Nov 1955 George Parks
Dec 1955 – Feb 1956 Arthur Kramer
Mar 1956 – Dec 1956 Ken Purdy
Jan 1957 – Nov 1959 John Christy
Dec 1959 – Jan 1962 Karl Ludvigsen
Feb 1962 – Feb 1963 William Pain
Mar 1963 – Jan 1966 David E. Davis, Jr.
Feb 1966 – Oct 1966 Brock Yates
Nov 1966 – Jan 1968 Steve Smith
Feb 1968 – Dec 1969 Leon Mandel
Jan 1970 – Mar 1971 Gordon Jennings
Apr 1971 – Nov 1974 Bob Brown
Dec 1974 – Sep 1976 Stephan Wilkinson
Oct 1976 – Oct 1985 David E. Davis, Jr.
Nov 1985 – Feb 1988 Don Sherman
Mar 1988 – May 1993 William Jeanes
Jun 1993 – Dec 2008 Csaba Csere
Mar 2009 – Eddie Alterman

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?"—Feb 2003). The magazine also frequently delves into controversial issues, especially in regard to politics. The editorial slant of the magazine is decidedly pro-automobile. 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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] The magazine contends that its tests are accurate, while some question its objectivity.[3] 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 Hearst 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.

Car and Driver operates a website,, that features articles (both original and from print), a blog, an automotive buyer's guide (with AccuPayment, a price-calculating tool), and a social networking site called Backfires.

Car and Driver Television

Car And Driver Television was the television counterpart that formerly aired on SpikeTV's Powerblock weekend lineup from 1999 to 2005. It was produced by RTM Productions and usually hosted by Larry Webster, one of the magazine's editors, with Csaba Csere adding occasional commentary and news.

First news of a Malaysian version of Car and Driver surfaced in July 2005, when the official website ran a feature about the filming of a Malaysian version of the series, produced by Homegrown Productions Sdn Bhd. The pilot featured Cate Blanchett as one of the hosts, but was not picked up by the network, which later began running edited versions of Series 1–5 of the USA original.

In April 2007, Fox reported on a story that Car and Driver had been in talks about creating a Malaysian version. The current presenters would remain as hosts, but the series would focus on all cars and include Malaysian and foreign celebrities. Plans for a Malaysian version were eventually shelved, partly over Webster's misgivings about spending several months in the Malaysia, away from his family.

Astro announced it ordered a pilot episode for a Malaysian version of Car and Driver, to be produced by Red Productions Sdn Bhd. The pilot, filmed in December 2008, was presented by Maya Karin, Fann Wong and Sandra Bullock. However, following the failure of a car-themed drama, Astro Ben Di Quan did not place the programme on its schedule, indicating it planned to hold it as a spring/summer (2009) series replacement. Eventually, Astro dropped the series. In a February 2009 appearance in Brazil, he commented that the Malaysian version of the series had been "canned".

The series found new life in February 2010, when it was announced that Astro Hitz had picked up the series and ordered between 10 and 12 episodes, under the title Behind the Wheel. The series began production in August 2010, with a premiere on November 26, 2010. A trailer was released in early August showing footage of the hosts simulating a "Running Mayham". Fann Wong remained as a host, and was joined by Lisa Surihani and Anna Kendrick. The show has now aired 63 episodes across 4 seasons.

On 19 November, 2010, the first series of the Taiwanese version of Car and Driver, produced by Eastern Television, was aired with 13 episodes. On August 5, 2011, the second series of 10 episodes began.

Past presenters are Rene Liu, Bai Baihe, Zhou Xun and Kara Hui, with the current presenters being Claire Kuo, Shu Qi and Fan Bingbing. The latest season was aired on October 17, 2014.

Car and Driver computer game

In 1993, Car and Driver licensed its name for a PC game to Electronic Arts entitled Car and Driver: The Ten Best. The game was in 3D, and the courses included twisty racing circuits, an oval, automobile route racing with traffic, a dragstrip, and an autocross circuit.

The ten vehicles included the Porsche 959, Ferrari F40, Lotus Esprit, Eagle Talon, and classic Ferrari 512.

The "Cannonball run"

In 1970s, when the new national highway net was completed, reporter Brock Yates and editor Steve Smith thought about a way to celebrate the event; Yates went to Smith with an idea, a race across the country, repeating an old bet made by car and bike pilot Edwin George Baker, nicknamed "Cannonball"; Smith accepted and together they opened the "Cannonball Baker Sea to Shining Sea race", for short the "Cannonball run"; raced in 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1975, the race saw the participation of both amateur drivers and professional racers, like Daytona champion Dan Gurney (winner of 1972 edition). The race was cancelled in 1976 for traffic troubles and security issues, and also too much attention by the law enforcement authorities; but its legacy continued in Hollywood movies: starting with The Gumball Rally, along with Cannonball run, Cannonball Run II, Cannonball Run III, Gone in 60 seconds and the Fast & Furious franchise.

See also


  1. "Alliance for Audited Media Snapshot Report - 6/30/2013". Alliance for Audited Media. June 30, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Circulation Trends Handbook
  3. article

External links