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Magneto Magazine & Steve McQueen’s LeMans

Continuing the trend toward premium magazines

Magneto Magazine is a tour-de-force of magazine publishing with extreme style. The explosion of readers forsaking print magazines for online content has forced print magazines to rethink the way they do business. Traditional print magazines have seen shrinking advertising pages and greatly diminished ad income. Shrinking magazine pages have diminished reader interest. Enter premium magazines.

Magneto magazineMagazines such as Road & Track and Automobilsport are quarterly and have added substantial pages, content and beautiful style. Good old-fashioned typography has made a comeback along with artistically beautiful photography. Writers are not hamstrung by available pages and can now stretch out and tell a more fascinating story. Huge photos compliment the story and wow the eye. The paper and printing are far better than we are used to.

It’s a better read all around.

Of course, this comes with a price

That price is higher cover prices. But you get what you pay for. What you get are longer, more involved stories from more viewpoints. A whole lot more pages too.

Issue #9 of Magneto is 194 pages and gives the impression of a small book demanding a more dedicated read. There’s a wealth of different topics and categories. Along with a distinct lack of car tests.

That’s been a problem for traditional car mags for quite some time now. A smaller group of manufacturers making similar products leaves editors scratching for a different take on the same old thing. You can only do a review of so many super-expensive cars before readers’ eyes glaze over. Many readers cannot possibly purchase supercars every Tuesday and Friday or at all. Another review of another mundane SUV leaves readers wanting to head for the exit.

Magneto MagazineMagneto #9 brings us another take on the seminal LeMans movie. From the viewpoint of actors, a topline driver in the movie, the producer and the mechanic tasked with keeping the slew of Porsches and Ferraris running right. An author of a book about the LeMans movie weighs in and we get a sense of how a Porsche 917 drives from an owner of one who races it in vintage meets. Dario Franchitti also drives the 917 and gives his view as well.

All in all it’s a refreshing take on an oft-told story with great photos that tie it all together.

What else does Magneto #9 contain?

So much more. Coverage of the vintage car scene is extensive. The cars, the industry players, the races and car shows get their due.

A very good article of the Cyan Volvo P1800 is jaw-dropping. After Volvo bought the Polestar name to create a new electric car division, performance Volvo creator Polestar renamed itself Cyan. The Volvo P1800 is a wonderful sports car with style that is often overlooked by many classic car collectors. Polestar does a restomod on the car, remaking it with many, many new parts in the way that Singer remakes Porsches. This example of the car sports 420hp, a considerable bump over the original. The car is strengthened in key areas to take all that horsepower and still comes in 176 pounds lighter! 

Okay, there are a couple of car tests…

But they are only one page long.

Magneto Magazine

An engine article that’s actually interesting?

Yes. The origins of the famous Jaguar V12 plots the story behind the engine’s concept, the development and production of the smooth beast of an engine. Colorful photos guild a story that would normally bore me to tears.

What else?

Magneto MagazineThere’s a wonderful story about the restoration of the classic and winning Rothman’s Ford Escort RS1800 rally car. The painstaking restoration was undertaken by the same company that built it in the first place. The lengths that they went to making every detail original to the max took quite a long time involving worldwide searches for the exact parts. Background history tells you the whole story behind this rally car, the driver and the navigator.

As the original car used no decals or vinyl of any sort, a master sign painter is called in to paint the Rothman’s logos on to car. You won’t believe how perfect they are.

Magneto MagazineThe Lancia LC2 Group C car and it’s story are there too. The Martini liveried powerhouse was one of the only factory Group C cars to challenge the fabulous Porsche 956/962 for LeMans supremacy in its heyday. 

A regular feature in Magneto Magazine is the 50 series. In this issue, the 50 greatest car designers bring us some names we never knew for the cars we’ve always admired. Great stuff.

Books, models, and a look at the classic car market are all here.

The wrap-up

You get a lot for your money with Magneto Magazine. It’s available by subscription and you can get a nice 25% discount off the lofty price by hitting this link. Starting with issue #9, it’s available digitally for a pittance. This link will give you lots to read for not lots of dough.

If you must see it to believe it, run down to your local Barnes & Noble Bookstore and skim through a copy. It’s $23 in the store. Sounds like a lot but the magazine will be a keeper and keep you busy reading for quite a few days. With the summer coming up quickly, it will make days at the beach even better and days with air conditioning even cooler.

For more great car reads, go here.

For more from the wonderful and oft-times wacky world of cars, follow this link.