editorial, April 1997

The call came about a month ago. A friend who works in the industry had heard that I was to become the seventh editor of MOTOR SPORT. The words were not of congratulation; they were of warning.

“Do you realise,” he said, “the awesome responsibility that rests on your shoulders and how long the queue to call you names will be if you mess it up?” The words allowed no time for a response. “MOTOR SPORT is no mere magazine, it is a priceless institution and we will all be carefully watching to see what you do with it.”

He did not elaborate on who else “we” might include and nor did he really need to; if I had not received the message by then,I certainly had now.

So this is the new MOTOR SPORT and, on its merits, we will carry three-quarters of a century’s heritage into the new millennium. Like the man said, the responsibility is awesome. Redesigned from cover to cover with pages that are both more plentiful and larger too, it is the result of many months’ careful planning and just a few hours of the mad panic without which no magazine can ever truly call itself relaunched. But its content, however thoughtfully arranged, comes one hundred per cent from the hearts of the staff and contributors.

I have worked for many motoring magazines over the years and have learned that some readers can become fired up about the subject matters within their title. Of them all, though, it is MOTOR SPORT’s readers who are most passionate about what has appeared between these covers for the past three generations.

This is interesting and certainly reassuring but it’s not really the point. What I am learning is the passion which you have for subjects within this magazine is rivalled only by the passion you feel for the magazine itself. This makes you unique. Incredibly, these last months have shown that even those who no longer read MOTOR SPORT ache for a reason to do so again. If you count yourself among their number,! hope that reason is now in your hands. And if you have never seen past the famous green cover before, I take heart from the fact that we have, at least, got you this far.

Either way, please let us know what you think. If MOTOR SPORT is the magazine you have been waiting for, we will be truly delighted to hear from you; if it is not, I may not be so pleased when your letter lands on my desk but I will be just as grateful. There is no dividing line between this magazine and its readers and, without your spirited input to our output, we might as well all go home.

THE PRICE oF MOTOR SPORT HAS RISEN TO £2.75 AND I DON’T KNOW QUITE know how to feel about it. On the one hand I am arrogant enough to believe the product justifies absolutely the rise while, on the other, I acknowledge entirely that it will come as something of a kick to those used to the old price. All I can suggest is that you head straight for the subscriptions offer on page 20 which will deliver the next 12 copies to your door for just £2.20 each. Then again, if you are used to the prices charged by the opposition, our new price will come as something of a relief. We’re not just cheaper; we’re better value too.