I think you will have gathered that the generally aecepted view today is that Motor Sport is far and away the best book of its kind published.
The outspoken word is really refreshing and one gets the opinion that most other books have to be so very careful what they say, for fear of offending the big advertisers.
As a book obviously published by the enthusiast for enthusiasts (with apologies to one of your advertisers), I think a small section could be given now and again to the amateur mechanic.
By this I mean encourage certain firms to advertise, these specialising in machining, etc.
How often do we poor mortals get more worry from finding a firm to do a small job like machining down a head, or skimming brake drums, or skimming down and lightening a flywheel, than we do in the rest of a major job? I know that always happens to me, anyway!
Can anything be done about this, please?
With the very best of good wishes and many thanks for carrying the flag so well.
I am, Yours, etc., R. A. Farrow. Bromley.
Our primary reason for publishing this is the hope that the specialist firms in the light engineering industry will be able to help our correspondent and other amateur mechanics who are finding the same difficulty.
In the course of his letter this correspondent states that “The outspoken word is really refreshing and one gets the opinion that most other books have to be so very careful what they say, for fear of offending the big advertisers.” This view has been expressed by so large a number of correspondents that we feel the moment is opportune to enlarge upon it.
With its readership of well over 100,000 Motor Sport is an excellent advertising medium, that is used with satisfaction by those who have goods to sell. That the magazine is appreciated by readers and of benefit to advertisers is naturally very satisfactory to us. The fact remains that Motor Sport costs a great deal of money to produce and, in common with other journals and newspapers, is dependent on advertising revenue to enable it to present news and pictures in the best possible style. Nevertheless it has always been our aim to be outspoken where necessary and to report as fairly as possible what we see rather than what we would like to see.
There are advertisers who have sought to control what we say about their products and when the editorial policy has made it necessary to criticise they have withdrawn their advertising and tried to persuade others to do the same.
One Leader of Industry has gone so far as to tell us that we are unpatriotic and even communistic in our policy. It has also been suggested to us that no respectable motoring journal should criticise the shortcomings in British cars.
Such suggestions, if listened to and acted upon, would undermine the Freedom of the Press and in our opinion would, in the long run, be detrimental to the good name and progress of the British motor industry. Moreover, what value is continual praise, written with advertising revenue ever in mind, and untempered by fair criticism?
We are repeatedly asked for road-test reports by readers who wish to purchase a modern car. Test reports are not usually available because the manufacturers wish to control matter that should be presented impartially to our readers, and when not allowed to do so, make excuses to put off indefinitely the proposed test.
With all the criticism from Overseas Buyers that has appeared in Motor Sport, not one P.R.O. has availed himself of our columns to correct a false statement, if there be one, or to explain the difficulty that results in the weakness referred to.
Readers cannot fail to have observed that certain advertisers have ceased to support its and from this they presumably have drawn their own conclusions.
The policy of Motor Sport remains a genuine endeavour to present to our readers the unbiased facts as we see them, and it is up to the publicity personnel of those manufacturers who appear upset by our policy to ask themselves whether it is not time that they made use of our pages as a medium in which they may meet criticism and state their case. In the meantime we are gratified that our policy finds favour with an ever-increasing readership, representing perhaps some of the most discerning motorists in the world. — W.J.T.