Car and Driver

Car and Driver

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.


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

Car and Driver was founded as Sports Cars Illustrated in 1955.[3] In its early years, the magazine focused primarily on small, imported sports cars. In 1961, editor 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 P. J. O'Rourke as a frequent contributor. Former editors include William Jeanes and David E. Davis, Jr., the latter of whom led some employees to defect in 1985 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. The Spanish version just makes use of the Car and Driver name; no editorial direction is shared. China had an edition called 名车志 Car and Driver. The Middle Eastern edition is issued by ITP Publishing based in Dubai.

Editorial direction

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

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.

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 The Cannonball Run, Cannonball Run II, Cannonball Run III, Gone in 60 Seconds and the Fast & Furious franchise.

See also


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