The best CAR magazine covers of the past 60 years: the full set | CAR Magazine

The best CAR magazine covers of the past 60 years: the full set

Published: 13 December 2022 Updated: 13 December 2022

► The best CAR magazine covers
► Picked by current and former editors
► The full set from the 1960s to today

CAR magazine turned 60 this autumn – providing the perfect chance to revisit some of our best front covers from the past six decades. Your can read more about our 60th birthday celebrations and special issues here.

We have now completed the round-up, publishing our favourite covers from the 1960s to the present day. The newest covers start at the top and you can scroll back to the origins of CAR magazine, as Small Car & Mini Owner launched in September 1962, rebranded as CAR and quickly established a reputation for pioneering journalism, stand-out design and provocative coverlines.

We asked four former editors Mel Nichols (1974-81), Gavin Green (1987-92 and 1994-96), Greg Fountain (1999-02) and Phil McNamara (2006 to 2017) to pick their favourite CAR magazine covers from their era, and the stories behind them – so read on for the background, the gossip and behind-the-scenes tales of how the magazines were made.

We hope you enjoy the trip down memory lane!

The story of CAR magazine, by Gavin Green

CAR magazine covers from the 2010s

The best CAR magazine covers of the 2010s

August 2020 – Ferrari SF90 driven
CAR kept producing compelling issues during the 2020 Covid crisis, helped no end by European editor Georg Kacher repeatedly getting into cars while the UK was locked down. But it was Chris Chilton and snapper Richard Pardon who showed great determination to get out to Maranello to drive the Ferrari SF90 while the UK media group was grounded. And the result was this clean, dynamic and high-impact cover starring a hybrid V8 Ferrari with an incredible spread of abilities. A bit like CAR magazine’s covers, over the past 60 years.     

October 2019 – New Defender
The redesign from editor Ben Miller and art editor Mal Bailey was really getting into its stride by the time the new Land Rover Defender finally went public. John Wycherley’s powerful, atmospheric shots made the reborn icon look suitably heroic, and Ben Barry’s thoughtful words answered every key question. A big moment, one that left our 2019 Sports Car of the Year playing second fiddle. 

January 2018 – Ferrari at 70
Ben Miller took the editor’s chair in 2017, and at the end of the year he delivered a Ferrari masterpiece: a world-exclusive drive of the LaFerrari Aperta, and 44 pages dedicated to the marque: from drives of the F40, 430 Scuderia and Dino, to interviews with key figureheads from the racing and road car side of the Prancing Horse.

The best CAR magazine covers of the 2010s

May 2015 – Bentley Rising!
Phil McNamara: ‘In almost 20 years on CAR I’ve been involved in a lot of development work, but this was my most successful redesign. The cover – with its punchy colours and big imagery – set the style template and the new flatplan introduced the Tech and Used Car sections, a rebooted Giant Test with lovely graphics and interior photo comparisons (blatantly copied by rivals) plus six features you couldn’t read anywhere else.’

December 2014 – McLaren vs Ferrari
Phil McNamara: ‘Probably the cover that flew closest to the sun: we only got the green light to conduct the twin test when writer Chris Chilton and snapper Greg Pajo were already driving to the airport, once Ferrari had got a last-minute registration for road use of the LaFerrari prototype. And Ben Barry cut short a Mallorcan family holiday to get over to Maranello and help drive the McLaren P1. But we got the world-first twin test, and the improvised chase video is still worth watching. 

August 2013 – Porsche 911 at 50
Phil McNamara: ‘CAR crowned the 911 its favourite car in 2012, and a year later we celebrated its 50th birthday with a bang: seven covers, one for each generation of 911 at the time. Designers Andy Franklin and Matt Tarrant worked out the angles and colour palette, and unusually we stripped away all non-Porsche cover lines and boosted the logo’s size. And the covers were given a spectacular metallic finish – and a set ended up on the wall of Porsche’s then-CEO in Germany.’

The best CAR magazine covers of the 2010s

October 2012 – CAR 50th birthday special
Phil McNamara: ‘The gold foil and repetitive 50th messages were designed to lure browsers into folding out the poster of our 50 favourite cars of the past 50 years. And what a set of cars – McLaren F1, Ferrari F40, Bugatti Veyron, Porsche 911 and Lamborghini Miura in the front row alone, and a total value of around £30 million. The team had protested that it couldn’t be done, but road test editor Ben Pulman pulled it off, at hangar 6 at North Weald airport. The planning was meticulous, with 50 toy cars used to determine the arrangement. It took two full days to complete, and Alex Howe’s final shot was a composite of more than 200 frames – each car was shot and lit individually in situ, and we even lit and photographed the empty hangar to make the floor look special!’

July 2011 – McLaren’s Worst Nightmare
Phil McNamara: ‘Far too busy to be a beautiful cover but the attitude was crystal-clear. The 12C flunked its big test when its hydraulic suspension malfunctioned ahead of former Stig Ben Collins’ timed laps – we published the details and preferred the Ferrari 458 on excitement too. McLaren held a grudge for months.’

July 2010 – We love Alfa!
Phil McNamara: ‘Alfa Romeo hadn’t given me a cover-worthy car in almost three years as editor, but my love for its cars meant we went big on its centenary, using a Pininfarina Spider concept as the hook. I tied myself up in knots about the ‘We Love Alfa!’ line, thinking readers might laugh given the firm’s recent substandard history – but decided buying a V6 GTV would show our sincerity. It was no laughing matter when the car broke down after 17 miles, but the issue’s success put Alfa back on the cover A-list.’

CAR magazine covers from the 2000s

The best CAR magazine covers of the 2000s

November 2009 – M3 revolution!
Phil McNamara: ‘My strategy was to position CAR at the forefront of the electrification and technology change sweeping the industry, demonstrated when we secured the only UK shoot of the Vision EfficientDynamics, BMW’s precursor to the hybrid i8 production sports car. But it wasn’t much of a gamble putting it centre stage with a supporting cast of the McLaren 12C and latest Golf R! Then there was Gavin Green’s Mini adventure: following in his father’s tyre tracks to drive coast-to-coast across Australia, a 4155-mile epic through the centre.’

February 2008 – Up For Grabs!
Phil McNamara: ‘A hugely topical cover, with Ford deep in the process which ultimately saw Tata of India take over Jaguar and Land Rover. Chris Chilton drove the crucial new Jag XF in Arizona, getting pulled over by the police (as usual) and declaring that the new saloon would cause sleepless nights in Germany. Back in the UK, Ben Barry got the skinny on the LRX, the concept that became the smash-hit Evoque, while Gavin Green told Ford that selling the British premium brands would be a cause for regret. It probably was – but given the financial crisis whistling around the industry, Ford never had time to look back, and weathered the storm better than GM or Chrysler.’

October 2007 – New McLaren F1
Phil McNamara: ‘As scoops go, this was one of the biggest of my 10-year editorship. A source claimed to have some images of the secret McLaren in development, and we sent Tim Pollard to snap them up and turn it into a cover story. We took our time publishing them: we initially thought the design too undramatic to be the McLaren F1’s successor! But after painstakingly checking them out and  turning them into line drawings to cover our source’s identity, our computer artist rendered what went on to become the MP4-12C. Tim won an industry award for the scoop; I’d crossed Ron Dennis for the second time, having already published Stephen Bayley’s gentle skewering of the intense mind behind the Norman Foster-designed McLaren Technology Centre.’

The best CAR magazine covers of the 2000s

September 2006 – Three Days in the Veyron
We don’t want you to think we were obsessed by the Veyron, although its peak Piëch extremism needed regular coverage. But when Georg Kacher had the chance to spend three days in the 1001-horsepower leviathan, he jumped at it, and the shots of the £895k hypercar vs daily life – trundling through a drive-through or recuperating in Georg’s garage – were sensational. This issue was Jason’s second magazine overhaul in the space of 12 months, showing the furious creativity at work during his two-year tenure. With huge word counts and an incredibly stylish and premium look, which bagged the industry’s top design award for art director Andrew Franklin, CAR went seriously upmarket.    

October 2005 – Bugatti: 212mph on the road 
Jason Barlow’s feet were very much under the editor’s desk, and this was the second issue of a redesign with a front end influenced by the fast pace and light touch of lads’ mags. It was a bit much for some loyal readers, but the features section remained trademark CAR, as this exclusive from European editor Georg Kacher shows. Engineering director Wolfgang Schreiber took Georg for a ride, hitting 212mph with still a gear to go and deploying hard braking that ‘felt like a 737 aborting take-off.’ 

February 2004 – Got’ Em!
Got ‘em was editor Angus Mackenzie’s enthusiastic take on another CAR staple: previewing the year’s most exciting new metal, often in scoop form. A nice batch of cars – revealing the still-secret 997 and the first drive in the Aston Martin DB9 – but the cover star was undoubtedly the Range Stormer concept. CAR accidentally broke the embargo, with a Land Rover executive spotting the V8 SUV cover at WHS in Heathrow, landing in Detroit on the warpath. Consolation came in the form of Angus’s best-selling issue of CAR.

The best CAR magazine covers of the 2000s

June 2003 – The Fastest Ferrari
Getting access to Ferrari’s limited-run specials isn’t always easy, but Angus Mackenzie hit upon a brilliant ruse true to CAR’s famous supercar driveback stories: tag along with singer and car enthusiast Jay Kay as he blasted his new Enzo back from Maranello. 

February 2002 – Bring ’em on! 
Greg Fountain: ‘Forerunner of the later ‘Got ‘Em!’ franchise (and successor to the more sedate ‘The Cars You’ll be Driving Next Year’), subtitled ‘The 40 cars that matter in 2002’. Finely crafted multi-car tracking shot featuring Paul Gregory’s head mysteriously transplanted onto the body of the MG insider who wasn’t supposed to be photographed at the wheel…’

June 2001 – New Mini First Drive 
Greg Fountain: ‘You can’t leave it out because of its sheer audacity. Our fastidious and audacious skulduggery drove a coach and horses through BMW’s endlessly policed drip-feed of the most eagerly awaited model for decades, enraging just about everybody (and literally everybody in Munich) except our readers. It earned me a stern but grudgingly respectful ticking off from Germany and got us fired from the official launch ‘so not to upset our rivals, who were rather cross.’ And no, we’re still not saying how we did it.’

The best CAR magazine covers of the 2000s

May 2000 – The Ultimate Test
Greg Fountain: ‘Our first “shoot the cars dirty” cover – Diablo and 550 pictured after a 1000-mile road trip with the great Russell Bulgin. Cars were cut out and small in a sea of white space, inspired by Esquire’s cover starring Will Smith as Mohammed Ali. I saw it in a newsagents and was struck by how all that white space stood out amongst the multi-coloured noise of the newsstand. So we tried the same thing.’

April 2000 – Roadster heaven
Greg Fountain: ‘The first rig shot cover didn’t come easy. Tom Salt had invented a home-made rig which attached his camera to the car by way of literal scaffolding, thus effecting pin-sharp action images. We despatched Tom all the way to LA with his collection of customs-officer averse poles to shoot the BMW Z8 on a gas station forecourt, causing mass consternation when attaching the cumbersome set-up to the hen’s teeth-rare bodywork. We did the same thing to Tom later that year, flying him to Japan to hide in a hedge and snatch a fleeting pan of the new Impreza.’

CAR magazine covers from the 1990s

The best CAR magazine covers of the 1990s

December 1999 – Quickest car ever
Greg Fountain: ‘A bit of exclusive performance history with the McLaren F1LM heading up an issue that showcased the breadth of CAR’s obsession, giving equal billing to the F1’s support acts of BMW Z8, Seat Leon, Rover 25 and BMW X5, and adding a pinch of authority via our Car of the Decade.’

June 1999 – Ferrari 360 Modena
Greg Fountain: ‘A zinger of a cover, shot high up from the rear with the Ferrari engine bay lit separately – but then I would say that, wouldn’t I, as it was my first issue as editor. But come on, Z3, S2000, IS200, Alexei in a Beetle, rolling a Jeep in the desert, Bernie Ecclestone on kneecapping – it rocked!’

The best CAR magazine covers of the 1990s

September 1998 – Impreza v 911
Greg Fountain: ‘Stunningly composed and shot though it was, it was the timing that was most perfect – scooping the Impreza 22B and opening up the grey-import window seconds before the whole scene went ballistic. Still the second-biggest selling issue ever.’

August 1998 – BMW M Coupe
Greg Fountain: ‘The ‘GQ relaunch’ under editor Rob Munro-Hall and art director Peter Allen, and the issue that changed the face of motoring magazines. The odd-looking but awesome breadvan Beemer was beautiful to us and, we reasoned, beautiful to our readers, so we treated it like something beautiful, inviting A-list photographer Tim Kent, who had never shot a car before, to put it in a studio and light it like the goddesses he was more accustomed to immortalising.’

June 1997 – Why everyone’s going mad for convertibles
Greg Fountain: ‘Not the prettiest cover we’ve done but it broke the acknowledged format, shooting from above (actually a relevant angle for convertibles), composing a complicated group shot around the cover line, and with about 40 cars gathered together was utterly definitive.’

The best CAR magazine covers of the 1990s

June 1994:’Blast Off!’ McLaren F1 first drive cover
Gavin Green: ‘Plan view, really wonderful graphics, and we were first to get the drive story (with Autocar). This was my first issue back as editor and I thought it a terrific cover.’

April 1994: The lemon cover
Gavin Green: ‘A hard-hitting, very graphic demolition of our unreliable Golf VR6. Editor Mark Gilles’ best cover, although CAR had done something similar decades before.’

August 1992 ‘Jaguar XJ220 We drive the world’s fastest car’
Gavin Green: ‘A great scoop – we were first to drive it – and also a terrifically clean and impactful cover.’

The best CAR magazine covers of the 1990s

February 1991: ‘Top Ten 1991: We pick the best and you build them’
Gavin Green: ‘Complete with cut-out paper models. Great graphics and how different! I was really proud of this cover.’

July 1990: Euro car clones: Who’ll put a stop to dead end design?
Gavin Green: ‘Our all-cars look the same cover. Tapped into an important jellymould industry trend, did something about it.’

May 1990: How Toyota spoilt the MR2
Gavin Green: ‘Very hard-hitting, as we were. And spot on.’

CAR magazine covers from the 1980s

The best CAR magazine covers of the 1980s

December 1989 – African adventures in new Discovery
Gavin Green, who remains our chief contributor today, edited CAR throughout much of the 1980s. He remembers this cover well: ‘A CAR scoop – we were first with the new Disco drive – and while others were doing their (later) photo shots in a Midlands gravel pit, we were crossing the Sahara. Really clean cover, looks spectacular to this day.’

March 1989 – Japan shows Europe how to build sports cars
Gavin Green: ‘NSX and new MX-5. Great graphics (very white and red) create a confident, bold (and true!) statement on the newsstand.’

August 1988 – The Dirt on Britain’s best sellers. The fleet bosses speak
Gavin Green: ‘An unusual angle, very hard-hitting, very accurate, good dark and moody cover treatment.’

The best CAR magazine covers of the 1980s

January 1988 – Top Ten 1988 Aboard HMS Ark Royal
Gavin Green: ‘The Top Ten was a CAR magazine staple, but this was our most memorable photoshoot treatment.’

December 1987 – Setright Decides
Gavin Green: ‘No other car mag would have done a cover like that! Plus it sold well.’

Sept 1987 – There will never be another month like this
Gavin Green: ‘Not the cleanest or purest cover, but what subject matters – and what a temptation to buy!’

The best CAR magazine covers of the 1980s

June 1986 – 5000 miles in a week in Britain’s favourite tin box 
Gavin Green: ‘The tin box in question was the then-new Ford Escort. Great graphics and again a really innovative treatment.’

July 1985 – Getting to know the GTO
Gavin Green: ‘Great cover line, terrific photo (small boy peering inside the car) and what a tempting subject! I wrote the story but it was Steve Cropley’s cover and it’s probably my favourite CAR cover ever.’

April 1984 – Finding out
Gavin Green: ‘We had all the great supercars to compare, to spike new rival Fast Lane’s big budget and much promoted launch. They had a 911…. Game over.’

The best CAR magazine covers of the 1980s

November 1982 – Countach! Flat out in the fabulous 5.0-litre
Gavin Green: ‘Wonderful design with whizzing white car and great composition, from editor Steve Cropley.’ 

March 1980 – Ferrari Daytona: On the road with the car that time can’t tame
Mel Nichols: ‘One of my favourite covers for one of my favourite stories: Colin Curwood’s sunset photo, with a line that conveyed the Daytona’s enduring ability eight years after it went out of production.’

CAR magazine covers from the 1970s

The best CAR magazine covers of the 1970s

April 1979 – Ford’s sensational new Escort!
Mel Nichols, editor of CAR during much of the 1970s, looks back at the covers of this period. ‘This powerful scoop cover revealed the shape and detail of the radical 1980 Escort, a year before its launch,’ he recalls. ‘Ford couldn’t understand how we got such an accurate image and so much information. It was all down to carefully nurtured contacts.’

January 1979 – Six days on the road with Enzo’s greatest hit
Mel Nichols: ‘Experiencing Nick Mason’s Ferrari GTO was fantastic. But how do you put a 16-year-old racing car on the cover of a new-car magazine? The emotional appeal of Richard Davies’s wide-angle panning shot did the job.’

The best CAR magazine covers of the 1970s

October 1978 –Showdown!
Mel Nichols: ‘A terrific multi-car shot – including a difficult-to-snap black car – arranged at short notice in London. Art director Wendy Harrop had already sweet-talked this Chelsea gravel pit’s owner so was able to take the cars straight there. CAR’s owner, Ian Fraser, grabbed a sponge to help clean the cars.’

February 1978 – At last – a Merc at Ford prices!
Mel Nichols: ‘A scoop cover with a difference for the first info about the still-secret Mercedes 190. We didn’t have a suitable cover picture, but this classy illustration sold the story nicely.’

January 1978 – Stand back – it’s Lamborghini’s even wilder Countach!
Mel Nichols: ‘The cover line worked nicely with the image, taken near Bologna. Spotting photo opportunities – like kids in a school yard – was a crucial part of high-pressure supercar drive stories, and called for sharp-eyed and quick-witted photographers, in this case John Perkins.’

The best CAR magazine covers of the 1970s

July 1977 – LJK Setright on the five best Ferraris
Mel Nichols: ‘The cover for LJK’s marvellous “voice out of the whirlwind” tale. A photo of a single car wasn’t appropriate. Art director Wendy Harrop saw the graphic potential of cropping close on a red Daytona’s rear badge. Its purity and power emphasised CAR’s design prowess.’

January 1976 – The supercars face-to-face
Mel Nichols: ‘A mighty CAR exclusive: the world’s first Countach v Boxer v 911 Turbo comparison. Not a great pic, taken in dreadful weather, but it was the result of a year-long effort to get them together – there were only five Countachs in the UK back then.’

August 1973 – 190mph, but where?
A stunning illustration, capturing the pessimistic feeling of a package of forward-looking stories: a look at the decline and fall of the 1970s car industry, and LJK Setright looking at ecology cars of the future and how the energy crisis was shaping the fuels of the future.

The best CAR magazine covers of the 1970s

December 1972 – The automobile as domestic appliance
Like many of the best CAR covers, this one makes its point with a brilliant image and just a handful of words. Volvo was a little less impressed, and withdrew its advertising from CAR for over a decade.

November 1972 – The good, the bad and the ugly
CAR’s covers became increasingly illustrated and thought-provoking under the editorship of Ian Fraser. This issue featured the first outing of CAR’s famous GBU (the good, the bad and the ugly) listings section, honed by future editors, particularly Mel Nichols. The section lives on to this day, as a buying guide with bite.

February 1970 – Are oils all the same?
There have been a few CAR covers without a car, but this takes the crown as the most wilfully uncommercial. The actual story is a text only spread, dense with technical information about viscosity and the vulnerabilities of engines. A one-off, and for good reason.

CAR magazine covers from the 1960s

The best CAR magazine covers of the 1960s

April 1969 – Testing two 150mph Italian supercars 
A themed issue from editor Doug Blain, with the centrepiece being CAR’s first drive of the V6 Dino from Ferrari: ‘The 206 GT Dino stands out as one of the most advanced grand touring cars of our time’. Meanwhile dep ed Mike Twite undertakes his first visit to Sant’Agata to drive the Islero V12 coupe to Rome, and casually manages an indicated 186mph! There’s also an interview with Giorgetto Giugiaro asking if he’s the greatest car designer – even back then – and the Alfa Giulia Super and BMW 1600 do battle in that issue’s Giant Test.

March 1969 – A very, very British Car of the Year
CAR delivers an incredibly detailed, 12-page assessment of Jaguar’s XJ6, which edges the Peugeot 504 into Car of the Year second place with its incredible comfort, roadholding and refinement – ‘we spent half of the development time getting the noise down,’ admits one engineer.

February 1969 – Capri: what you’ve promised yourself?
Reading CAR’s first Capri review is a wonderful insight into an age before PRs took a firm grip on the industry. Hit by supplier industrial action, Ford was scavenging brake components to get sufficient Capris off the Halewood line for UK monthly magazines, with one preview car finished, driven to Essex overnight, washed and shoved on stage. Mike Twite and Jeff Daniels, while approving of the looks, decided that the Capri was ‘exactly the same as the 1600 Cortina – it sounded the same, rode the same and the gearbox felt the same – to sum up we felt it was just a Cortina with a different body.’

The best CAR magazine covers of the 1960s

August 1968 – We start the third world war 
A coverline from editor Doug Blain that would make The Sun’s Kelvin Mackenzie proud makes it into our list of the best CAR magazine covers. The war in question was between Rolls-Royce’s Silver Shadow and Mercedes’ V8 600. Bad news for Britain: due to the Merc being much more rewarding to drive and in spite of Rolls’ craftsmanship, the Silver Shadow had to make do with being the second best car in the world. 

December 1967 – Setright’s 1000 miles in a Miura
Legendary travel story as LJK Setright drives the Miura back from Sant’Agata Bolognese. Unfortunately, he’s under strict instructions to bring the car back in one piece and without the V12 topping 5000rpm, which really clips his wings. ‘It is rather galling to be limited to a miserly 126mph in a car that looks as if it ought always to be travelling at its easily achieved 176,’ he writes before falling asleep in the passenger seat at three figures.

July 1967 – 007 Toyota GT 
CAR has always sat at the heart of popular culture, and this light-hearted brush with the star of You Only Live Twice – the 2000 GT roadster, of which only two were made – was followed in the issue by a trip to George Barris’s kustom kar studios, to see the Batmobile and The Munsters’ Dragula. 

The best CAR magazine covers of the 1960s

November 1965 – The fabulous 150mph Daytona Cobra
Anyone blaming Max Power for the cocktail of scantily clad women and fast cars should time travel back to 1965. Henry Manney’s straight road test is set against two wildly juxtaposing pictures of the cover model naked, draped over the Cobra. How times have changed…

September 1965 – We drive Surtees’ Ferrari and test the 600 Mercedes with Fangio!
Talk about rubbing shoulders with racing royalty. Henry Manney actually got his hands on John Surtees’ own 330 GT, which needed driving from Monaco to Spa while the F1 and motorcycle racing champion was overseas. Henry Manney leapt at the chance, wisecracking ‘It ain’t very often that we get our hands on a Ferrari – in fact, if it was up to Ferrari the motoring press would hardly get a smell of the 12-cylinder beasties.’ Meanwhile Daimler-Benz deployed its former F1 world champion Juan Manuel Fangio as a figurehead on the Mercedes 600 press launch.

August 1965 – How mighty is the Mustang? We drove one to Sicily and back
The second issue strictly as CAR magazine, and our American in Europe – Henry Manney – got his hands on Ford’s 200bhp V8 Mustang to head from Paris to the Targa Florio. It went well: ‘The Mustang’s main advantages are the effortless horsepower, smooth engine and gearbox, good looks’ – and gave Manney the chance to poke fun at cramped and underpowered European cars.

The best CAR magazine covers of the 1960s

June 1963 – ‘Exclusive: I drove the Wankel
A cover line of its time: the personal pronoun, past tense and rotary engine are all a thing of the past. CAR runs a story from Gunther Molter who drives NSU’s prototype rotary engine in a Sport Prinz. He’s impressed by its compactness, light weight and refinement but observes the rotary engine’s Achilles’ heel: ‘The useful torque range is smaller than normal, so that the operating level is from 3600rpm to 6000’. 

April 1963 – Hillman Imp scooped!
By February 1963 we’d dropped the Mini Owner and Sporting Driver suffixes and published our first big scoop, outing the Hillman Imp. Including a cutaway drawing of the rear-engined layout, the double page spread was technically detailed and clearly built on inside information. The Rootes Group were apopletic, summoning editor Georg Bishop for a lengthy dressing down. 

Sept 1962 – Renault R8 v Simca 1000 twin test
The very first cover of CAR – or Small Car and Mini Owner incorporating Sporting Driver, as it was concisely known. A lack of clarity about the target audience transferred to the cover, whose cover star was the undoubtedly small Renault 8, which took on another French small car, the Simca 1000. The first issue is an odd mix of highly technical, consumer advice – a Better Driving column on catching oversteer, a guide to touring Wiltshire and Dorset, an article about the dilemma of wearing seatbelts! – and in some confused gender politics, a shoot of five female models and their cars and a profile of a female driving instructor.

Which is your favourite era of CAR magazine covers? Be sure to sound off in the comments below!

By Phil McNamara

Group editor, CAR magazine