Philip Raby Porsche

Porsche Sales and Service

Remember Fast Lane magazine?

Remember Fast Lane magazine?

A chance comment on Twitter this morning reminded me of a magazine I enjoyed in my youth.

I’ve always been a magazine junkie, with my car interest beginning with Street Machine (by coincidence, I later worked for the editor, after he launched a Porsche magazine), and then Sports Car Mechanics (I later worked with the editor of that too!). However, I always liked the clean stylish design and upmarket feel of Fast Lane.

A quick Google search uncovered these scans of issue one. from 1984, which featured a Porsche 911 on the cover. Sadly, the Porsche feature isn’t included (maybe someone else can share it) but some of the others are.

There’s a charming simplicity in the design; this would have just before the Mac and PageMaker revolutionised publishing, so the columns of text would have been pasted down and then copied to film. However, it’s the photographs I love. All shot on transparency film, of course, there’s an unashamed use of tobacco graduated filters which gives the photos a real Eighties look. I love it! Note also that some of the pages are black and white – magazines used to have mono sections to keep costs down.

All good stuff but, in balance, I believe magazines have improved over the years. Do you?

1 Comment

  • Jonathan says:

    No, is the short answer, I do not believe car magazines have improved over the years. About all one can say is that these days they are more colourful (as you point out, magazines were largely in B&W until the late-eighties) with more, larger photographs. But as is so often the case, “more” actually means “worse”. The articles are shorter, less informed, written to a lower literary standard and exhibiting less technical knowledge. It is well known that editors these days want less copy faster. The journalists themselves are younger, less experienced, immature in comparison with their forebears. Design and layout generally is busier, less elegant, heavily dependent on colour photography. The standard of the photography is pretty abysmal compared to the rich and considered work one saw in Car, Fast Lane, Performance Car. Where today are the glorious motoring travelogues penned so well by Mel Nichols? where do we find the eccentric musings of a Setright? where the clean, classic typography of 1980s Car? where the gorgeous, studied photography of Performance Car?

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