I rarely buy current car magazines. Instead, I tend to go for period magazines, mainly those published between the early 1950’s and the mid 1990’s. Old car maintenance mags like ‘Practical Motorist’ and ‘Car Mechanics’ complete with their tips and hints, their letters pages and the myriad of adverts, paint a real world picture of what motoring was really like for the average Joe at the time, in a way any modern magazine dealing with old car could never do. But probably my favourite publications of all are those for car customising, such as the sadly now defunct ‘Street Machine’ and ‘Hot Car’ as well as ‘Custom Car’ which is still currently in print. These kind of mags really accurately portray what the trends of time were, both good and bad, without adding the rose tinted gloss of distant nostalgia…

Probably my favourite of these was ‘Hot Car’ which ran from 1968 through to 1983. Hot Car spanned an era that went from the oddball buggy, kit car and special era, right up to the turbocharged, body kitted 80’s and dipped into rods, custom vans, stock cars, drag racing and just about everything else in between along the way. 183 editions of Hot Car were published and I’ve yet to acquire a full set, but there was that other great custom mag of that era of which I do own every issue…

Nearly a decade after Hot Car hit the stands, a new magazine aimed squarely at the growing Hot Rod and Custom market appeared, published by Link House and entitled appropriately enough, ‘Hot Rod & Custom UK’. This mag followed the British custom scene quite closely and also covered the fast developing sport of drag racing. It was more in depth and closer to the custom car scene at grass roots than any mag before it, with the possible exception of Whiteland publications ‘Drag Racing and Hot Rod’ in the late 60’s. Editor of DR&HR, Ian Penberthy became editor at HR&C and remained so until the magazine demise in 1982. Falling revenues during the recession hit the mag hard and after a scant 50 issues, it was eventually absorbed into the long running ‘Custom Car’.

Not long back, I finally found the last few issues I needed to make up a full set of this excellent mag, so be expecting to see a few scans of some of the great stuff in them over the next few months. For now though, here’s a gallery of the front covers of all 50 issues from June 1978 through to July 1982…

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