Currently reading: Work begins to digitise 126 years of Autocar magazine
All 700,000 pages of the world's oldest motoring magazine will be accessible and searchable via online hub
Autocar
News
2 mins read
10 March 2021

Every issue of Autocar printed since the magazine was founded in 1895 is to be digitised over the next six months and will be made accessible via a dedicated online archive later this year. 

The scanning process, which will be carried out by Coventry-based Archive Digital Limited, will be non-destructive so as to preserve the physical copies of each issue. Autocar's own archive is believed to be one of just six complete collections of the magazine in existence.

Each digital file will be stored as a digitally searchable PDF to allow users to quickly and easily find content of interest from 126 years of Autocar back issues. Full details will be released nearer to publication, but parties can register their interest now at archives@archivedigital.co.uk.

Uniquely, Autocar - which began as The Autocar and was proudly labelled as a “journal published in the interests of the mechanically propelled road carriage” - has been published weekly since being founded in November 1895, continuing to print even at times of national crisis, including the two world wars.

It's believed that the only interruptions were during the General Strike in 1926, the Fuel Crisis in 1973 and print-related issues in 1975. That means around 6500 issues and 700,000 pages will be digitised as part of the project - enough paper to cover the 130 miles from Autocar's London offices to Archive Digital's Coventry facility.

Autocar editor Mark Tisshaw said: “Autocar’s editors have always been charged with delivering the best possible coverage of today’s cars and tomorrow’s exciting developments, but I’m also acutely aware of how much the past informs the future and how much interest and excitement opening up our archives will generate, particularly at a time that the car industry itself is undergoing a complete reinvention.

“It's easy to forget how innovative our original publishers were, reputedly launching with fewer than 10 privately owned cars on UK roads. I hope that pioneering spirit continues through to today and that, by opening up our archive to future generations, we will be able to create a unique resource for everyone from curious enthusiasts to historians to enjoy.”

READ MORE

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Established 1895: Autocar's role in the transport revolution

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jag150 10 March 2021
Does that include Motor?
I was never an Autocar fan and stopped buying when the merger took place.
streaky 10 March 2021
jag150 wrote:

Does that include Motor? I was never an Autocar fan and stopped buying when the merger took place.

I can remember in the day prefering Motor, primarily because of its road tests which were very analytical and had star ratings under many more headings than Autocar does now.

Ravon 10 March 2021

Wonderful news, what a fantastic reference facility !

I've been buying second hand Autocar ( and also Motor ) Road Test annuals when I see them come up for sale, wonderful reading .

Philip Townsend 10 March 2021

This is amazing news - to someone who has spent has entire life amassing a collection of every Autocar since the Second World War and quite a few before then. There goes their value!! Save some space in the garage though....

Breaks in publication were in February 1959, a couple of weeks in Feb /March 1972, 15 November 1973 till 23 March 1974 and a few random weeks in 1975 and 1980.

Can't wait for this.....