Deputy editor Matt Burt found a pile of old Autocar magazines on his desk. We’re not sure where they came from, but they’re fascinating.One particular issue caught my eye. Dated 21 October 1987, it was an extra-fat 250-page edition, the guide to that year’s Earl’s Court ‘Motorfair’.

The cover star was the redesigned and recently unveiled Lotus Esprit. Glancing at the magazine’s news section showed how things change. The lead news story was Lotus’ sudden expansion under General Motor’s ownership, with the Engineering arm expanding rapidly and a £2m profit, twice what was expected.

The late Jeff Daniels, then technical editor, reported that Fiat made a ‘thumping’ profit in the first half of 1987, back in the days when it was still selling the Strada and the Tipo had yet to be launched. Things are very different today, for those two companies.

In the sports pages, Nigel Mansell won the Mexican Grand Prix for Williams ahead of team-mate Nelson Piquet and Riccardo Patrese in a Brabham.