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Autocar magazine logo
|Circulation||30,672 (1 January – 30 December 2016)|
|First issue||2 November 1895|
Autocar is a weekly British automobile magazine published by Haymarket Motoring Publications Ltd. It was first published in 1895 and refers to itself as "The World's oldest car magazine". There are now several international editions including China, India, New Zealand and South Africa.
The publication was launched as The Autocar by Iliffe and Sons Ltd "in the interests of the mechanically propelled road carriage" on 2 November 1895 when, it is believed, there were only six or seven cars in the United Kingdom. In his book Drive On!
L. J. K. Setright suggests that the magazine was set up by Henry Sturmey as an organ of propaganda for Harry J. Lawson, founder of the Daimler Company and a journalist on the magazine in its early days. Henry Sturmey stood down as editor of The Autocar magazine and left the company in 1901.
Autocar claims to have invented the road test in 1928 when it analysed the Austin 7 Gordon England Sunshine Saloon. Autocar has been published weekly throughout its life with only strikes in the 1970s interrupting its frequency.
In 1988, it absorbed its long time rival The Motor magazine, founded by Temple Press Ltd on 28 January 1903, briefly calling itself Autocar & Motor afterwards, before reverting to Autocar. The magazine has scored many firsts in its history including the first full road tests and independent performance tests of the Jaguar XJ220, McLaren F1, and the Porsche 911 GT1.
It was also the first magazine to produce independently recorded performance figures for the Bugatti Veyron, which were published in the 31 May 2006 issue.
In the 1950s, the magazine's sport editor, John Cooper, used Cooper T11 parts to create the Cooper-Alta. Former Autocar writers include Russell Bulgin, Chris Harris, and former Top Gear presenter James May.
Current Autocar writers include Richard Bremner, used car expert James Ruppert, Editor at Large Matt Prior and Editor in Chief Steve Cropley.
The current editor is Mark Tisshaw, a former deputy editor, news editor and reporter for the magazine.
Autocar has been licensed to publishers around the world, and is now published in sixteen countries outside the United Kingdom, including China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
In 1952 The Autocar retailed for one shilling, equivalent to five pence in post decimalization British currency. In 1968 the cover price of Autocar was increased from two shillings to two shillings and six pence (equivalent to a post decimalisation increase from ten pence to twelve and a half pence). By 1972, the price had increased fivefold in the two decades since 1952, to 25p. In 1992, the price was £1.25. As of June 2017, the magazine sells for £3.80.