Most of us appreciate old cars more than new ones, but what about old journalism?
Referring to the thought-provoking piece by the late, great Denis ‘Jenks’ Jenkinson in Classic Motoring Review No. 3, a letter published in the current issue from reader Kenneth Lang asked if ‘regurgitating old articles is editorial policy?’, adding that ‘highly readable though they may be, I wonder if I’m alone in thinking that this is a bit of a swizz?
This in turn prompted emails from several other readers who held opposite views, as exemplified by one, Andrew James, saying, ‘I could not disagree more with Mr Lang. I would guess that I am at the younger spectrum of your readership, and I have found the republished items among the most enjoyable of the pieces in the Review – as an example, after reading the extract from the ‘Southbound Car’ (CMR No. 1), I ordered a re-print of the book which I have recently finished and much enjoyed. So it is an excellent way of introducing some great writing to those who did not have the opportunity to read them the first time around.’
Well I must obviously thank Mr James for his vote of confidence and further repeat my original answer to Mr Lang’s letter inasmuch that our website and promotional leaflets have always made it clear that republishing great motoring journalism from the past adds context to the great work I believe we commission freshly for each issue. And as if to emphasise that point, some of the features we’ve re-published that appeared in Car, Autosport and Autocar during the golden years of the 1960s and ‘70s were written by such legendary journalists as Douglas Blain, Mel Nichols and Steve Cropley… the same Blain, Cropley and Nichols whose beautifully wrought, newly-minted copy we’re honoured and delighted to publish now.
But agree or disagree, we’d like to have your opinion of what appears in The Classic Motoring Review, especially some of the features in the latest issue which we are re-publishing, such as John Coleman’s account of crossing the Andes in an Austin Chummy, or Peter Robinson’s account of the disastrous 1975 Spanish GP.