Spotter’s Guide To The November 2020 Issue Of Hagerty Drivers Club Magazine

Hagerty’s magazine just keeps getting wider, thicker, and longer. The current format isn’t perfect for those of us who like neat lines of mixed titles on a single bookshelf but it approaches the heft of the English big boys. The staff has put a lot of effort into getting the thing consistently printed well on nice paper despite a rash of unpleasant changes in the actual production business. There are fewer and fewer printers out there in the United States who can make something like this.

Your humble author has a Tahoe drive in this issue — it’s a considerably truncated variant on my web test we put up a while back. It’s nice to be in a magazine that looks this nice. That being said, I enjoy writing for the web more than I enjoy writing for print. It’s the difference between playing music live, where you can stretch or shorten according to the audience mood, and recording a 2:45 Top 40 single in the vinyl era. Being published in a magazine means having a lot of your prose semi-broken for the purpose of fitting a line or a paragraph. It means making room for photographs. It means every typo is forever.

And yet. When I’m dead, the magazine will persist. In a basement, in a box, in a long-forgotten then suddenly unearthed stack. Twenty-five years ago, I would drive out to an old half-closed gun store in rural Ohio and dig through the owner’s stash of all the old shooting-sports titles, paging with idle delight through an old article about “the new .44 Magnum cartridge!” and whatnot. Many of the writers who amused and informed me were long dead at that point. Elmer Keith. People like that. Someday I will be nothing but a voice in faded pages, a few words arranged in such a way as to stir an emotion or spark a thought in a mind not yet born when I draw my last breath. Difficult, yet seductive, to think I will one day be as dead as Thos Bryant, Brock Yates, or Blake Z. Rong.

SNL unforgivable from Jonathan on Vimeo.

13 Replies to “Spotter’s Guide To The November 2020 Issue Of Hagerty Drivers Club Magazine”

  1. PaulyG

    Just arrived in the mail today. The printing and photography look very crisp. A good break from the insanity of today!

  2. Brian

    Got mine yesterday. So glad I jumped ship from R&T and came along for your ride at Hagerty. Keep up the good work, Jack! I save all of my car mags from over the years. My 10-yr old son likes looking through them as well. Hope print mags stay around long enough that he can save them for his kids as well…

  3. JDW

    Two things:

    1. Mr. Stout had to go to Canada to find a printer who met his requirements for 000; it’s $62.50 / issue to subscribers, however.

    2. “ Difficult, yet seductive, to think I will one day be as dead as Thos Bryant, Brock Yates, or Blake Z. Rong.” Body bag!

  4. Ragnar Lothbrok

    Hate to be “that guy” but the mag is extra $ after I pay $$ for my annual premium to Hagerty for my big block Corvette and my CLK55 AMG , both cherished and not driven enough.
    Perhaps a bundle would be in order here.
    I do very much appreciate your work.

    • Jack Baruth Post author

      It’s bundled with Driver’s Club, which has some other benefits like extended roadside service.

      About half of our insureds take the magazine — we could bump everyone’s premium and become the biggest paid subscription in the business but the Bommers gonna boom about that.

      • Dirty Dingus McGee

        ” Bommers gonna boom about that.”

        Citation please.

        Of the folks I know in my age group, wretched boomers, that have insurance thru Hagerty, none bitch about spending less than the cost of a meal in a decent restaurant on the drivers club. Perhaps we are the outliers rather than the norm, but I doubt it.

        • Jack Baruth Post author

          We actually have to be very careful about making sure people understand it’s an extra cost and that it’s optional.

          It’s not the money that upsets people; it’s the idea that they didn’t have the clear choice. The older members expect a la carte pricing, while the younger people tend to expect an all-in-one price.

          Hope that’s clearer and fairer than my offhand turn of phrase earlier.

  5. Thomas

    “There are fewer and fewer printers out there in the United States who can make something like this.”

    Most US printers are either big guys who focus on volume (and thus lower quality), or are small-scale letterpress shops for things like old-timey wedding invites. There are not a lot of quality options in between (and the volume prints are often being sent to China now).

    If you want quality but still need the higher volume, the best NA printers are in Canada (typically in Manitoba, but also BC). You still get good quality, service, and more bang for your moose-bucks with the conversion.

    – Magazine designer, who despite the 3am press-checks, still fondly looks back on his bimothly roadtrips to the Quebecor Plant in St.Cloud, Minnesota. They belong in the “volume” group.


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