Autocar at 125: motoring icons share their birthday wishes

Akio Toyoda receives 2018 Issigonis trophy from Steve Cropley

Akio Toyoda receives the 2018 Issigonis trophy from Autocar editor-in-chief Steve Cropley

Jackie Stewart, Jeremy Clarkson and a host of industry leaders tell us what Autocar means to them

Over its 125 years, Autocar has been lucky enough to meet and build relationships with the very top players in the automotive industry. Here, some of today’s most prominent industry executives and recognisable personalities tell us why they appreciate Autocar.

A series of features on Autocar’s anniversary, including a look at our 125-year history, what’s ahead, reflections from our editors over the years and more, is in this week’s magazine, available now. For subscribers and those shopping in Sainsbury’s, buyers will also receive an exclusive reprint of the first-ever Autocar issue.

Carlos Tavares – Chairman, PSA Group

I congratulate Autocar for its amazing 125 years in production. It has always been a reference authority on all things motoring, and I warmly applaud the team for their continued success.

James May – The Grand Tour presenter

When Autocar fired me, I thought I was merely losing my job. I didn’t realise that I was being committed to a path of career development that would, tragically, lead to me spend half my adult life in close proximity to Jeremy Clarkson. He was never good enough for a job on Autocar.

Stephen Norman – Managing director, Vauxhall

Autocar is an institution that I grew up with in the 1960s and ’70s and Motor, which it incorporates, even before that. To be alive today, let alone the digital-embracing, all-outliving powerhouse that it now is, says more than any witness statement. Eschewing the buzzword generations yet sidelining the bloggers and vloggers says a great deal about your terrific team. I love you guys.

Sir jackie Stewart – three-time Formula One World Champion

I’ve been a regular reader of Autocar for almost as long as I can remember – even as a wee boy watching my big brother, Jimmy Stewart, race cars for Ecurie Ecosse, Aston Martin and Jaguar. It was a wonderful magazine then and it’s even more wonderful that it’s still in circulation today. Autocar has been part not only of motoring but also, more specifically in my world, of motorsport itself. Happy anniversary and congratulations for keeping the ball rolling for so many years.

Simon Saunders – Managing director, Ariel Motor Co.

From the 1898 Ariel De Dion Tricycle to the 2020 Ariel Atom, Autocar has been there with valued opinion and critical comment every mile of the journey. What an amazing achievement. 

Chris Harris – Top Gear presenter and former Autocar writer

The happiest days of my working life were at Autocar. It was and still is the best place to learn this trade; the sheer turnover of cars means you’re always experiencing something new. But one thing stands out in my memory above all the supercars, road trips and photoshoots: we were always smiling or laughing. I wouldn’t have the life I love without Autocar. Happy birthday, old girl.

Lord Anthony Bamford –  Chairman, JCB

Many congratulations on reaching your 125th birthday. As a devoted car enthusiast, Autocar is one of my most anticipated weekly reads, and I particularly enjoy learning about new engineering innovations that are being introduced. In a world of increasing digitisation, your magazine also proves week in and week out that print and online can exist successfully side by side. My best wishes for the future.

Jim Farley – CEO and President, Ford

Congratulations to Autocar and everyone who has ever worked at the bible of the European car scene. One of my happiest reads since I was a kid and then when I worked my way through school at a shop run by F1 champion Phil Hill. I still get edgy as I get ready to read the latest on what you think of a car I’ve worked on. One of my best car memories was viewing your archive, especially finding pictures of the Vanderbilt race cars in the US before the turn of the century. Your archive is an industry treasure. Keep your engines revving!

Ian Callum – Director of design, Callum

Autocar means a lot to me. I’ve been reading it since I was six. I still have many copies from the early years, and I occasionally look at them with a fondness that reminds me how much I love cars. Always a source of information on product and, just as importantly, industry news, Autocar has been my window into the industry for 60 years.

Jeremy Clarkson – The Grand Tour presenter

I have read Autocar every single week since I wasn’t old enough to really afford it. It has been a mainstay of my life, and it once brought me untold joy by firing James May.

Duke of Richmond – founder, Goodwood motoring events

Autocar’s 125th anniversary is a tribute to its long-lasting quality throughout the everchanging world of motoring and motorsport. The magazine has brilliantly supported Goodwood events ever since my grandfather established the Motor Circuit back in 1948. 

Akio Toyoda – President, Toyota

Congratulations on your 125th anniversary! As Autocar is the world’s oldest automotive magazine, I would like to pay my respects to you for continuing to see and tell the history of the automobile. Without your deep love for automobiles and the support of your readers, we wouldn’t be able to build on our history as much as we have.

In 2018, we were honoured to have Mr Cropley visit us so that we could receive the Autocar Issigonis Award trophy in person. When I held this trophy in my hand, I truly felt the weight of automotive history and the courage to face a so-called ‘once-in-a-century’ period where there is great change happening in the automobile industry. No matter how much mobility changes in the future, our focus will continue to be on creating industrial products that people will call their ‘beloved car’ or ‘buddy’.

I hope that Autocar will continue to tell the history of automobiles with deep love.

Where to buy

Autocar magazine is available through all good newsagents. This week’s 125 year special, which includes an exclusive reprint of the first-ever Autocar issue, can be found at Sainsburys supermarkets.

You can also buy one-off copies of Autocar magazine from Newsstand, delivered to your door the morning after. Digital copies can be downloaded from Zinio and the Apple iTunes store.


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Source: Autocar

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