Autocar unlock 128-year online archive

MOTORING nerds rejoice, for one of the most respected consumer-orientated car magazines of all time has finally got around to digitising its extensive archive – and it can now be perused at your leisure.

Autocar has partnered with Extract Editions to scan nearly 6,000 back-issues dating all the way back to the title’s inception as The Autocar in 1895 when it was launched to cover the first ever public demonstration of the new-fangled motor car in Britain.

Thirty-three years later, the by then thriving mag ran the first ever ‘road test’ feature on the Austin Seven England Sunshine Saloon, thus creating what would quickly become a staple feature of nearly every car magazine published around the world.

Of course, there’s a catch: you only get access to this vast treasure trove of archival material when you take out an Autocar subscription at £39.99 for online-only access or £54.99 for online access plus 13 print editions delivered to your door. Sign up now via

“Digitising our archives creates a unique resource for everyone, from curious enthusiasts to historians, to use and enjoy,” enthuses Autocar editor Mark Tisshaw.

“It is a one-stop source for future generations to learn about the evolution of the car, as Autocar really is the history of the car, told in period.”

Daryl Rayner, managing director of Exact Editions, adds: “The Autocar archive is a feat of cultural preservation and an indispensable resource to those interested in automotive history, whether in an amateur or professional capacity. We are proud to have been a part of it.”

To celebrate the new venture, and to hopefully tempt some of you into taking out a subscription, Autocar is offering a selection of free highlights from their newly compiled online archive between now and Friday July 21, including the following historic articles:

  • November 2 1895: The first public demonstration of cars in Britain is held, and Autocar is launched
  • April 13 1928: Autocar invents the road test, its first subject the hugely influential Austin Seven
  • February 10 1939: Germany unveils the Volkswagen, whose maker will in time become a global force   [[ge:irishnews:irishnews:3448284]]
  • August 28 1959: The Mini, an “incredible new breed of small car”, arrives and “gladdens many hearts”
  • March 24 1961: The Jaguar E-Type is unveiled at the Geneva motor show
  • June 24 1966: Ford breaks Ferrari’s domination at Le Mans in the golden age of sports car racing   [[ge:irishnews:irishnews:3448283]]
  •  July 17 1976: A full in-depth feature on the development and design of the new Ford Fiesta
  • October 14 1987: Spotlight on the Ferrari F40, Enzo’s last car and an era-defining wonder   [[ge:irishnews:irishnews:3448282]]
  • September 4 1996: First drive of the Porsche Boxster
  • May 30 2007: The Bugatti Veyron is pitted against rivals in the fastest-ever group test   [[ge:irishnews:irishnews:3448296]]