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Magazines and Books Are Still Relevant in Our Digital World

I dig books

Kevin Tetz Nov 12, 2018
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I dig books! More than books, I really dig magazines! My wife and I were in an antique mall in Nashville not long ago, and although I find antiques in general interesting, I did the typical “man-thing” and got bored quickly. My mind surprisingly started to wander … until I found a rotating chrome-wire stand that had back issues of Motor Trend, Car Craft, Hot Rod, Custom Rodder, and other titles carefully wrapped in plastic folders, all in good condition, all holding info that was trendsetting at the time, and now locked in a time capsule vault of awesomeness.

The articles from 1970, or from 1955 for that matter, are just as valid today as they were in their own time, but it made me just a little sad and nostalgic for a time when there was no “Googleing.” Granted, I Google with the best of ’em, and there’s plenty of good content to be found with the help of the Google, including lots generated by me. Just don’t go thinking I hate the Google … it’s really good to have that resource, and I’m sure readers will agree, but I still dig magazines. I recently submitted the final manuscript for my very first book to CarTech Books. CarTech’s books are widely distributed everywhere that print still sells, and they have titles for every automotive subject under the sun, from rebuilding Ford FE engines (found that one very helpful on my ’67 Ranchero in 2001) to LS swap books (learning the ropes with LS engine types and options for Zedsled saved me hours and hours of research), and I’m ridiculously proud that my technical skills and procedures will help guide car guys along as they seek to replicate or preserve patina and patina painting.

Patina is a hot topic now, and polarizing since there’s a lot of poorly done Fauxtina out there at cars-n-coffee meets. I’m excited to show how to create authentic-looking patina on metal, glass, and plastic using simple tools and a few rules as guidance. I’m very happy that this will be in printed form. A book! Actual ink on pages!

In a world where page turning is more often a digital sound from a swipe on a screen, I have found great comfort in having a reference with pages that I can turn at my own pace, and turn back to for reference instead of searching a database or going to the dubious world of YouTube. Call me “old-school” or just call me old, but I dig paper books, and I worry about the fate of magazines like Chevy High Performance, and all automotive magazines for that matter. The entire print industry is in a revolution right now, and there has been much handwringing over what the eventual outcome will be of our beloved car magazines.

Nobody knows where things will finally land, but change is set in motion regardless, and we’re feathers in the wind of fate. Destiny will soon reveal whether the pages we’re reading now will be in paper or pixel form in the future. One thing I do trust and find comfort in, is that in the hands of Licata, Freiburger, Farr, McGann, Hutchins, Smith, and many other automotive journalistic mentors that I’ve had, some form of automotive magazine will survive. I’m crossing my fingers that I will still be able to turn pages and smell ink while I’m seeking inspiration for my next build. Just Sayin’

About the Author: Kevin Tetz is an automotive restoration expert, TV personality, freelance automotive journalist, and owner of Paintucation Instructional DVDs.

001 Custom Rodder Magazine 2/2

My dad’s September 1955 Custom Rodder magazine.

Photography by Kevin Tetz

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