Car Life Magazine Articles

Used to be that car magazines had way more content than ads. And even the ads had content and conveyed useful information.

Back in the day progress in performance, styling, chassis development, and race car design was exciting—something to look forward to. We even kept them.

This post features a number of interesting articles. Clicking on the image will load a PDF in a new window that can be downloaded.

Images courtesy of the Automotive History Preservation Society.

Note: The Automotive History Preservation Society is actively preserving magazines in PDF format.
The Society is taking two courses of action 1) preserving the entire magazine and 2) extracting articles such as road tests and technical articles that are preserved by brand. They are actively seeking pre-1961 magazines (they have almost everyone from 1961–1989 in paper already).

UPDATE: The Dean’s Garage Book will be available in January, 2020.

Monza GT

GM Styling turns our a breathtaking idea car

Car Life, May 1963

Mustang GT-350

Ol’ Shel, The Snakecharmer, Makes A Good One “Even Goodern!’”

Car Life, April 1965

Corvette 396 Sting Ray
Road Test

Above All Else, It’s Great Fun To Drive!

Car Life, August 1965

Man in the Tiger Suit

All Big Engine in a Lithe Frame and Long-Geared, the GTO Is Pontiac’s John Z. DeLorean

Car Life, August 1965

Mako Shark…Next Corvette?

This Design Exercise Reveals Some Keys to Future Styling

Car Life, January 1966

The Chaparrals from Texas

Chevrolet Power in a Fiberglass Chassis

Car Life, July 1966

Corvettes Road Test

What’ll You Have? 427 cu. in. and 4-Speed, or 327 cu. in. and Automatic

Car Life, August 1966

Astro 1

Chevrolet’s Exercise in Aerodynamic Everything

Car Life, July 1967

Camaro for Curves

A Chevrolet on a Crooked Path to Slalom Victory

Car Life, July 1967

Jim Hall of Chaparral

Car Life, July 1967

A Man And His Legend:
Zora Arkus-Duntov

Hot Rod Magazine, September 1967

Corvette Chronology

In the Beginning: Solid Axles, Powerglide, and establishment of a High-Performance Family

Car Life, November 1967

The Excitement Generator—

Long, Low, Wide, Sleek, This 1968 Sport Coupe is Endowed with Smooth Ferocity

Car Life, November 1967


From Behind a Smokescreen Comes The Posey/Caldwell Group Seven Car

Car Life, Novermber, 1967

Corvettes in Competition

There were those who had the faith from the start, and there were those who had to be shown

Car Life, November 1967

The Corvette Mystique

A Cult, A Sex Symbol, An AMERICAN Sports Car

Car Life, November 1967

GM’s Gee-Whizzers

Exciting Things from GM’s Brains Abroad

Car Life, December 1967

Group 7 Competition

Two-Seat Road Racing With No Holds Barred

Car Life, January 1968

Penske Lola Type 70
Sports Racing Car

Cover Car Uncovered, Technical Analysis

Car Life, January 1968

Swan Song

Long Live the Corvair!
Car Life, January 1968

Wildest Corvette Test Yet

Every Body Style, Every Engine, Every Transmission, Every Rear Ratio, Every Major Accessory

Car Life, July 1969

  1. John Hart

    Yes! When car magazines had informing articles, even the adds had comparatively honest and reliable news. Those day’s are history, sad. I subscribe to the last two magazines that I really don’t read ! And won’t renew. Thanks for letting me vent on something I use to enjoy.

  2. Nice to find one of my stories in there — the Caldwell G7. It got me a mention in Sam Posey’s book!


    What a sweetheart of a sportscar. It must of had an influence on the Italians who were just about to show their mid-engine supercars of the time.

  4. Steve Roth

    This is great! Really love the article on the Corvair!


    Steve Roth

  5. I think part of the reason that magazines don’t delve into any sort of technical stuff is that a) Most people have little to no knowledge of what they’d be talking about, and b) it takes up valuable ad space. Not necessarily in that order. Look at what Discovery did to Wheeler Dealers. it was the only car show I watched, in large part due to Edd China’s mechanical expertise and willingness to fix, rather than replace things. But Disco decided that they could increase the popularity of the show by reducing any and all tech stuff to a minimum. Citing how hard and time consuming it was to film. Edd stood his ground, arguing that was what the show unique. The network told him good luck and he left. They got a talking head to replace him. Similarly, there are no Ludvigsens, Cseres or Brocks in the periodical world any more. Hemming’s probably has the best articles these days, but they have also discontinued my favorite title”Sports and Exotics” because it “didn’t make business sense anymore”. Whatever that means. R&T & C&D are the only mainstream ones left, as far as I know, and they are but shells of their former selves. These are dark days in the automotive press.

  6. Publishing and journalism are so gutted today by the ADD addled public and the internet of everything, that there is incompetent writing and often pundits are masquerading as writers.
    Books and magazines are so last century!

    Sadly, it is NOT going to get better. Try and give away or donate your collection of magazines and books. NO one wants or will even take them. There is no secondary market for any of it except the most expensive or collectible ones.

  7. John Sanderson – the Automotive History Preservation Society (where these came from) is actively preserving these magazines in PDF format. We are taking 2 courses of action 1) preserving the entire magazine see: and 2) extracting articles such as road tests and technical articles that we preserve by brand see we are actively seeking pre 1961 magazines (we have almost everyone fm 1961-1989 in paper already.

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