An introduction By Rod Ward
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First, a little about how it all started: We began to publish the Auto Review series in early 1996, after deciding on the subject matter, size and presentation of this series of compact, concise, affordable monographs on subjects related to transport, collecting and popular culture.
The first six titles included 32 A5 size pages, all in mono (black and white) plus stiff card outer covers in colour, and they were priced at only £2.95 each. Those titles are still that price today. Over the next two years the range grew, and the price increased to £3.95 each. The authors of the early books were in a network of friends and co-contributors to Model Auto Review magazine.
You may notice that 19 numbers are missing from the early sequence of Auto Review titles. 16 of them were issues of avia mini, a publication for collectors of model and toy aircraft. Most of the old avia mini issues are still available, but they are not listed here.
After publication of Auto Review 17: Vehicles of the RAC, personal circumstances forced us to suspend publication of three titles which were planned for release at that time (on motor coaches, Ford Thunderbirds and taxicabs), and their numbers were abandoned.
We considered re-launching Auto Review at various times, but it was almost ten years before we did so, encouraged by a friend who needed two publications for his own commercial purposes. We therefore re-designed the format, introducing eight pages of full colour into the 32 A5 pages, now at a cover price of £5.95. Those two publications were on Mini and Spitfire (Auto Review 31 and 32), making us look again at some of the titles suspended a decade earlier. The revived series was so well-received that a production programme was soon put under way, the rate of release increasing to one per month. Some are written by world-renowned experts on their subject, such as Paul Nieuwenhuis (DAF) and C David Conway (Citroen), but most of the others carry my name on the cover. Don’t be misled, however; every Auto Review title is a joint effort by a wide-ranging group of enthusiasts from all over the world. Some of them provide considerable amounts of text, others offer snippets and anecdotes. Illustrations are sourced from archives of photographs, sales catalogues and other ephemera belonging to our team of contributors. 2017 saw the 21st anniversary of the launch of the Auto Review series, and this new zeteo.com website going live.
What we used to do
Modelauto Ltd was a leading distributor and manufacturer of scale model vehicles from 1973 to 2013, but it now feels to us like ancient history. After 40 years in the model car business, the company no longer exists. Many collectors have told us of their happy memories of Modelauto; visiting the shops, reading the adverts in Model Auto Review, which we published for 33 years, and buying from us by mail order. But all good things must come to an end.
Shortly before Model Auto Review came to an end as a print magazine it gained a parallel identity as an online publication. It continues today, edited by Maz Woolley, as Model Auto Review Online. If you are interested in reading about model vehicles for collectors, have a look at what is on offer at the free to use site www.maronline.co.uk.
Rod and Val Ward continue to publish the Auto Review books under the Zeteo Publishing rubric, and we also continue to sell interesting items, many of them from our own collections, at York Antiques Centre in Stonegate, York, where we have two units and more, crammed full of fascinating collectables.
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