American Rodder was started in late 1987 by Paisano Publications with Joe Kress as the editor. Content was focused on traditional rods, and the staff was comprised of real car guys who didn't have to deal with some of the corporate meddling other titles experienced.
The magazine was published bi-monthly from the beginning, then switched to mostly monthly in 1990. With the November, 1996 issue, Hot Rod Mechanix was merged into the title. It returned to a bi-monthly magazine in 2001.
Many consider American Rodder one of the better car magazines of the 1980s and 1990s. It featured a good mix of traditional cars, decent how-to content, and attractive (and often bikini-clad) women leaning against the vehicles. Most readers enjoined this combination, but others saw it as "cheezy" especially as time and culture progress. It's totally, "Hi, we're two cute young ladies who dress in the same scanty clothing and get paid to drape our shapely bodies on these beautiful hot rods".
But for all of its content both good and bad, Paisano wasn't making money. The title was sold to Buckaroo Publishing and publisher John Dianna around 2003 or so. Dianna was a successful executive at Petersen Publishing and later EMAP-Petersen. But when EMAP-Petersen was sold to Primedia in 2001, Dianna left to form his own company.
Buckaroo owned a number of other titles including Rodders Digest and Street Rod Builder. Dianna's endeavors had a short lifespan, as his magazines ended at the same time. More on John Dianna can be found HERE.
The table of contents, if available, can be seen by clicking on the icon.
The publisher provided net paid circulation data to both Gale Research and The Standard Periodical Directory from 1988 through 2005 (the most recent date for which we have data). Annual print issues peaked to 250,000 in the early 1990s, but then dropped to around 70,000.
The publisher produced 179 issues from 1987 to 2008. All cover images are complete, and table of content pages may be added at a later date.
In 2000, an internet presence was created with links referenced on the cover. The site is now defunct: www.americanrodder.com.