Cars Illustrated was part of the Schneider Performance Series published by Stephen Schneider at CSK Publishing. The magazine was published from both Hackensack and Saddle Brook, New Jersey. It was launched with other competitors in the muscle car feature space between 1983 and 1988, all with muscle car profiles, restoration tips, technical information and profiles of reproduction parts. A series of special editions by the same staff spawned Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords.
The magazine used confusing volume and serial numbering scheme. The publisher alternated numbering between Cars Illustrated and its sister publication Muscle Cars.
CSK Publishing had numerous other titles in its portfolio including: Vette; High Performance Pontiac; Muscle Cars; High Performance Mopar; Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords; and, Bracket Racing USA. These titles were sold to the McMullen Argus Publishing division of K-III Inc. in the late 1990s. K-III later became Primedia.
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CSK Publishing provided net paid circulation data to both Gale Research and The Standard Periodical Directory from 1987 through 1991. Annual print production was around 100,000 except the last year when it dropped to 80,000.
Twelve issues were printed from volume 3 number 4 to volume 5 number 12. All images are complete.