Hop-Up - Magazine Covers - 1951 to 1954
Hop-Up magazine popularized the "little pages" (trade-sized or pocket-sized) magazine format (5-1/2" by 8"). It was started by Road & Track magazine staff who observed the popularity of hot rods & customs and felt a need to cover local cars and events. The first issue in July, 1951 was a test run, and August was the first full production run. It was 48 pages and priced at $.15 each. Note that both July and August issues share the same cover and volume & series number.
In 1952, the Road & Track ad manager and investor Bill Quinn traded his invested shares for the Hop-Up title, and he took some staff to form the new Quinn Publishing company in Los Angeles. The magazine struggled financially due to its small size and lack of advertisers, so in March, 1953 Hop-Up went to a larger print format. Readers wrote and complained about the change, so Quinn assigned Spencer Murray to create Rod & Custom in the small format style. Both Quinn and Petersen Publishing got wind of the each other's endeavor to launch a small format magazine. So Quinn Publishing launched Rod & Custom within one week of the launch of Honk by Petersen Publishing.
Bill Quinn really wanted to compete with Motor Trend, so in June, 1953 Hop-Up was co-titled as "Hop-Up and Motor Life". The content began shifting to new cars, and the February, 1954 issue was the last one with this co-titling. Hop-Up was dropped from the title in March, 1954, and content moved to Rod & Custom.
And in the last twist of fate, Bill Quinn sold Rod & Custom and Motor Life magazines to Petersen Publishing in June, 1955.
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