Popular Hot Rodding was published by Argus Publishers Corporation. The founder was Gordon Behn, who worked previously for Petersen Publishing as the circulation manager. The magazine was first printed in June 1962 and continued until 2014. It was a large format magazine.
From the beginning, over fifty percent of content was focused on drag racing or the technical aspects of performance. Drag racing coverage was split between driver profiles, the emerging performance factory cars, and featured drag cars. However, each issue usually had several traditional styled hot rods featured. Therefore, this title is presented in the muscle and performance car sub-section on our website. Unlike its competitors, Popular Hot Rodding excluded content on model cars, slot cars, motorcycles, and go-karts. It was a "straight up" car magazine.
Note: The publisher goofed up the volume and serial number scheme in both January and February 1977, so volume 16 numbering was skipped entirely. This error and another one in 1988 resulted in volume numbering being correct by 1989.
The table of contents, if available, can be seen by clicking on the icon.
The editors and staff rode a wave of changes as the title moved through various new owners:
- 1995 -- Primedia acquires Argus Publishers Corporation and creates McMullen-Argus Publishing division,
- 2007 -- Primedia sells its Enthusiast Media division to Source Interlink Media for $1.2 billion, and,
- 2014 -- Source Interlink rebrands to TEN: The Enthusiast Network, and multiple titles are ended including Popular Hot Rodding.
Popular Hot Rodding was consistently one to the "top 6" titles from its start in 1962 through 1990. The publisher provided net paid circulation data to N.W. Ayer, Gale Research and Oxbridge Communication's The Standard Periodical Directory from 1965 through 2005 (the last year for which we have data). Annual print production ranged from 321,000 to 630,000. The average over this timeframe was 462,200 print issues.
A total of 628 issues was printed from June, 1962 through September, 2014. However, only magazine covers through 2003 are presently included.
An internet presence was created and links added to the front covers starting in August, 1999. The site is now defunct: www.popularhotrodding.com. Do NOT attempt to access the old site.