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Speed Mechanics - Magazine Covers - 1953 to 1965

Speed Mechanics was a bi-monthly East coast magazine published by Hobby Publications from 1953 to 1965.  The publishers were Joseph Hardie and Ray Kelly, with publishing offices at 1140 East West Highway, Silver Springs, Maryland.  Executive offices were in New York, and Griffith Borgeson and Eugene Jaderquist were West coast editors.   Hardie and Kelly managed several other titles including Motorsport, Auto Craftsman, Custom Craft & Soup-Up.

The initial tag line was "proven pointers for better car performance", and the magazine had a fair amount of hot rod and custom content.  It was advertised in Auto Craftsman as the only magazine "devoted 100% to clearcut, completely illustrated, detailed procedures on improving your car's appearance and performance".  But by 1962 the content shifted more to drag racing and performance factory cars, and the tag line was changed to "the magazine for hot rodders". 

Some covers are real hot rod illustration classics such as issues #1, #8 and #11. A similar illustration to issue #1 can be found on the April, 1951 Motorsport cover.

PUBLICATION DATA: Speed Mechanics held the #6 position in print volumes among automotive titles that provided paid circulation details in 1956.   But then it fell and consistently held #11, #12 or #13 positions.  It never gained any growth significant at a time when automotive magazines volumes were growing 16% annually.

Jan 1953 #1 Mar 1953 #2 May 1953 #3 July 1953 #4
Sept 1953 #5 Nov 1953 #6 Jan 1954 #7 Mar 1954 #8
May 1954 #9 Jul 1954 #10 Aug/Sept 1954 #11 Oct/Nov 1954 #12
Jan 1955 #13 Feb/Mar 1955 #14 Apr/May 1955 #15 June/July 1955 #16
Aug 1955 #17 Sept 1955 #18 Oct 1955 #19 Nov 1955 #20
Dec 1955 #21 Jan 1956 #22 Feb 1956 #23 Apr/May 1956 #24
June/July 1956 #25 Aug/Sept 1956 #26 Sept/Oct 1956 #27 Jan 1957 #28
Mar 1957 #29 May 1957 #30 July 1957 #31 Sept 1957 #32
Nov 1957 #33 Jan 1958 #34 Mar 1958 #35 May 1958 #36
Aug/Sept 1958 #37 Dec 1958 #38 Mar 1959 #39 Aug 1959 #40
Oct 1959 #41 Dec 1959 #42 Feb 1960 #43 Apr 1960 #44
June 1960 #45 Aug 1960 #46 Nov 1960 #47 Jan 1961 #48
Mar 1961 #49 Aug 1961 #50 Oct 1961 #51 Dec 1961 #52
Feb 1962 #53 Apr 1962 #54 June 1962 #55 Aug 1962 #56
Oct 1962 #57 Dec 1962 #58 Feb 1963 #59 Apr 1963 #60
May 1963 #61 June 1963 #62 Aug 1963 #63 Sept 1963 #64
Nov 1963 #65 Feb 1964 #66 Nov 1964 #67 Jan 1965 #68
     
May 1965 #69?
LAST KNOWN ISSUE
     

 

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