Sport Compact Car was initally started by McMullen & Yee Publishing. It was an early entrant in the field of titles highlighting performance and appearance upgrades to foreign sport compact cars, known as "tuners" or Japanese Domestic Manufacturers (JDM).
The magazine content originally focused on appearance upgrades for these vehicles, with information on sub-woofer installs, pinstriping, spring swaps, chrome trim and engine dress-ups. As time progressed, content shifted to making more power and going fast. This expanded to include comparative testing of vendor products along with engineering analyses. It become the core of the title. There was a period when the magazine had a strong lifestyle aspect, but this was dropped later when the editors returned to their primary focus. And, finally, there was good coverage of Super Touring and racing events.
Publisher Mr. Yee died in 1994, which was followed a year later with Mr. McMullen's death in an airplane crash. The editors and staff rode a wave of changes as the title moved through various new owners:
- 1995 -- Primedia acquired McMullen & Yee Publishing after their deaths and created the McMullen-Argus Publishing division;
- 2007 -- Primedia sold this title and others to Source Interlink Media for $1.2 billion;
- 2009 -- Source Interlink ended Sport Compact Car due to decling interest in these vehicles and the financial crash of 2008.
The table of contents, if available, can be seen by clicking on the icon.
The publisher provided data to Oxbridge Communication's compendium The Standard Periodical Directory from 1999 through 2005 (the last year for which we have data at this time). Total issues printed annually ranged from 250,000 to 400,000.
A total of 193 issues was printed from December, 1989 through March, 2009. All issues are complete, but we have not been able to validate if an issue was printed for Fall 1991.
Beginning in late 1999, a website URL was added to front covers. The site is now defunct: www.sportcompactcarweb.com.