Street Rodder magazine was first published in May, 1972 and survived to February, 2020 in printed form. It was started and owned by Tom McMullen, with Jim Clark as the first editor and Richard Bean as the first technical editor. The great LeRoi "Tex" Smith was a contributing editor and an influential figure in its creation. Street Rodder was headquartered at 731 Melrose Avenue, Placentia, CA.
This magazine was one of several new magazines launched after the first closure of Petersen Publishing's Rod & Custom magazine in 1971, as they wanted to capture readship interested in the expanding street rod movement.
By the early 1990s, the top three titles featuring pre-1948 street rods were American Rodder, the resurrected Rod & Custom and Street Rodder. Other competitor titles included Rodders Digest, Rod Action and Hot Rod Mechanix. Yet all these titles combined represented only 4% of total magazine print volume. Clearly the interest in pre-1948 vehicles was declining and was replaced by the strongest market segment -- titles related to classic American production vehicles from the 1950s and 1960s including muscle cars.
Mr. McMullen died in a tragic accident in 1995. The editors and staff rode a wave of changes as the title moved through various new owners:
- 1995 -- Primedia acquires McMullen & Yee Publishing and creates McMullen-Argus Publishing division;
- 2007 -- Primedia sells its Enthusiast Media division to Source Interlink Media for $1.2 billion;
- 2014 -- Source Interlink rebrands to TEN: The Enthusiast Network;
- 2018 -- The Enthusiast Network is restructured into the Motor Trend Group, and the following year numerous titles are ended including Street Rodder.
The table of contents, if available, can be seen by clicking on the icon.
The publishers provided net paid circulation data to NW Ayer, Gale Research and Oxbridge Communications from 1977 through 2005 (the last year for which we have data). Annual print issues fluctuated around 200,000 but climbed to over 300,000 when Primedia took over the title.
A total of 574 issues was printed from May, 1972 through February, 2020. All images are complete.
An internet presence was created and links noted on the front covers starting in 2000. The site is now defunct: www.streetrodderweb.com.