Vette Vues was a monthly, small format magazine started in 1972 by Jim Prather, Atlanta, Georgia. His main motivation in starting the magazine was to create the opportunity to associate with fellow Corvette lovers. His early goals were to make enough money to cover his costs and create a mechanism for owners to share information about Corvette maintenance and restoration. This was the first commercial (i.e., not club or manufacturer affiliated) Corvette magazine.
As a postal employee at the time, Mr. Prather started by creating draft mimeograph samples which he sent to Corvette clubs and associates for feedback. He launched the magazine in June, 1972, and the first few issues were only newsletters or ads with no articles. His title competed with three other major titles: Corvette News, published by General Motors; Blue Bars, published by the National Council of Corvette Clubs; and, Blue Flame Special, published by Ed and Jean Thiebaud from Fresno, California.
With the December, 1972 issue, Mr. Prather began using a professional printer. Content, having started with classified ads, expanded to include advertisers and "how-to" technical articles. Corvettes were one of the first U.S. vehicles to move from a period of continued modification for street, strip or circle track performance to a time where the most desired models were preserved and restored. There was no internet and no after market suppliers in the beginning, so these early commercial Corvette magazines were the only way to find parts and information.
As quoted by Rick Race, "In the early years of the 1970s, it [the magazine] was thin but had a certain charm to it. Every issue was a treat. It was one of the best places to find parts and cars for sale. He [Prather] covered new Corvette events that were beginning to pop up like Bloomington Gold and NCRS events".
Mr. Prather changed from the newspaper style to a magazine publication starting with the December, 1975 issue. A few months later he left his job at the post office and dedicated himself full time to the magazine. He remained at the helm until May, 1997 when he retired and passed on the magazine legacy to Bill and Bonnie Wolf. James Prather passed away in August, 2022, and here is the online obituary.
The table of contents, if available, can be seen by clicking on the icon.
The publisher provided net paid circulation data to Oxbridge Communication's The Standard Periodical Directory from 1988 through 2005 (which is the last year for which we have data at this time). For the first 10 years, the publisher reported 50,000 print issues per year. This jumped to 300,000 for the next 6 years, then dropped to 120,000 annually.
Over 600 issues have been printed from June, 1972 to the present. However, only cover images through 2000 are included at this time. We are also missing several of the early newspaper style issues.