...to 5054 Magazine.
We’re back. The good news is the reader reaction to the first issue of 5054 was outstanding. We sold copies as far away as South America and the feedback on the Twitter account (@5054magazine) was extremely positive. I am very grateful for that.
The bad news is that not enough people know about us yet, so we’ll be working on ways of addressing that. Only more sales will secure 5054’s future. So apologies also for the slightly random publication schedule. Raising the funds is never straightforward, but then there’s also a tremendous freedom in publishing only when we’ve assembled the very best material.
The first issue was something of a six-month blur of deciding to go to print, recruiting a team, developing a distribution system as well as mining the automotive world for original content. On the last aspect, I feel Issue No2 has made significant strides forward and this publication is a career highlight.
I’ve also tweaked the cover’s mission statement from ‘automotive’ to ‘motive’ culture - more clearly marking out we’re interested in all things related to mechanised movement.
An unexpected trip to the Fiat Museum in Turin during the summer triggered the idea of celebrating the depth of the Italian car industry, and in a more in-depth and thoughtful way than might be common.
Thanks to huge help from Massimo Castagnola at Fiat’s Centro Storico in Turin, we have been able to mine the archive for classic Fiat advertising and studio pictures. Centro Storico also gave us permission to reproduce a chapter from Dante Giacosa’s autobiography - it’s an amazing tale of how engineering a car from scratch used to happen.
We’re also very grateful to Christian Bolognesi at Italdesign, who mined the company archives for some fabulous original imagery of the Fiat Panda and Lancia Delta design development.
This issue covers a lot of ground. I thought I’d heard it all about Rover, until I ended up researching the company’s foray into gas turbine aero engines, after stumbling across a pair of rare brochures. Digging up the story took quite a few emails, but the answer lay deep within the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust.
The extraordinary story of the UK lecture tour by one of Nazi Germany’s Autobahn bosses was another totally unexpected gem. The pamphlet summing up the 1936 lecture tour popped up totally by random on a book sales website while I was looking for something else.
I’m also glad to have a very original take from an ex-Lotus engineer on why an automotive future based on batteries may be misdirected. I travelled to Bath University to talk to Professor Jamie Turner about gas turbines, but the conversation took a much more interesting direction. This issue’s Typhoon story, though, is my personal highlight. A more quintessentially English tale would be hard to image.
Anyway, feedback gratefully received and fingers crossed for Issue 3.
NOVEMBER 2017, LONDON.