Go or No-Go for Hot Rod Deluxe?

HRD postAs an unabashed fan of “proper” hot rods, the premier comeback issue of Hot Rod Deluxe is a welcome addition. But can publisher Source Interlink make a compelling business case with HRD’s unique twist on old school rodding?

Hot Rod Deluxe is under an evaluation period with the expectation to produce quarterly, possibly bi-monthly. Results from newsstand and ad sales will no doubt dictate the outcome, yet a DM test would seem just the ticket given the target audience’s known passion for the subject matter and the publisher’s ready source of lists.

HRD’s concept works from a content perspective simply because it cleverly delivers old-school rod culture to a high-demand mainstream audience. And what’s not to like about rockabilly prom queens cranking up a slammed three-window?

Editor Dave Freiburger’s mission statement for HRD sums it best when he cites the power offered by Hot Rod magazine and its associated archives. Key the new title’s editorial mix is that of old and new. Old referring to genuine archival material not previously published or recently seen, and the new being current-day features of rods that really push the envelope.

An attempt at HRD was made in 1999 but lack of ad sales put a stop after just two issues. Freiburger points out the tremendous recent growth in retro rodding so maybe 2008 will be the year HRD joins the field?

Speaking strictly as a reader, I’m (mostly) all for the content as represented in the premier issue, but would caution staffers to avoid straying from ground zero. Altered-wheelbase Mopars are best covered in other pub’s. My vote: more of the unique, the wild, the outrageous street machines in everyday settings and just the right dose of grunge and Natalie Wood. Check the photo spread on p. 36 and see what I mean. Tons of vendor ads with nasty stuff to make your rod truly righteous and don’t forget an online source for same.

Others familiar with HRD and this market segment are encouraged to post their comments.

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There Are 4 Responses So Far. »

  1. I’m not sure we need another one of these rod publications. Too much already and the web is free.

  2. At least HR Deluxe has a new twist on an old song unlike American Driver. I’m not a rod fan in particular but have a lot of respect for anyone who can build a crazy machine with no money and wind up in a magazine. My Italian sports car friends hate this stuff, but they don’t get it. I hope Deluxe continues even though I’m not its main reader type.

  3. CPI has learned from Rob Kinnan at the publisher that Hot Rod Deluxe is now bi-monthly.

  4. HOT ROD Deluxe continues to deliver above expectations on readership and revenues. With 11 issues under our belt, Web 2.0 media extensions are coming soon.

    Jerry Pitt
    Publisher, HOT ROD Deluxe / HOT ROD Magazine

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