Lack of BX's in the Classic Press

Anything about BXs
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Re: Lack of BX's in the Classic Press

Post by Thread Bear »

The media and classic cars? In my opinion they do not really go together. The media is wedded to sales, hype and always reduces the text to the point where it rarely makes sense of a topic you know about. It therefore follows it does so with most other topics covered you do not know about. That will be why there are so many ignorant classic car wannabes out there. You can tell them as the latch onto to the same factoids as the media and look no further. The really annoying ones will not be told either.

So for Citroen its always the 'very complicated' suspension. Really, so whats complicated about it on the BX exactly? Eer, well we do not understand it. OK, did you try learning about it? Have you actually, yourself, got spanners out and worked on it? No. I refer you to the statement that you do not understand it. Ergo stop driveling and get someone who does understand the car to write about it.
I think for the BX the issue is it is designed to be worked on using a car ramp facility not rolling under the car. I can think of for more complex 'traditional' suspension systems that are utter pigs to work on. Finally its is the suspension that marks out the Citroen as special.
The same issue is true of the NSU RO80. Classic for its pioneering use of wankel engine, pilloried for the use of a wankel engine - how does that work then? How many motoring journos have even driven a wankel engine, let alone lived with one? Two strokes are dirty. Anything from the East Bloc is crap. Etc Etc. Do not even get me started on Bubblecars, which invariable get incorrect facts quoted including the one about left over plane bits and getting stuck in a garage with no reverse. Total bollocks. The real getting stuck inside story is far more entertaining.

Still the bonus is most of the wannerbies buy MGs and boring tripe leaving the more challenging and interesting cars to the enthusiasts. Thats fine with me. I rarely buy their supporters club brochures from the news agents. I had all that stuff when I was in my teens learning basic skills. However, woe betide you if your fav oddball cars become fashionable. Bubblecars have, so that area has been invaded by wannerbies, who have not the first idea how to make the cars work, and wrecked the nice close-nit scene that used to exist, since they do not understand the principle of minimalism at the heart of what microcars are all about. So see ginormous £55k camper-van towing a 200cc bubblecar, a good proportion of which do not work correctly, to events. Meanwhile I exit stage right to play BX and other minority sports.

The best written and presented item that I got involved with was with The Daily Telegraph Motoring supplement, not a magazine. They employ quality reporters who listen, take notes and check back detail. The item was informative, entertaining and even reflected the characters of the people in it through the superior skills of the writer. Knocked the spots off the Classic Car media experience. That said there are many folk in the Classic Car media I respect, but many arrive from a to narrow area of knowledge and become stretched when needs mean they must write about machinery outside that which they know well. They are not Journalist / Reporters like the Telegraph bod, for whom this was just another assignment. I, myself, looked at going into supplying items into the Classic Car system and ghosted some stuff, but to be frank there are easier ways to make a living and your best stuff often gets cut to ribbons by the Editor.
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Re: Lack of BX's in the Classic Press

Post by Tim Leech »

I have noticed that eastern bloc cars seem to feature more and more in PC magazine, seems the very ginger Sam Glover is a bit of a fan of obscure motors which makes interesting reading but I do think the stuff we used to see everyday is more relevant to most readers than a small volume russian car with a engine that runs on Vodka (thats a joke) that never made it past the iron curtain and noones heard about.

Retro cars is a bit better but its all a bit too modified and "essex" for me.... (beige Mk1 Astra with a V6 turbo anyone?)
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Re: Lack of BX's in the Classic Press

Post by Kitch »

Tim Leech wrote:I have noticed that eastern bloc cars seem to feature more and more in PC magazine, seems the very ginger Sam Glover is a bit of a fan of obscure motors which makes interesting reading but I do think the stuff we used to see everyday is more relevant to most readers than a small volume russian car with a engine that runs on Vodka (thats a joke) that never made it past the iron curtain and noones heard about.

Retro cars is a bit better but its all a bit too modified and "essex" for me.... (beige Mk1 Astra with a V6 turbo anyone?)
Like I said Tim, a feature is in hand on the GT. It's going to be one that covers the restoration rather than just a few pics of a car and a write up.

I've emailed Danny Hopkins again just to keep the iron hot, as I was supposed to be getting him some copy and images a couple of months ago. This thread has spurred me on to get on with it! :lol:
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Re: Lack of BX's in the Classic Press

Post by Tim Leech »

Good to hear Kitch, you kept that quiet though! :wink:
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Re: Lack of BX's in the Classic Press

Post by Des Smith »

Thread Bear wrote:The media and classic cars? In my opinion they do not really go together...
Hear hear to that! I've never bought a car magazine, but I've flicked through a cross-section of the dross on offer at the dentist and the barbers. Most of it is unmitigated ego-tripping on the part of the hack or so dull as to be fit only for recycling. I was in the dentist waiting room earlier this year waiting for a routine check-up I like Land Rovers but the article on a restored 90 I chanced upon made me feel like volunteering for root canal work rather than read it to the end. It's the same reason I gave up buying bike magazines in the late 1980s. It's got far worse since then - glossy pictures, techno-babble and tales of derring-do all wrapped up in an over-priced package.

To be honest, hard-copy periodicals are probably on their way out and the future of special interest groups is increasingly online. We could probably produce any number of accurate, interesting features about the Citroen BX that would show up the limitations of the knowledge of conventional press hacks. After all, as a group we know every nook, cranny and foible about the BX as well as all its laudable attributes. Why do we need someone to write a feature about it? Chances are, we'd collectively rip a bad article to bits, hurrumph over a mediocre one and possibly be no better informed after reading a good one.

I suspect Tim's thread is motivated by the sense that the BX is not being adequately appreciated, but as Thread Bear suggests, we should be careful not to create too much hype about our favourite oddball car. Why should we care whether the rest of the world lives in ignorance of the BX? We know it's a great car and we don't really need validation from the motoring press. If an article gets published, great. I might read it, but I certainly wouldn't buy a mag for the privilege. As a club, we could easily create an online publication covering any number of BX variants and topics and it wouldn't have to cost a penny. We pretty much do it already by posting on threads and blogs on the forum.

Anyway, rant over. I shall crawl back to my cave... :-"
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Re: Lack of BX's in the Classic Press

Post by mat_fenwick »

Des Smith wrote:Why do we need someone to write a feature about it?
I suspect that (if it's a group feature) we'd like to read about how they think it compares to other cars of the era. Or for those of us who need to justify to their mates/partners "It's a classic, honest, not just an old banger."

There's something about paper magazines I still like, even though most of the content could probably be found online. Although some are better than others admittedly. I'll stop now before I sound like someone extolling the benefits of vinyl over CDs, or film cameras over digital...
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Re: Lack of BX's in the Classic Press

Post by Paul296 »

mat_fenwick wrote:
Des Smith wrote:Why do we need someone to write a feature about it?
I suspect that (if it's a group feature) we'd like to read about how they think it compares to other cars of the era. Or for those of us who need to justify to their mates/partners "It's a classic, honest, not just an old banger."

There's something about paper magazines I still like, even though most of the content could probably be found online. Although some are better than others admittedly. I'll stop now before I sound like someone extolling the benefits of vinyl over CDs, or film cameras over digital...
Vinyl is better than CD though. What's 'digital'? :?

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Re: Lack of BX's in the Classic Press

Post by Des Smith »

mat_fenwick wrote: I'll stop now before I sound like someone extolling the benefits of vinyl over CDs, or film cameras over digital...
Too late! I have most of my vinyl still but hardly ever play it because it's such a faff. As for film cameras, my snapping dwindled to nothing because I just couldn't be bothered to take pictures that I was routinely disappointed with when I picked them up from processing. I take passable photos but digital photography was a big step forward as I could edit them to look better, all for absolutely nothing!

I'm with you on the benefits of using the paper medium rather than online. I prefer reading printed material to that on a screen, and I always proof-read better with hard copy.
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Re: Lack of BX's in the Classic Press

Post by Dollywobbler »

In theory, magazines have been massively in decline since the arrival of the internet. In practice, that's rubbish. When I was a staffer on Classic Car Weekly, sales rose the entire time pretty much. Sales did level off, but that's because a rival title arrived - the total number of sales was still rising for a time (not that close to the figures now I'm freelance).

I do share an annoyance with features, but it's largely driven by advertising and a constant desire to do as much as possible for sod all expenditure from management. Some years ago, there was a magazine called Restoring Classic Cars or something like that. It was truly superb, with lots of in-depth information. Just the sort of thing that isn't deemed acceptable these days.

The http://www.aronline.co.uk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; website proves that there IS an appetite for hugely wordy, very detailed features, even on the internet. I would love to create a general classic car equivalent, but lack the necessary web skills.

Generally, it's impossible to make a magazine that is REALLY what readers want. Some get closer than others but all are compromised by the need to make money. A few great titles have sprung up over the years and been hugely popular with readers (Jalopy springs to mind) but actually making enough money to cover the vast printing and distribution costs is never easy.

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Re: Lack of BX's in the Classic Press

Post by Kitch »

Tim Leech wrote:Good to hear Kitch, you kept that quiet though! :wink:
Well, what am I going to do? Go round telling people I've got a feature lined up? :? :lol:

Once it's happened, yeah I could tell people (if they gave a shit) that the GT's had a feature in PC, but at the moment I'm still doing the write up they've asked for.

I'll do the BX justice though, it should be good :)
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Re: Lack of BX's in the Classic Press

Post by MULLEY »

Paul296 wrote:
mat_fenwick wrote:
Des Smith wrote:Why do we need someone to write a feature about it?
I suspect that (if it's a group feature) we'd like to read about how they think it compares to other cars of the era. Or for those of us who need to justify to their mates/partners "It's a classic, honest, not just an old banger."

There's something about paper magazines I still like, even though most of the content could probably be found online. Although some are better than others admittedly. I'll stop now before I sound like someone extolling the benefits of vinyl over CDs, or film cameras over digital...
Vinyl is better than CD though. What's 'digital'? :?
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Re: Lack of BX's in the Classic Press

Post by Thread Bear »

Goodness, a lot of topics spinning out of this.

Firstly, if you want to participate in or provide stuff for publication it can be really quite good fun, a rewarding and learning experience, and it is pleasurable to see your fav cars, perhaps your own bonce, in print. (I avoided that as it is not a very attractive bonce and also people recognize it). I would not knock it, the idea, not the bonce. The trade off is it is at someone else's behest, they call the tunes, and depending on quite how streetwise you are, and how management orientated they are, just allow for disappointment with added 'merde'. If you produced the goods then you held your end up.

Sam Glover is delightfully bonkers. He is great on his topics and an enthusiast. Not being a reader I do not know if he is able to sustain a reasonable living on his best topics. He may well have the ability and skill to go off piste, as it were.
I used to meet Jon Presnall reasonably often as he lives in L'Herme near the folks ex-pat place. He is the more traditional author/motoring journalist. A huge library of source books and wrote ghost columns for folk such as Lord Montague. He retired from, hmm Classic and Sportscar?, to produce a series of books dedicated to various marque/makes for a publisher. I have his Morris Minor and Citreon DS books. I would suggest Jon is a writer who is a car enthusiast, subtly different thing.

Magazines and written word. The 60's to 80's Motor Sport with Alan Henry, Bill Body and Dennis Jenkinson. I still read them on the bog. Brilliant. The early Thoroughbred and Classic magazines were very high quality. After reading one, I have ever after wanted an Alvis TD21, and, god willing, will do so soon. These items were written for people to read, not scan in 5 minutes. I am convinced most of the younger population have not been taught how to read effectively as they do not retain the information and are to busy to get onto the next subject. If I am wrong why do most business not get simple, basic facts supplied in writing correct? Its not difficult and the clues are there if you bother looking!

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Re: Lack of BX's in the Classic Press

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no reply to my email as yet...
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Re: Lack of BX's in the Classic Press

Post by Kitch »

Tim Leech wrote:no reply to my email as yet...
Can I assume you're trying to get one of your cars featured then Tim? Because I'm putting a bit of effort into the one I've agreed with PC, so if you jump in front and go for one yourself, they're not going to want my Dad's GT.
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Re: Lack of BX's in the Classic Press

Post by Dollywobbler »

It's Goodwood FoS this weekend. I doubt you'd receive anything anyway! They must receive a hell of a lot of emails. Sounds like there's potential with Kitch's car anyway. PC is more of a 'restoration' title, which is one reason they'll be interested.