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Top Gear Magazine #1 was the issue of the magazine cover-dated October 1993. Published by Redwood Publishing Ltd., it contained 250 pages and was edited by the magazine's very first editor, Kevin Blick. Marcel Ashby, known for some of Redwood's other BBC-based sports titles, also helped to edit the magazine.

Cover

Titled We've got the lot, Top Gear Magazine's first issue touted itself as a magazine which covered every aspect of motoring, and its cover image reflected this, with a Lada Samara, Nissan Micra and Lamborghini Diablo on the front row of many other cars of various social standing.

Contents

Upfront

  • First Gear - The danger of door bars; the French mystery sports car; an exclusive look at the next Porsche 911; TV out-takes; "Bore of Britain"; and much more.
  • First Steer - Wild 165mph Viper coupé; weird semi-automatic BMW Alpina; wicked Prowler; well hard Mustang Mach III; plus the Fiat Punto, Volvo 850 Turbo and 400 and the Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet.
  • Steering Columns - Hello, good evening and welcome to Top Gear from Jeremy Clarkson.
  • True confessions of a second-hand car dealer - presented by Quentin Willson.
  • Me and Mansell, or how I learnt to spell Fittipaldi - by Tiff Needell.
  • Guest columnist Sir Clive Sinclair on electricity and bright sparks.
  • RAC Advice - What? Who? Why? How? Where? Any questions, technical, legal or financial, answered by the RAC's experts.
  • Write Turns - Your chance to prove that you can write as well as read. Let us know what you think about cars, motoring, and Top Gear - good, bad, or indifferent.

Showroom

  • Big Fight: Six Superminis - A new kind of six-car test finds out which of half-a-dozen little hatchbacks best combines being capable with being cute.
  • Kewet El-Jet 3 Electric car - Electric cars - future or fad? And what's it really like to live with one? Nik Berg spent a whole week with a volts wagon.
  • War Games - TVR's awesome Griffith 500 takes on sports cars from France, Germany, Japan and America. Over the top, lads...
  • Trans-Europe Expresses - Saab's new 900, the latest Mercedes C-Class and a top-spec Rover 600 take the ultimate business test; driving across the Continent to a meeting in Hamburg.

Competition

  • Win Clarkson's Cosworth - Jeremy is not pleased. We've convinced him to give away his prized Escort Cosworth. Could you win it?

High Octane

  • Bryan Adams - His last album sold 10 million. He drives... a Land Rover? Andy Wilman tells all.
  • Power To The People - America has the JD Power index to tell buyers how good cars really are. Why don't we? Join our campaign.
  • Smash & Grab - Inside the criminal world of stereo theft. Andy Wilman investigates.
  • Boring, It Ain't - Isn't motorsport all bobble hats and stopwatches? Not this. Touring car racing is frantic fun, says Jeremy Clarkson.
  • An Airbag Saved My Life - Airbags aren't a gimmick. Andy Wilman met a man who proved it in a 75 mph crash.
  • High Style, Low Bids - Beautiful classics for tiny sums - why not try an auction? By Quentin Willson.
  • In Suspense - Two motorbikes with funny front ends but serious price tags. Pat Devereux rides the latest from BMW and Yamaha.
  • Gearbox - All the best in auto accessories and add-ons tracked down by Nat Barnes.
  • Rear View - The big picture, worth a thousand words.

Database

  • Quentin Willson's Good Used Car Guide - Our man in the trade - and in the know - tells all about the best second-hand cars you can buy in Britain.
  • Used News - Quentin Willson on used ups and downs.
  • Out Of The Shadows - Cars that are capable, likeable, but unjustly neglected - and cheap.
  • Expert Eye - Check out a used car like the experts do.
  • Used Car Listings - Prices for all the major models, plus Quentin Willson's pick of best buys.
  • New Car Listings - Every new car analysed and annotated.
  • Our Top Cars - The ones we like and why.
  • Manufacturers Directory - Contact names and numbers, A to Z.

Notes

Sourced via Magforum.com:

  • In September 1993, Redwood Publishing, the BBC Enterprises subsidiary, launched Top Gear off the back of the TV series. Its presenter Jeremy Clarkson was to become a phenomenon, bringing the laddish air of Loaded magazine to what had been a steady but dull TV series. There was controversy over the BBC's Good Food and Gardener's World, which were seen as benefiting from free TV advertising that would have cost millions for publishers to buy.
  • Redwood capitalises on TV show for monthly magazine debut read a headline in Campaign (6 August 1993). Top Gear was not expected to destroy other car magazines, but to expand the motoring press in terms of readership and advertising. Launch advertising was done in-house, with the agency WCRS doing the media planning and buying. It was Redwood's biggest launch campaign, but there was an emphasis on attracting readers through the TV programme.
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