I’ve always loved Off-Road magazine. Ever since I was a kid and started reading truck and 4x4 magazines, Off-Road was one of my favorites. While it went through a number of changes throughout the years—sometimes, admittedly, temporarily losing my interest—it always seemed to come back to its core of go-fast desert play, and that always brought me back.
The magazine has survived since 1968, through company buyouts, periods of no full-time staff, recessions, and fuel crises. What kept it going through the rough times was people’s passion for the best title any off-road magazine could have, and some valuable support from advertisers. As it skipped around under various ownerships over the last 46 years, a number of editors and staff members have contributed not only their work, but their emotions and souls, to making Off-Road the best they could with what they had. That is why I got into the magazine business. I didn’t care what giant corporation owned what, or any of the politics behind the publishing world; I just wanted to make great magazines and witness all the amazing things and learn all the incredible stuff a magazine guy is privy to. That’s what drew me into the business, and what has kept me in it for many years.
For the May 2014 issue, we took a look back at the history of Off-Road magazine, where it came from, and what (and who) has made it what it is today. Did you know that Off-Road wasn’t even the original name of the magazine? When George Elliot put out a (then) one-time publication in 1968, it was called The Wild World of Off-Road Vehicles.
Forty-six years later, the magazine is about to change again. Next month, Off-Road magazine will be merging with Dirt Sports magazine to become a bigger and stronger magazine. Now, before you turn on your computers and start typing furiously, let me tell you I’ve been assured that this will only be to your benefit. In fact, what this means is you’ll still get a nice tech magazine in the mail (or on the newsstand), but it will be thicker—much thicker! We’re talking over 100 pages here, people. Not only will you get the same great Off-Road-style coverage, but you’ll also be getting the best off-road racing coverage you could ask for. On top of that, there will be triple the staff members, allowing them to be in more places at once, making a better magazine for you.
However, with the last of the original Off-Road magazines, I’ve decided to end my tenure here, too. It has been a wonderful 12 years working for both Off-Road and Petersen’s 4 Wheel & Off-Road, and I wouldn’t give up a second of it.
On behalf of all the staffs of Off-Road magazine, past and present, I’d like to thank everyone who helped make this magazine what it is. Without your help, we would have had nothing to build, nothing to cover, and nothing for you to read about. Thanks for everything. It’s been an honor.