The Road Rat, Spring 2019, Issue 2
Michael Harvey / Guy Berryman, 2019, Road Rat Limited,
Review | As longstanding print automobile magazines, such as Road & Track, and others, continue to fall victim to the digital age, it is refreshing to see a new printed car magazine appear on the horizon with so much panache.
The passion project of Coldplay bassist Guy Berryman, an avid 1960s supercar collector, The Road Rat is not a cookie-cutter replica of what has come before. Rather, it’s a broad-minded publication with “A Thing for Cars,” as the tagline states on the cover. The Road Rat is a worldly 240-plus-page quarterly with top-notch, understated design printed on a sophisticated mix of coated and uncoated paper.
The UK-based publication recently released its Spring 2019 edition, the second issue in its emergent publication life. Like the previous issue, which featured an interview with Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton, it is an anthology of Euro-centric petrol-head indulgences.
The Road Rat 2 features a multi-faceted look at Porsche’s illustrious racing history, including a three-page gatefold of the Porsche 917 schematic, a 14-page appreciation of vintage Pirelli Tyre advertising design, a look back at 1960s Bonneville, and many other in-depth features and editorials, illustrated with commissioned artwork, photography and historical artifacts. It’s a full-course, sit-down dinner with dessert.
Unlike most other pulpy car publications, Road Rat aims high. If the few, but distinct ads—Sotheby’s, Porsche, Bentley, Leica—are an indication of its target audience, it’s hoping to gain traction with an elite demographic. But with a rather reasonable cover price of £12.50, (about a half pence per page), it makes it worth a look for any road rat. – s. k.
You can order the publication directly from the publisher by going to their website.