In our humble opinion it seems the numerous online eulogies to the death of printed mags, we’ve all read in recent years, might have been a smidgen premature. In this modern fast-paced world of ephemeral, intangible and ‘un-tactile’ digital media there’s still a sizeable bunch of belligerent blokes that refuse to give up their paperback mags. In fact, the recent clutch of niche ’boutique’ magazines that have hit the coffee tables of MotorPunk HQ over the last six months suggests that there might even be a small resurgence underway – much like the vinyl and vintage hifi comeback currently being enjoyed by diehard audiophiles and design-savvy retronauts looking for that mancave centrepiece.

One cracking example of this is 5054 Magazine, named after the Spitfire prototype’s serial code. Straplined with the broad remit of ‘Automotive Culture’ its team of eight contributors cover pretty much anything with a motor of some description. Now, I know that hardly seems a ‘niche’ mission statement – and to be honest on my very first cursory thumb-through it did look a bit eclectic, with articles from everything from barn find biplanes to £800 Rovers, from Aston’s fancy new DB11 to Gordon Murray’s flat-pack OX truck destined for the world’s most impoverished nations.

 

And yet, once you’ve fully immersed yourself, it all hangs together really well – in the end I think I understood what 5054 is all about. Put simply, it’s all about stuff that has, is, or probably will, make a difference in the way we folks get about. Whether that be a (surprisingly interesting) piece on Britain’s baffling post-war car taxation system, the evolution of the Range Rover, the flawed logic of BPEVs or a potted history of Detroit’s favourite megalomaniac, Henry Ford.

But most importantly, 5054 is just a really nice thing to handle: properly bound with a chunky card cover and 122 matte print pages, unfettered by hypercar group tests, wristwatch reviews and contract hire adverts for dreary modern diesels. With a sizeable staff on board it plans to publish thrice annually at £10 a pop, and if the now well-thumbed and coffee-ringed first edition is a sign of things to come then we’d happily pay that premium price.

To Hilton and the team at 5054, we at MotorPunk wish you the very best of luck. Inspiring stuff; it really is … more on that to follow soon!

To get a copy for yourself, or learn more about future issues, click here.

Dr.O

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