Early Magazines of Australian Modified-Car Culture

It was around 1962 that Al Crouch (East Coast Auto Parts) started a small publication called Hot Rod Digest and I submitted some rod type cartoons and suggested that perhaps he could use some Victorian write ups and club and drag articles. Hot Rod Digest went for about six issues and went into a publication called National Power Sports. Only one was ever produced.

It was now 1964 and a guy called Peter Tyldsley (an Englishman) contacted me and asked if I could meet him in Melbourne. He explained he was to produce a publication called Australian Hot Rod and would I do some of the Victorian reporting on cars and drag racing, I agreed to do so. For a year or so when I changed over to Rodding World, another new publication starting in 1965 with Hot Rodding Review making three magazines on the market.

In mid ’65 I was approached by a Melbourne guy who was interested in starting a Melbourne based rod magazine covering hot rods and some customs with no drag racing. It was to have been a 50-50 partnership and the publication was to be called Australian Rodder. The problem was I had planned to spend six months in USA with two friends from mid ’66 to Jan. ’67 and the new publication would have to wait until June ’67 before it could start. I also wanted to have a look at the US publications and how they worked, and as we’d be stopping with Dick Scritchfield in Los Angeles who was working with Car Craft, it was an excellent chance to get to see how the Peterson Publication Enterprise worked. Whilst I was in USA the Melbourne partner pulled out of the deal and Jeff Dellow from Sydney was interested to come in as a partner instead.

During early 1967 Jeff and I set up No. 1 issue Custom Rodder and it hit the newstands early June 1967. We were under way.

Eddie L. Ford, Custom Rodder No.41 July 1977, pg. 4.