We are in our 45th Year of Continuous Corvette Magazine Publication, here is some history about Vette Vues Magazine!
Vette Vues Magazine History
The Corvette Enthusiast’s Magazine
The August 2016 issue marks the 539th issue of Vette Vues Magazine covering the Corvette hobby. We are excited to say we have never missed a month, and the Corvette hobby is strong. We thought it might be fun to look at some of those early issues.
For our readers who are not familiar with the history of Vette Vues Magazine, the man who started the magazine was James Prather. My Prather, currently employed at the postal service was receiving Hemmings Motor News. Being a Corvette enthusiast himself, he thought there should be a magazine for Corvette owners.
He sent out letters to all the Corvette clubs that we listed in Corvette News (Chevrolet’s magazine that is no longer published) to see if there would be any interest. Jim tells, “I remember sitting at the post office one Sunday morning in April and wondered if I was doing the right thing, or just wasting $22.00 in postage and all the cost for envelopes and labels”.
The results were clear-cut, so he got a hand-cranked mimeograph machine and started his new adventure. The year was 1972.
My Prather printed the initial six issues of the new Corvette magazine on various mimeograph machines in his basement…our first example is Vette Vues Magazine, Volume 1, Issue #6.
By December, My Prather sent the new Corvette magazine to a professional printer, and it began to look a little more like a magazine than a newsletter. The magazine grew quickly each month.
The early issues were full of classified ads for Corvettes. There were ads for Corvettes for sale and wanted, new and used Corvette parts, Corvette literature, and related material in each issue from people across the entire country and today this Corvette classified section continues.
The exciting new hobby continued to grow but not without change.
As the Corvettes were getting older, quality products were needed to repair them. As the young entrepreneurs began to make parts for their own Corvettes, they started mom and pop companies. With that came Corvette advertisers in the magazine. Many of these companies are now large commercial companies and have advertised in Vette Vues since their inception.
Now there was also a need for how-to and Corvette tech articles. Corvette Racing was of great interest to the enthusiast, and Vette Vues began keeping the Corvette owners abreast of Corvette’s many heroic achievements on the racetrack.
Corvette Clubs quickly started across the country. With high enthusiasm, fun events started popping up. It was not long and commercial events began: Bloomington Gold, Bob McDorman Corvette Show, Corvette Expo (then held in Knoxville), Chevy/Vettefest, Corvette Chevy Expo (Houston), Corvette Homecoming, Pomona, and Corvette Carlisle were regulars on the enthusiast’s list of to-dos. Many of these same events now have attendance in the thousands, and continue to be covered by Vette Vues Magazine.
Among the Corvette enthusiasts, another hobby began, the collecting of Corvette models. Bill Landis started the Vette Vues Model Scene column in Vette Vues Magazine, March 1974, Volume Two, #9. The popularity of these miniature cars continues, and today Vette Vues has two columns each month that cover them.
Mr. Prather continued his job at the post office until early 1976 when he finally decided to leave it and run the magazine full time.
Jim produced The Best of Vette Vues Magazine, Volume 1 in 1981 to celebrate the magazine’s 10th anniversary. This collector book was 512-pages full of Corvette memories and can still be found sometimes at swap meets.
In May 1997, Mr. Prather decided to retire and sold the magazine to its current owners, William and Bonnie Wolf. The magazine moved from Georgia to Orange City, Florida where it is today. Soon after, their son Bill and his wife Sharon joined the team.
In August 2007, Vette Vues Magazine came out with the second Best of Vette Vues Magazine Collector Book. There are 480-pages celebrating Vette Vues 35-years of uninterrupted publication. (You can read about its history here)
To order you Corvette collector book Click Here!
In October 2009, Vette Vues Magazine started producing events. It acquired the Corvette/Chevy Expo in Houston, Texas, which had originally started in 1979. Under the Vette Vues umbrella, the event was held in March 2010 at the George Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston. In September 2013, the Corvette Chevy Expo expanded to include Dallas. The Dallas event was only held for two years. Both events, held in convention centers, feature World-Class Chevrolet Show Cars and Major National Vendors in the Aftermarket Showcase.
In September of 2013, Vette Vues introduced the Tri-Power Award®. Vette Vues Magazine, Inc. Tri-Power Award’s® purpose is to honor the Corvette that has achieved the highest degree of originality, condition, and attention to detail. The Tri-Power Award® is available only at the Corvette Chevy Expos. These esteemed Corvettes are inducted into the Tri-Power Registry and presented a numbered certificate with their vehicle VIN prominently displayed. They also receive a commemorative plaque and are featured in Vette Vues Magazine. (To learn more about this award visit our sister website: http://tripoweraward.com/ )
In 2016 the Corvette Chevy Expo was moved to the Galveston Island Convention Center just south of Houston, Texas.
Vette Vues Magazine History & Vintage Ads and Old Covers
My Prather printed the initial six issues on various mimeograph machines in his basement…our first example is Volume 1, Issue #6. The featured Corvette is owned by Sammy Ramsey of Cleveland, Tennessee.
Vette Vues Magazine began in 1972 when a Corvette Enthusiast decided to create a magazine specifically for the Chevrolet Corvette. Not long afterward small mom and pop companies began advertising and manufacturing aftermarket parts. Vette Vues started as a classified ads magazine, later growing into the publication it is today. Each issue is jammed packed with Corvette features, featuring new and classic Corvettes, Corvette technical information, Corvette historical information, Corvette auction results, Corvette events coverage, model cars, classifieds, Corvette calendar of events, racing information, and more. Also as a bonus, you get a free classified ad every month for your Corvette Parts, Corvette Literature, Corvette Models and Corvettes for Sale!
The original first issues were printed on legal size paper.
These ads appeared in Volume 1, Issue #6
This was one of the first ads that appeared in Vette Vues Magazine. It is from Volume One, #6. That issue was five pages long and printed on both sides. It was mailed first class for eight cents.
After the first six issues, Mr. Prather sent the magazine to a commercial printer to be printed. This is Volume One, #8. It was sixteen pages long including the covers. You could purchase a 12-month subscription for $3.50 for third class mail and $5 for first class.
Here are some of the ads that appeared in Vette Vues Magazine, Vol. 1, #8.
Here is an early advertisement in Vette Vues Magazine. Notice the clip art that was so popular in that period.
You might enjoy reading about the history of the Best of Vette Vues Collector Books.
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