Vette Vues Magazine started in 1972.
James Prather, currently employed at the postal service, believed there should be a magazine for Corvette owners like himself.
He sent out letters to all the Corvette clubs to see if there would be any interest.
He got a hand-cranked mimeograph machine and started his new adventure.
He says, “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”.
Here is the cover of Vette Vues Magazine, Volume 1, Issue #1.
In the early days, Mr. Prather would send out sample copies to new Corvette owners in hopes they would subscribe. This is from the Collection of John Knickerbocker in Northern Wisconsin.
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 continued to grow each month.
The first issues were full of classified ads without any articles.
The exciting new Corvette hobby continued to grow.
As the Corvettes were getting older, replacement parts were needed to repair them. At this point, there were not any aftermarket products so enthusiasts began to make parts for their own Corvettes.
Mom and pop companies were started. With that came Corvette advertisers in the magazine.
Soon, there was a need for how-to and Corvette tech articles began to be a regular part of the magazine.
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: Bloomington Gold, Bob McDorman, Corvette Expo, Chevy/Vettefest, Corvette Chevy Expo, Corvette Homecoming, Pomona, Corvette Carlisle, and Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals 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 March 1974, Volume Two, #9. The popularity of these miniature cars continues today.
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.
In 1981, Jim produced The Best of Vette Vues Magazine, Volume 1 to celebrate the 10th anniversary.
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 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.
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 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 with a numbered certificate with their vehicle VIN prominently displayed. They also receive a commemorative plaque and are featured in Vette Vues Magazine.
In 2016 the Corvette Chevy Expo was moved to the Galveston Island Convention Center just south of Houston, Texas where it is held each March.
Now that you know the history of Vette Vues Magazine you might enjoy seeing some covers and old ads.
Vette Vues Magazine History & Vintage Ads and Old Covers
Our first example is Volume 1, Issue #6. The featured Corvette is owned by Sammy Ramsey of Cleveland, Tennessee.
These ads appeared in Volume 1, Issue #6. Check out some of the prices!
This was one of the first ads that appeared in the 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.
Vette Vues Magazine Volume One, #7 in 1972. The little girl is Mendy Prather, daughter of founder James Prather.
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. It was the first color cover. You could purchase a 12-month subscription for $3.50 for third-class mail and $5 for first class.
Here is an early advertisement in Vette Vues Magazine. Notice the clip art that was so popular in that period.
Well, if you are looking for old issues of Vette Vues check out our classified ads:
Subscribers still receive a 25-word classified ad each month for free. It is both in print as well as online. Subscribe today and start selling your Corvette-related items.