Model Auto Review 1989 – Part One

By Maz Woolley

All text by, and copyright of the Author. Artwork from Model Auto Review copyright of Rod Ward.

This is the ninth in a series of articles looking at each year’s output of the original Model Auto Review magazine.   This time we look at the first half of 1989.  We show you the  colour pages and contents to give a flavour of what the magazine looked like. 

What was happening at MAR in 1989?

1988 had seen an increase in the number of pages in MAR including the inclusion of colour centre pages and MAR was to continue in that format right through 1989. Many expert contributors continued to record what was happening in their specialist area were now contributing regularly and the magazine was developing a very international outlook with writers from round the world.

As Rod Ward pointed out in the first editorial in the year model sales had increased ten fold in recent years and new players kept coming into the market so this was a very buoyant time for model collectors.

1989 in general

1989 was an important year for me. I had recovered my childhood toys and was buying battered Dinkys, Corgis, and Spot Ons for restoration. I had discovered Model Aut Review and subscribed and though I admired the many kits and hand builts available bought very few. Suddenly Mattel’s Dinky and Corgi Classics were producing models of the cars of my childhood at a reasonable price and I was hooked.

The biggest events of the year were undoubtedly the fall of the Berlin Wall, Tiananmen Square Massacre, and the terrorist destruction of a British Airways Jumbo jet in Scottish skies. But it was also a year when we had a major plane crash at Kegworth in the East Midlands and the sinking of a pleasure boat on the Thames.

In the Cinema Little Mermaid and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade made there first appearance. On UK television we were all watching Fools and Horses and January saw the episode featuring Del Boys casual falling through the bar – one of the comic TV moments frequently voted as one of the best comic scenes of all time.

#36 Winter 1989


An arty cover started the year, something that was to be come quite a feature as the year went on.

Many well known names wrote in this edition which was also full of the new for 89 features.

Inside Front Cover

Inside Colour Pages

with New Dinky prototypes.

And here are Corgi Classics models.

Inside rear had Model Road and Rail Vauxhall Victor amongst exotica from France and Italy.

#37 Spring 1989


Another artistic interpretation of the MAR logo on this cover.

An interesting range of articles but fewer colour pictures this time as Catalogues from Shinsei filled the centre spread.

Inside Front Cover

Inside rear cover

Rear Cover


#38 Summer 89


Another completely different approach to the front cover.

Again a list of contributors who were hugely expert in their fields or becoming so!

Centre Pages

Inner rear cover

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