There has never been a more influential automotive publisher than Robert E. Petersen. Through Hot Rod Magazine and his other titles—including Rod & Custom and Car Craft—he helped legitimize our sport and spread the word to millions of car crazy readers around the globe. Petersen was a photographer, racer, marketing genius, family man and much more—and now his life story is in print like never before. We’re excited to introduce Hot Rod Empire: Robert E. Petersen and the Creation of the World’s Most Popular Car and Motorcycle Magazines, published by our friends at Motorbooks and now available in our TRJ Library.
This brand new 208-page hardcover takes an inside look at Petersen’s life as well as the growth of his highly successful publishing company. It follows his path from a U.S. Army Air Corps photographer to a media mogul, and it’s loaded with 250 rare and tons of never-before-seen photos from the Petersen archives. From the dry lakes and Bonneville to car shows, drag races and Petersen parties, it’s a must-have for anyone interested in the birth of HRM and hot rodding from the 1940s-’70s.
Written by acclaimed author Matt Stone and Gigi Carleton, Mr. Petersen’s longtime executive secretary and confidant (whose story we told in TRJ #75), Hot Rod Empire covers all the bases. It leaves no stone unturned, and it features a foreword by none other than Ed “Isky” Iskenderian and a preface by Bruce Meyer. It’s a star-studded cast, and it’s only fitting for the all-American tale of the King of Hot Rod Publishing.