THE MAGAZINE AFTER 34 YEARS
In the summer of 1968, the Cabinet of the Prime Minister of the time, Ion Gheorghe Maurer approved the creation of the magazine "Autoturism". Is was obviously a "special" approval, rather a result of the good relations between the future executive secretary general of ACR, Vasile Iordachescu and the Prime Minister Maurer, both born in Sighisoara.
Immediately after getting the approvals, a group of well-known motor racing drivers (attracted by the resuscitated ACR) started to draw the "architecture" of the future magazine. They worked with passion but unfortunately they had no pattern as the foreign sources of information and the hard currency funds for getting in contact with the major events of motor racing and automobile industry were missing, while the necessary logistic for such an editorial office was ridiculous. In these "campaign" conditions the editorial staff was formed in the last month of that year, and in February 1969 the first issue of the magazine was launched on the market. Despite some left-handedness unavoidable for a start, AUTOTURISM was anyway well received by the Romanian drivers. The elderly looked at it with optimism, considering it a successor of the 'REVISTA AUTOMOBILA' magazine, published by ACR for many years between the two World Wars, while the younger people saw it as a novelty long waited in the dull landscape of the socialist media.
Since the beginning the magazine was lucky to have an editorial staff including two prestigious personalities in the field: Petre Cristea, the great former driver, winner of the Rally of Monte Carlo the most complete journalist and writer in the field of motor racing and Gh. Epuran the journalist who inaugurated in the Romanian press the road travel feature report and who edited the only "Auto-Moto travelling guide" in Romania. They were joined, in time, by exceptional sports journalists like Florin Popescu, a real walking encyclopedia of world motor racing, Dumitru Lazar, learned commentator of the domestic motor racing phenomenon, Victor Beda, the elite expert in road traffic security and many academics in the field like C. Arama, A. Negrus, D. Taraza, I. Draghici and other of the same scientific status.
The magazine AUTOTURISM perpetuated news and technical education columns such as "ABC Auto", "The Amateur Mechanic" and "Dacia Service" which along with road traffic education, driving initiation and looking into the side scenes of the motor racing universe columns, influenced whole generations of youth into choosing the sporting profession or developing a hobby for the field. The AUTOTURISM magazine also hosted the fine comments of famous young writers like E. Barbu, R. Tudoran, A. Paunescu, I. Baiesu, I. Grigorescu who, within the frame of "The car seen by
" column secured the color and distinction note of the paper.
Another unique performance in the Romanian media: establishing on European criteria of some special columns of car travelling, AUTOTURISM thus becoming a real catalyst of the road travelling lovers. After driving through the routes described by our magazine, our readers made up an elite Club of travelling by car where they exchanged ideas, they made photos and map sketching exactly indicating all Romanian old architecture monuments and nature monuments all becoming subjects of study for the magazine and members of the club.
The magazine is also a constant "chronicler" of the works of the Romanian car drivers association, of all the stages of ACR development. The beautiful romantic stage of re-organizing, the second stage, marked by pragmatism, when a modern and strong material base was secured, then the "black stage" (which lasted for five years) marked by the masked "suspension" of ACR, an example of the paranoia of the regime.
Even during the five "black years", the magazine continued to be published, struggling to carry on the idea as if ACR suspension did not happen! The influence of AUTOTURISM magazine was very great considering its circulation of 110,000 copies, with almost a third of readers being loyal subscribers, many of them starting from its first issue!
*We are honored to underline that during the more than three decades since its first issue, AUTOTURISM published 25 million magazines but also 10 annual editions of ALMANAHUL AUTO, a very appreciated publication at the time, sold at the end of each year in over 100,000 copies. Today, our magazine which is sent to the home address of each ACR member starting with 1998, has again over 100,000 readers, taking into account that the magazine is read by at least two members of their families.
Since May 15, 2000 "Autoturism" magazine has its own web-site, which can be accessed from all over the world by anybody. There one can find data needed by any car-driver who wants to visit Romania as well as original news related to car history in general and in Romania in particular, which had been published in "Revista automobila" and in "Autoturism" magazines.