Exquisitely printed on a mix of heavy gloss and matt art papers, Issue One of The Road Rat is a big and beautiful thing; 244 pages and weighing over one kilo. It is at once absolutely of the moment — Lewis Hamilton, the Aston Martin Valkyrie — yet also timeless as we dwell on the making of the modern Ferrari and the decline of the Mercedes SL. It’s not a place for hot takes but for long-form writing as considered as our photography, illustration and design.
LEWIS HAMILTON’S CAREER
best form has set up an F1 title fight where the best driver, not just the best car, could win. Yet he continues to alienate as many as he wins over. Manish Pandey, BAFTA-winning writer and co-producer of the movie documentary ‘Senna’ explores the Hamilton paradox in Issue One of The Road Rat.
BY THE END OF THE 1960s
three watch-makers raced to design the world’s first automatic chronograph. The Road Rat’s favourite - the Seiko 6139 - didn’t win but did find itself on the wrist of the period’s most glamorous driver, Francois Cevert. Connolly’s Road Rage gloves are a tribute to another driver from the same era, the great Michael Delaney.
ASTON MARTIN’S VALKYRIE
is the most spectacular of a new generation of hypercars that fully embrace F1-derived, maths-driven aerodynamics. Like the McLaren Senna and Mercedes’s Project One, the Valkyrie asks us to abandon all previous and consensual notions of what constitutes ‘beauty’ in a motor car and buy into a new brutalism.
ONE OF THE STARS OF
Issue One of The Road Rat is the Mercedes-Benz W113 SL ‘Pagoda’. We take a look at the company’s struggle to re-discover that car’s magic - the original totem of luxury motoring. In the magazine’s ‘Further Reading’ section, Giles Taylor, ex head of design at Rolls-Royce, dissects what made the Pagoda so perfect.
A ROAD RAT REGULAR
will be a retrospective of a car designer’s work. In Issue One it’s Leonardo Fioravanti. His seminal work on the Dino and BB irrevocably changed the silhouette of Ferrari’s most sporting cars. The 288 GTO is widely regarded as the most beautiful modern Ferrari of all.
A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT THE ROAD RAT
The Road Rat is a new kind of car magazine. Not overly obsessed with the detail of old cars nor over-impressed with the performance of new; the Road Rat instead firmly believes there are good stories — real stories, stories to consume with relish — in both old and new and in racing too. But above all The Road Rat believes in the glory of magazines; lush, beautiful, valuable, collectable and exquisitely crafted magazines.
Think of us as a carefully-curated bookshop or an horizon-widening record store. We are proudly analogue and believe some things - but most beautiful cars - just belong in print. Our name comes from a saying that climbers have. ’Feeding the Rat’ is the need to deal with an obsesssive need to climb. For us an open road, a track, a messy old garage and not a snowy mountain summit, is our ‘rat’.
The Road Rat’s logotype is set in a classic font. Futura Bold was created in 1947 so shares a birthday with Ferrari. Digital fonts, much like new cars can seem that little bit too perfect. So we’ve used wooden letterpress characters for a hand made look with tiny imperfections.
THE COVER IMAGE
Once we’d decided on Lewis Hamilton for the cover we thought about how best to represent him as an icon of the sport — literally, so we turned to German ‘New Pop Realist’ Sebastian Kruger.
THE NUMBERS COMMISSION
Given that numbers are to be found all over cars and the world of cars, each issue of The Road Rat is punctuated by a commission based on the cardinal numerals 1 thru 9. In issue one artist Ian Bilbey created a fantasy series based on 1970s Formula 1 teams and another icon of the automotive world - the in-car air freshener.
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The Road Rat will be a quarterly magazine and work has already started on Issues Two and Three, which will be available in the first half of 2019. As well as following us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, you can sign up for our newsletter, which will keep you up date on progress of the next magazines and other developments from The Road Rat.