In the Rearview Mirror: Mission Update

September 30, 2021

Hagerty Drivers Club Magazine
McKeel Hagerty

mission update inline imageWhen I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for Road & Track and Porsche Panorama to arrive each month. Every edition was like a Christmas gift in the mailbox.

The magazine you hold in your hands is a direct result of that feeling of excitement. When we started a print magazine, people thought we were nuts because print was supposedly dying. They were wrong, of course, as critics often are. In fact, more than 600,000 people receive our little labor of love every other month, making it one of the biggest automotive magazines in the nation. I’ll bet you didn’t know that. Or that HDC magazine is print-only. No digital. That’s by design. Sure, we could do an online version, but we wanted today’s readers to feel that same tickle of excitement I did each month. It feels like tradition.

Traditions matter, I figure. Particularly in the collector car world. If we don’t preserve, enhance, and pass along the traditions of our passion, it won’t be a passion for long.

Well, not on our watch. At Hagerty, we decided a long time ago that our mission as a publication and as a company would be to help people explore and indulge their love of cars and driving. Sounds like a big goal, but we’re not doing this alone. The car community is with us, and they (we) are legion. By some estimates, there are 70 million car enthusiasts in the U.S alone.

Some of them like to go fast, so we have, the world’s largest motorsport events calendar, which helps millions plan and find track and off-road events. Some like to go slow, so we offer cool car tours and other happenings through Hagerty Drivers Club. And some just want to join the party, so we’ve taught thousands of teens how to drive a stick through the Hagerty Driving Experience. Yes, a lot of gears are ground in the process, but when the light comes on in a student’s eyes, it’s magic.

Which brings me to another tradition on the automotive spectrum—the concours d’elegance, French for “competition of elegance.” The name once referred to horse- drawn carriage gatherings in 17th century France but today refers to judged competitions. If you want to see the best of the best cars up close, a concours is where to do it.

Hagerty has recently acquired three concours, starting with the one in Greenwich, Connecticut, scheduled for October 22–24 this year. Next, we took on the Concours d’Elegance of America, which from 2022 onward will move from its longtime home in the Detroit suburbs to the Motor City itself—specifically to famed Woodward Avenue in front of the Detroit Institute of Arts. There I am in the photo below, announcing our plans on the DIA’s steps with the assistance of a 1924 Delage Skiff Torpedo. Cars qualify as art in my book, so the DIA will be the perfect backdrop.

And earlier this year, the legendary Bill Warner—racer, collector, humanitarian, author, and founder of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance—approached us to partner with him and his fine team in Florida, and we could not be more honored.

Never been to a concours? Give one a shot, even if you’re more of a muscle car aficionado. Take a young person with you, share the love, pass along the tradition. It’s a pretty neat feeling.