top of page

MAX POWER MAGAZINE

This site is the spiritual successor to Max Power magazine. If you don't remember Max Power then, well, we just feel a bit sorry for you! But fear not, we're here to educate.

Max Power started in 1993 and was the work of Graham Steed and infamous photographer Fly. The story goes that they convinced the bosses that a mag for the guys hanging around in car parks and places like Southend seafront at night needed a magazine to inspire them and showcase their modifying talents. It wasn't an easy sell, but they bought it and fortunately it was an instant success.

Graham edited the mag until 1996 when Nigel Ambrose took over. At this point things were really hotting up with Max Power producing some its own cutting-edge project cars. Emma Bradshaw took over in 1997 for a year before Nigel Grimshaw was passed the reins. In 1999, John Sootheran became the boss and things exploded. Japanese tuning culture was exposed, the first Max Power Live shows at the Birmingham N.E.C took place and the girls featured in the mag lost even more of their clothes. Cruising was in its prime, the cars being built were like nothing anybody had seen before and the sales of the magazine hit an all-time high. Oh, and a little film called The Fast and The Furious came along which didn't hurt interest in modifying. 

While still at Max Power in some capacity, John promoted Roger Payne to be editor in 2003. Rog relaunched the magazine and tried to give it some more UK focus while still showcasing the best modified cars around the world, but he became a victim of circumstance. Weekly magazines like Nuts and ZOO had hit the shelves and may have started stealing the readers who bought Max Power for things other than the cars, and the internet was beginning to open up the world of modified cars...but without a cover price.

John came back to the helm in 2005 to try and steady the ship... but things started getting a bit weird. Max Power had become a huge brand by the early 00s and made the publishing company a lot of money but the publishers panicked and thought it needed totally fresh thinking to survive. The result was a new and ambitious editor who, believing grass roots modifying was dead, attempted to take the magazine into the high end of things. He even put a Range Rover on the cover. 

Needless to say, readers didn't like this much and left in droves. In 2008, Mark Guest became the last ever editor of Max Power but the writing was on the wall. Budgets were cut, the staff numbers dwindled from around 17 in its heyday to just a handful and by 2011 the publishers figured it was an unprofitable enterprise. Max Power was closed and the best magazine ever created was gone just like that.

 

Eight years on and we may have lost some Maxers along the way (probably talking about their remapped, financed Audi on sites like Pistonheads and forgetting they used to have a personality), we may have been told we're not allowed to like looking at top totty or it's against some law to meet up in car parks at night, and we may be in a world that doesn't want the irreverence of Max Power. But, sod it, let's bring it back in spirit anyway and see if all those readers and advertisers who loved Max Power before want to get the modified car scene invigorated again and bring some new MAXERS along for the ride. 

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
bottom of page