When it comes to being the editor of this here magazine, important decision-making is part of the job. That includes choosing the cars we feature and what technical and event articles make it to print. One of the most important decisions, though, is determining which of the feature cars make each issue’s cover. Basically, the idea is to use a car that best represents the magazine’s overall direction, while at the same time using an impactful, attention-grabbing image.
Choosing the cover image is not an easy task, as many factors play a part in the process. First, the car itself must be cover-worthy, which is usually not a problem as most cars we feature in the magazine are typically cover material. Next, photography plays a huge part. It’s entirely possible to photograph a car that is built to the caliber of a cover car but may not have been shot in a way that highlights its best qualities. Cover cars must be shot at just the right angle showing the car’s “sweet spot.” Location can also play a part, too. One example is the location might look good for an overall feature shoot, but the background fought the car, lowering its appeal as a cover image. Yes, we can and have used Photoshop to change or alter the background, but we try to use the images as the photographer intended and to keep them as realistic as possible.
Another consideration is knowing what kind of car was on the cover of the prior few issues. It’s not a good idea to run two first-gen Camaros on back-to-back covers. Same goes for Tri-fives, Chevelles, Novas, and Corvettes. The goal is to run a variety of cars on the cover in hopes of appealing to as many readers as possible.
From there it comes down to build style. For example, we wouldn’t want to run two gassers or Pro Street cars as cover images in consecutive issues. As a matter of fact, we try to divide equal cover time between Pro Touring, gassers, Pro Street, street machine, Day Two restos, patina cars, and everything in-between.
So, this whole cover car thing is rarely comes down to whether or not a car is nice enough to be on the cover; it’s more about the model and build style of cars that appeared on the previous issue’s cover.
If you were lucky enough to have your car on the cover of All Chevy Performance magazine, congratulations! And if your car was in the magazine but not chosen for the cover, it’s nothing personal—it’s 90 percent statistics and the other half, luck.
At least that’s how the great Yogi Berra might have said it.