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When Octane launched in 2003 it instantly redefined the landscape for classic car magazines, celebrating classics as rolling artworks rather than cyclically (and cynically) regurgitating the same price-based stories on a handful of affordable halo cars.

For more than two decades since Octane has striven to feed the appetites of the most hardcore enthusiasts, both old and new. It has delved the deepest crevices of the motoring world to always create fresh content to engage and enthral even the most jaundiced enthusiasts, reinvigorating legions of readers who previously thought they had seen (and read) it all before. 

The secrets to Octane’s success are things that you can’t fake – the experience and passion of the team that put it together. Two of the gang of four that founded Octane have never left, plus the rest of the core editorial and advertising teams have centuries of experience between them and, without exception, also live the life, buying and maintaining their own classic cars. Often several of them.

It is no surprise that this approach has attracted the most fervent high-profile petrolheads, with contributors ranging from the late Sir Stirling Moss, Nick Mason, Rowan Atkinson and Carroll Shelby, to a current crop of columnists that includes Jay Leno, Derek Bell and Stephen Bayley.

All of these factors have elevated Octane to unique status in the market, as a sanctuary for the still-curious, a classroom for the still learning and the primary buying and selling platform for trade and private sellers alike. 

Such is the success of Octane’s magic formula that there are four licensed editions – in Japan, Germany, France and The Netherlands – though the English-language version is truly global, being bought by more than 30,000 people in 40 countries. It is the number one imported magazine across Barnes & Noble’s entire 700-plus shop North American estate.

At the end of 2023 all four founders of Octane were reunited when the magazine and its brand extensions, including the highly successful International Historic Motoring Awards, were bought by high-flying Hothouse Media, owned and run by Geoff Love and David Lillywhite, who had guided Octane from its launch until 2016/17 when they left to set up Hothouse and launch a new quarterly magazine. 

The acquisition brought Octane into the same stable as the quarterly Magneto magazine, The Concours Year and Concours on Savile Row to establish the most prestigious and extensive classic car-focused media company in the world.