‘Old Cars Weekly’ Sold in Bankruptcy Auction

Old Cars Weekly was sold to Boulder, Colorado-based Cruz Bay Publishing Inc. at a March 14 bankruptcy auction in Wilmington, Delaware.

Old Cars Weekly is a collector car publication launched in 1971 by Krause Publications, of Iola, Wisconsin. The magazine one of many previously owned by F+W Media of New York City. F+W declared bankruptcy in March 2019. Its 10 magazine groups covered a variety of topics from writing and woodworking to old cars.

Old Cars Weekly was grouped in the company’s Collectibles group, one of five that Cruz Bay purchased. The F+W automotive products included Old Cars Weekly, Old Cars Reports (a pricing resource), Military Trader & Vehicles and an annual called Collector Car Prices. The high bid for all of the Collectibles publications was $350,000.

Old Cars Weekly was created by the late Chester L. Krause after his coin collecting publications took a temporary downturn in the mid-1960s. It was at one time considered among the big-three in automotive hobby publications. Its circulation reached 96,000 subscribers in 1978 when it was published in tabloid format every other week. It then became a weekly, which ultimately reduced the number of readers but increased advertising sales and revenues, according to the company.

In 1988, Krause Publications began an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) through which the company was sold to the employees. By 1991, the workers were the majority owners. In July of 2002, the ESOP Committee decided to sell the company to F+W Publications, then of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Over the next 17 years, which included several major management changes, the F+W continued to operate as a publisher of specialty and enthusiast media with various groups located in different parts of the country. Old Cars Weekly and other automotive products were always produced in the Village of Iola until 2018, when the Iola group moved to Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

F+W Media filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code, citing in various documents a perfect storm of secular industry decline, poor investments, and even mismanagement, Forbes reported on March 11.

Publishing Perspectives on June 7 announced that the book-publishing assets of F+W Books had been sold to Penguin Random House. A week later, the bankruptcy court for the District of Delaware reported the results of the F+W Communities auction, which included the sale of Old Cars Weekly to Cruz Bay Publishing Inc., as part of the Collectibles segment. Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc., is a subsidiary of Active Interest Media (AIM) headed by Efrem ‘Skip’ Zimbalist III.

John Gunnell

John Gunnell has been writing about classic cars since 1972. He is also the owner of Gunner’s Great Garage in Manawa, Wis. He owns 11 cars and seven motorcycles.

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