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Via Corsa Magazine: Get Ready For Travel And Adventure From A New Car Enthusiasts Magazine. The Mr. Magazine™ Interview With Ron Adams, Founder And Publisher.

August 24, 2015

A Mr. Magazine™ Launch Story…

“I recently returned from England where I had the opportunity to interview the owner of the best manufacturer of large scale model automobiles on the planet. Their models are highly detailed works of art that are custom made for automobile enthusiasts, car manufacturers and race teams. It was during my interview when I asked him what else he had done, to which he replied he had also built industrial scale models of everything from drilling platforms to office buildings for one of the largest commercial architectural firms in the U.K. He then paused and flippantly said that in the design phase, the firm’s customers really preferred his scale models over the 3D digital renderings. He went on to explain that these models were something tangible that the client could touch and feel and see and therefore felt they could trust. I laughed and told him it sounds a lot like the magazine business.” Ron Adams

via corsa From guidebooks that take you on scenic routes to interesting places all over the globe, to a magazine that defines travel and adventure in some of the most beautiful and exotic cars a person can drive; Ron Adams is a man whose enthusiasm and passion for the trip far exceeds his overwhelming love for the potential vehicle.

Via Corsa magazine is the latest endeavor for Ron and his publishing business, Via Corsa, Ltd. The magazine is a totally collectible publication that’s different from other car mags by promoting travel and the adventure of the trip more than the actual car itself.

I spoke with Ron recently about the launch, which happened this month, and since I am also consulting with him on the magazine, we covered quite a bit of information regarding the genesis, process and ultimate birth and delivery of Via Corsa.

Ron is a man very passionate about adventure when it comes to travel. His love for the trip and the experiences he encounters along the way is infinite. We talked about what it took to go from publishing guidebooks and straight informative content, to a magazine that weaves stories and enchants the reader with a much different type of editorial.

It was a conversation that unlocked many doors to Ron’s belief that the tangibility of print and the power of the written word to tell those stories are priceless.

So, I hope you enjoy the Mr. Magazine™ interview with Ron Adams, Editor-In-Chief, Publisher of Via Corsa magazine – rev up your engines and get ready to read!

But first, the sound-bites:

ron adams On the genesis of the magazine and why he wanted to start a print magazine in this digital age: The passion started many years ago; in fact, as a youngster. But the passion isn’t just for the cars; it’s for the travel and the adventure as well. I recently returned from England where I had the opportunity to interview the owner of the best manufacturer of large scale model automobiles on the planet. It was during my interview when I asked him what else he had done, to which he replied he had also built industrial scale models of everything from drilling platforms to office buildings for one of the largest commercial architectural firms in the U.K. He then paused and flippantly said that in the design phase, the firm’s customers really preferred his scale models over the 3D digital renderings. He went on to explain that these models were something tangible that the client could touch and feel and see and therefore felt they could trust. I laughed and told him it sounds a lot like the magazine business.

On what his expectations are for the magazine:
The whole idea begins with the car, but not as something you might think. The car is just a tool; the car is, perhaps the object of your passion, but the car is just a tool to begin living the adventure. And that’s where the true passion is. And that’s where my passion is.

On the launch story of Via Corsa:
Smooth sailing, it was not. Coming from guidebooks and as a guidebook publisher, we were really looking at only content and information and to transition into a magazine is to become a storyteller. When we looked at what we had in the guidebooks, and the people, places, events and drives that we were covering; we had to take what was really just a listing of information for users who traveled and turn it into stories of adventure. To have the reader experience our adventure as Via Corsa experienced them.

On his emotional journey during the process of bringing the magazine to fruition:
It seemed fairly straightforward and easy to do the guidebooks by comparison. In fact, as a major stumbling block; it was a much harder journey to move to the magazine because everything was so much more complicated, though it was in a good way. There were several times however when I just wanted to throw in the towel and say this is beyond me as a publisher. But we pushed forward and as we did a couple of interesting things happened.

On whether the cover story on Cuba was planned with travel restrictions from the United States being lifted: That was pure luck. It just so happened that Brenda Priddy was going to Cuba and just after she’d finished that trip, announcements were made about travel restrictions to Cuba being lifted. So, it was pure luck.

On what he hopes to say and accomplish concerning the first year of the magazine:
Wow, what a ride! We’ve gone on a great adventure with this magazine. We’re not really talking about the business side of the model; we’re talking about the editorial and the content. And that’s really what drives me as a publisher. The business is what it is. Print is what it is. But really what I’m trying to dive deep into is all of the stories out there to be told.

On how much the magazine launch consumed him and whether his wife and children ever gave him the ultimatum, us or the magazine:
No, that didn’t really happen. Again, coming from several years of publishing the guidebooks, we were able to pace everything pretty well. So, that didn’t happen and as we move forward through priming out the future issues, everything seems to be fitting into a nice schedule.

On the most pleasant surprise he’s had during his publishing experience:
What I call Easter Eggs. And if you know what Easter Eggs are in DVD’s; it’s those weird little icons that you can push with your remote and something strange happens. Easter Eggs in my world are strange little happenings and I’ll tell you a story of one. Several years ago I was at the BMW factory in Germany; they actually have a couple, this was in a place called Dingolfing. And I’d made an appointment to see the media liaison for BMW to photograph the factory. And when I showed up he had no idea who I was, his demeanor said I don’t really care about this; I don’t like this and who are you. So, I handed him a guidebook and he looked at it. After about 30 seconds he put the guidebook down and said, “Moment.” He picked up the phone and spoke in German to someone, hung up the phone and said, “I’ve got a surprise for you.” So, on his own time, after we photographed the BMW factory, he took us to a brand new museum in Dingolfing, Germany that we then covered. And he got it. He saw what we were trying to accomplish.

On where he is going to position Via Corsa in the marketplace with so many titles out there:
A lot of the car magazines today cater to the new purchase experience; in other words, they’re looking to sell a car and that’s a good thing, a lot of people need help when buying their cars. But once you buy your car and it’s sitting in your garage, then what? There are virtually no publications out there, online or in print, that really cater to the enthusiast once he or she owns the car. And that’s where we pick up.

On what his dream car is and where his dream location would be if he were driving that car:
That is the proverbial question isn’t it? Is it the journey or the destination? For me personally, I love the journey. The journey is where the adventure lies and the destination is simply the end. But what would be the dream car? That’s tough. I guess the car manufacturers are far too good at building better and better sports cars for me to want to stick with any one car. But if I had to narrow it down, it has to be Italian.

On what motivates him to get out of bed every morning: Looking for the next story. The joy in getting up and going to the computer, going on the trips, doing the work on the editorial side, is what gets me up in the morning.

On anything else he’d like to add:
When someone looks at my magazine, I don’t want them to say, “Oh, this is great,” and then toss it aside when they’re done. I’m trying to create a magazine that’s enjoyable, informative and tells good stories, but is also collectible. And I would love to hear from people a year from now, five years from now, who would contact us and say, “I so remember that first issue; I still have it. It’s still relevant and interesting. It’s still something that I would read today.”

On what keeps him up at night:
I sleep pretty well, but the one thing that keeps me up at night is I’m always thinking about that next trip.

And now the lightly edited transcript of the Mr. Magazine™ conversation with Ron Adams, Editor-In-Chief, Publisher, Via Corsa magazine.

via corsa 2 Samir Husni: After looking at the first issue of Via Corsa, I can feel that this is a labor of love and passion for you. Tell me a little about the genesis of the magazine; what made you decide that you wanted to start a print magazine in this digital age?

Ron Adams: The passion started many years ago; in fact, as a youngster. But the passion isn’t just for the cars; it’s for the travel and the adventure as well. And the two for me have always gone hand-in-hand, both the travel and the passion for the cars.

I recently returned from England where I had the opportunity to interview the owner of the best manufacturer of large scale model automobiles on the planet. Their models are highly detailed works of art that are custom made for automobile enthusiasts, car manufacturers and race teams. It was during my interview when I asked him what else he had done, to which he replied he had also built industrial scale models of everything from drilling platforms to office buildings for one of the largest commercial architectural firms in the U.K. He then paused and flippantly said that in the design phase, the firm’s customers really preferred his scale models over the 3D digital renderings.

He went on to explain that these models were something tangible that the client could touch and feel and see and therefore felt they could trust. I laughed and told him it sounds a lot like the magazine business.

Samir Husni: What do you expect to showcase to the world from this magazine; to the rest of the hobbyists and to people like you? What are your expectations for Via Corsa?

Ron Adams: The whole idea begins with the car, but not as something you might think. The car is just a tool; the car is, perhaps the object of your passion, but the car is just a tool to begin living the adventure. And that’s where the true passion is. And that’s where my passion is.

The car sitting in the garage doesn’t do very much for anyone, maybe some people, but not for me. The car is there to go on the racetrack; the car is there to go on a drive and it doesn’t matter if you go on a drive down the road to the store or a 1,000 mile rally cross-country. It’s the adventure that the car can take you on; the adventure that you can live and that’s what it’s really all about.

Samir Husni: How did you take that adventure and passion, that car, and create the first issue of the magazine? Tell me the story of the launch. Was it all smooth sailing?

Ron Adams: Smooth sailing, it was not. Coming from guidebooks and as a guidebook publisher, we were really looking at only content and information and to transition into a magazine is to become a storyteller.

When we looked at what we had in the guidebooks, and the people, places, events and drives that we were covering; we had to take what was really just a listing of information for users who traveled and turn it into stories of adventure. To have the reader experience our adventure as Via Corsa experienced them. We had to be able to turn a relatively bland guidebook story about a museum into something far more interesting or a drive that we may have only listed the route for into an adventure along the coast of Oahu, which is one of our feature stories in the first issue.

And that’s a good thing. I think people really want to see more than just a listing of hotel prices or routes along a drive; they really want to feel the passion of the person behind the wheel going on that drive through the countryside or that lap of that racetrack.

Samir Husni: I received a press release for the first issue announcing that the magazine would go on sale in mid-August and it is indeed out now. And for truth in reporting, I am consulting with you on this magazine launch. That being said, from the time you conceived the idea to the day you received your copy of the first issue and held it in your hands, can you describe your emotional journey during that time frame? Was there ever a moment when you said to yourself, this is too hard; why am I doing this?

Ron Adams: There are several times that I said that. It seemed fairly straightforward and easy to do the guidebooks by comparison. In fact, as a major stumbling block; it was a much harder journey to move to the magazine because everything was so much more complicated, though it was in a good way.

There were several times however when I just wanted to throw in the towel and say this is beyond me as a publisher. But we pushed forward and as we did a couple of interesting things happened.

The turning point really came during the ACT 5 Conference, something I want to thank you for, and that was a conversation that I had with Keith Bellows (former editor-in-chief, National Geographic Traveler). Up until that point, everything was headed in one direction and he singlehandedly, in one sentence, changed everything into a different direction.

In talking with him, and at the time he was the editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler; I asked him how he approached travel destinations that he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that most people couldn’t go to. And he said very simply: just tell a good story. And that’s what we’re trying to do.

We’re trying to leave all of that information on our digital side; the information that tells you the routes and the airport times or any of that type of content, but in print we want to bring you the story. We want to bring you into the world that we’re experiencing. And when Keith Bellows said what he did, that really changed the entire direction of the magazine. And from that point on it’s been fairly easy to create the content that you see today.

Samir Husni: Your cover story for the first issue is on Cuba; was that luck or planned, considering what is happening with the United States’ relationship with Cuba?

Ron Adams: That was pure luck. It just so happened that Brenda Priddy was going to Cuba and just after she’d finished that trip, announcements were made about travel restrictions to Cuba being lifted. So, it was pure luck.

The initial cover was supposed to be on Hawaii, but as it turned out, Brenda provided a much better story.

Samir Husni: If you and I talk again a year from now and I ask you how the first year with Via Corsa went, what would you like to think your answer would be?

Ron Adams: Wow, what a ride! We’ve gone on a great adventure with this magazine. We’re not really talking about the business side of the model; we’re talking about the editorial and the content. And that’s really what drives me as a publisher. The business is what it is. Print is what it is. But really what I’m trying to dive deep into is all of the stories out there to be told. And that’s where my passion and my love are. And that’s where I want to see myself one year from now, to look back and reflect on all of those stories that I was able to put into print.

Samir Husni: I hear a lot of fun stories and a lot of horror stories too about people who fall in love with the launch of their magazine and get so busy with that first issue that they lose the rest of their lives; how much did the launch of Via Corsa consume you? Did your wife and kids ever say it’s the magazine or us?

ron adams car Ron Adams: No, that didn’t really happen. Again, coming from several years of publishing the guidebooks, we were able to pace everything pretty well. So, that didn’t happen and as we move forward through priming out the future issues, everything seems to be fitting into a nice schedule, with production, the editorial side, the business side and with family too.

Samir Husni: What has been the most pleasant surprise with the launch of the magazine?

Ron Adams: What I call Easter Eggs. And if you know what Easter Eggs are in DVD’s; it’s those weird little icons that you can push with your remote and something strange happens. Easter Eggs in my world are strange little happenings and I’ll tell you a story of one.

Several years ago I was at the BMW factory in Germany; they actually have a couple, this was in a place called Dingolfing. And I’d made an appointment to see the media liaison for BMW to photograph the factory. And when I showed up he had no idea who I was, his demeanor said I don’t really care about this; I don’t like this and who are you. So, I handed him a guidebook and he looked at it. You could see his expression begin to change from one of confusion and perhaps a little bit of disdain for me, to complete enlightenment and joy.

After about 30 seconds he put the guidebook down and said, “Moment.” He picked up the phone and spoke in German to someone, hung up the phone and said, “I’ve got a surprise for you.” I said great; what is it? He told me that there was a new museum about 300 yards from where we were and he was going to take me to it over lunch.

So, on his own time, after we photographed the BMW factory, he took us to a brand new museum in Dingolfing, Germany that we then covered. And he got it. He saw what we were trying to accomplish. It was something that we could not describe via emails or PDF’s; it was something that couldn’t be described over the phone, but once he held that guidebook in his hands, he saw what we wanted to do and he showed us more. And those little surprises happen all the time and I love those.

Samir Husni: We hear it a lot; in fact, every time a new magazine is launched: there are so many car titles out there, so many travel titles, so many this and so many that. How are you going to position Via Corsa in the marketplace?

Ron Adams: A lot of the car magazines today cater to the new purchase experience; in other words, they’re looking to sell a car and that’s a good thing, a lot of people need help when buying their cars. But once you buy your car and it’s sitting in your garage, then what?

There are virtually no publications out there, online or in print, that really cater to the enthusiast once he or she owns the car. And that’s where we pick up. We’re filling a need that’s there because people have a desire to experience their car, to drive their car once they’ve bought it.

Is this magazine a car magazine; well, maybe, but I think of it as more of a travel and adventure magazine. It just so happens to be geared for car enthusiasts. And I believe that’s an untapped market.

Samir Husni: I’m going to put you in the driver’s seat for a moment, no pun intended. Tell me the dream car that you’d like to be driving to the dream destination that you’d like to be arriving. What would those be?

Ron Adams: That is the proverbial question isn’t it? Is it the journey or the destination? For me personally, I love the journey. The journey is where the adventure lies and the destination is simply the end. I try to live my life as much as an adventure as much as possible and I am far too restless to settle down at any one destination. But what would be the dream car? That’s tough. I guess the car manufacturers are far too good at building better and better sports cars for me to want to stick with any one car. But if I had to narrow it down, it has to be Italian. After all Italian automobiles are passion.

Samir Husni: What motivates you to get out of bed every morning and say it’s going to be a great day? What drives you?

ron adams car2 Ron Adams: Looking for the next story. The joy in getting up and going to the computer, going on the trips, doing the work on the editorial side, is what gets me up in the morning. The business side; that’s important; I’m living and dealing with that, it’s something that’s been a part of my life ever since the guidebooks began. But that’s really not what drives me or gets me up in the morning. It’s the ability to look at the world and try to funnel it through this magazine and bring it to the readers in an exciting way.

Samir Husni: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Ron Adams: When someone looks at my magazine, I don’t want them to say, “Oh, this is great,” and then toss it aside when they’re done. I’m trying to create a magazine that’s enjoyable, informative and tells good stories, but is also collectible.

And I would love to hear from people a year from now, five years from now, who would contact us and say, “I so remember that first issue; I still have it. It’s still relevant and interesting. It’s still something that I would read today.”

So, as we move through this magazine business, what I hope to see is with this magazine that we’ve created is something that’s really enduring.

Samir Husni: My typical last question; what keeps you up at night?

Ron Adams: I sleep pretty well, but the one thing that keeps me up at night is I’m always thinking about that next trip.

Samir Husni: Thank you.

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One comment

  1. Via Corsa is as much art as it is a great magazine. The photos and graphics are every bit as good as the content. I highly recommend subscribing today!



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