This is Part 3 of the Dual Wheel Journey 1-year anniversary special, where we’re talking about a Swedish moped magazine from the 1970s called “Puchjournalen.”
Issues 9-13 were released between 1975-1977. During this time, it’s important to mention that compulsory crash helmet laws for moped and scooter riders were on the horizon.
For this reason, many of these issues are full of helmet awareness PSAs, which we’ll talk more about.
Special credit: I’d like to thank Puchverkstan.se for uploading digital versions of every issue.
We’re not starting out strong here, because there’s not much to say about this issue.
There are only two noteworthy things. The first one is this two-page spread ad for “The New Generation” Puch Arizona:
This ad is a true product of the 1970s, especially, the guy in the middle with his Joey Tempest-like mullet and Minne Mouse shirt.
Oh, and let’s not forget about his leg spread that’s just there so the viewer can see the “Arizona” decal sticker.
And despite there being six people in the photo, there’s only one helmet.
Puch Arizona – Trivia:
- The Puch Arizona was the first moped in Sweden available with a front disc brake as standard
- When it was new in 1975, it cost 5000 Swedish Kronor – the equivalent of about $3,000, or £2,300 in today’s money.
- At its core, it’s essentially a Puch M50 – apart from the rear shock absorbers
The second noteworthy thing in Issue 9 is related to Issue 8, where Puchjournalen made the mistake of promoting helmet stickers.,
And the reason I say “mistake” is because they then realized that it was actually BAD to put stickers on your helmet (at least for plastic helmets).
As such, it resulted in this mea culpa, where they tell people:
“Seriously, you’re not supposed to do that [putting decal stickers on helmets]. Some types of plastic helmets can’t handle the decal glue.“
This issue has an article with the lovely alliterative title “Maggan Mekar Maxi” (translates to “Maggan Tinkers with Maxi”), which is similar to the tutorials in Issue 4 and Issue 8.
This time, it’s all about how to remove soot from your exhaust, piston, and spark plug.
While this is no RevZilla video, it gets the point across – although I think the 1940s comic book speech balloons are cheesy.
Remember what I said earlier about helmets becoming more and more compulsory? In this issue, there’s a PSA titled “would you run head-first into a brick wall – with nothing on your head?”
It also has this article about how the police detect whether a moped is illegally modified (known colloquially in Sweden as “trimming” – loosely translates to “tuning”).
It’s impressive how good they are at detecting illegally modified mopeds simply by measuing the bore of the intake cylinder and counting the number of gears.
And remember, this was in the 1970s. So you could probably imagine how better they are these days.
Oh, and remember how I said in the first part of this series how the release schedule was sporadic?
I wasn’t the only one who thought so because apparently, several readers wrote in asking why Puchjournalen wasn’t released as often as it should.
And apparently, it’s because they “couldn’t afford” it. But what about featuring ads? Well, they didn’t want to do that because they believed ads would ruin the magazine.
Hypocritical, though, since the magazine’s already an advertising brochure. In the very first issue, they even called it an “advertising magazine.”
Secondly, given that they only featured mopeds from Puch and handed the magazine out exclusively at Puch dealerships, how can that not be considered advertising?
Even if affiliate marketing wasn’t a concept in those days, couldn’t they talk to Puch and ask for a sponsorship? Their name is in the name of the magazine, after all.
The biggest thing in issue 13 is this advertisement for the “Puch Super Show” vinyl record. This was a unique album made with CBS Records (and even appears on the cover of this issue.)
But unlike a regular record, you couldn’t buy this album at a record store – instead, you had to fill out a postage form.
As a result, this album has become a rarity – but according to Discogs.com, it’s just an ordinary compilation album whose track selection has a tenuous connection to Puch at best.
Don’t be tricked about the fact that it’s got Steppenwolf on it either – it’s NOT ‘Born to be Wild.’
Just like in issue 10, there’s also another helmet PSA here – this time, we have a picture of a hockey player with the tagline “Here, not wearing a helmet is unthinkable.”
Aside from that, I like this chart on the next page which shows license requirements in other European countries. It’s not much, but it’s interesting to read. For example, I had no idea that mopeds in Finland had a higher speed of 40 km/h back then.
Before you even open the magazine, there’s this headline on the front cover that reads:
“Famous comic book character sells his horse – buys a moped!”
And while they never mention his name, it’s implied that the “comic book character” they’re talking about is the Phantom – who was quite popular in Sweden at that time.
But I call fake news on this whole story. I haven’t read any Phantom comics, but I’m pretty sure that the Phantom would never ride around on a moped.
That would be like writing a blog post claiming that Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop had sold her spaceship for a motorcycle. As incredible as it would be, it’s not true.
The only other noteworthy thing in this issue is another ad for the Puch Super Show LP. This time, it even says that they’re “running out of copies.” But I’ll say what I said earlier when I talked about Issue 11:
“It’s just an ordinary compilation album whose track selection has a tenuous connection to Puch at best.”
And beyond that, there’s nothing else to say. I strongly suspect the fake news story about the Phantom was there because they knew there wasn’t much else to talk about.
This issue has an interesting merchandise page. Here you can buy everything from t-shirts with the Puchjournalen logo on them, to a small pamphlet that contains moped FAQs called “Frågor till Puchjournalen” (or “Questions For the Puch Journal”).
And the reason why I think it’s interesting is that I wonder who still has a copy of this pamphlet.
Anyway, remember that statement they made in Puchjournalen 10 about how they didn’t want to feature ads? Even though they were already an advertising magazine, to begin with? Well, they’ve changed their minds about that in this issue because there are ads.
And I wouldn’t mind, but the featured ads are so random. For example, on page 4, there’s this ad for wart removal ointment:
It’s like they got desperate to fill their ad space and just picked the first thing they could think of.
But that also begs the question – out of everything you could have featured, why does your mind go straight to wart removal cream?
Then, there’s this novella at the end that a reader sent in as a part of a contest.
I’d love to read it, but the text is so tiny, and the more I zoom in, the text for the digital copy is almost indecipherable.
If you can read any of this, please let me know what it’s about.
A sneak peek at what’s to come in Issues 14-17:
- A look at a public school that offered moped riding classes
- The most popular moped in America (at least in 1979)
- And who is Puch Man?