From vintage classic collectors to lovers of tricked-out lowriders, there is an incredible range of car collectors and enthusiasts with a wide variety of unique and distinctive interests. Some automotive aficionados are even more specific in their tastes. Fans of the world famous “Panther Platform” are both plentiful and passionate in their enthusiasm for the since-discontinued line of Ford cars. Deric McCottrell, a letter carrier for USPS, is sharing his own love of these beautiful smooth-riders with the world in his new publication, Panther Magazine – The Panther Platform Lookbook. “There’s something so special and alluring about Panthers,” he says. “There really is nothing else like them on the road, and I wanted to capture that in the magazine. I wanted to show that the love and community surrounding these cars are still very much alive.”
The Rise of Panther Magazine
Deric McCottrell serves as the founder, President, and CEO of Panther Magazine, a publication based around a beloved platform of Ford cars produced from the 1970s to 2011 called “The Panther Platform.” The Panther Platform consists of Lincoln Town Cars, Mercury Grand Marquis’, Mercury Marauders, and the Ford Crown Victoria. The magazine features people from all over the world with photos and short articles about their stories and connections with their cars. The publication highlights the continued impact and appreciation of the Panther Platform despite its unfortunate discontinuation over a decade ago.
In just one year of business, Panther Magazine’s Instagram account has reached over 6,000 followers, a feat that McCottrell wears with pride. “For most businesses, social media isn’t really that important, but for my business, it’s how I find new customers and build new relationships with people who share this unique interest.” McCottrell hopes that social media can help bring a wide range of new readers to Panther Magazine, helping car enthusiasts to discover a new passion.
Panther Magazine Shares McCottrell’s Love of Cars with the World
According to McCottrell, he got to where he is today by way of trial and error. “Once I really sat back and thought about what I’m most passionate about, things really started to click for me,” he explains. McCottrell has always loved cars. Born in 1992, McCottrell remembers growing up and seeing tons of Mercury Grand Marquis’ and Lincoln Town Cars rolling around. Being originally from San Diego, California, he grew up entrenched in West Coast culture and was fascinated by hydraulic lowriders. Every time he spotted a ’90s Lincoln Town Car, he hoped it would be a lowrider.
In his late teen years, he had the opportunity to sit in a Panther for the first time. “I loved it!” he recalls. “I loved the way it looked, how comfortable it was, how smooth it felt to drive: it was just an all-around great car.” In that moment, he resolved to one day buy a Grand Marquis, no matter what it took. So far, he’s owned two. McCottrell loves these cars and the people that drive them; over the course of entering the Panther Platform community and starting Panther Magazine, he met so many great people that have since become good friends of his.
Taking Panther Magazine to the Next Level
McCottrell is confident about the future of Panther Magazine; not only for its place in the magazine industry, but also in the automotive industry. “I see a vision of Panther Magazine starting new trends in the automotive industry and elsewhere in the business world,” he explains. “Although the current era of business seems to be all about digital tech, the average consumer will always have an appreciation for a physical product – especially when it comes to magazines.” McCottrell believes the magazine industry is still going strong and that, in the near future, paperbacks and physical copies of publications will make a strong return.
Over the next few years, McCottrell plans to turn Panther Magazine into a powerhouse dynasty. With the publication experiencing strong organic growth already, he hopes to realize his goals by way of a Fortune 500 sponsorship/partnership. Soon, Panther Magazine will become a full-time career for McCottrell, putting him in a position to host the world’s first ever Panther Platform National Car Meet. “It would be a historic event that thousands of Panther fans – including myself – would really enjoy,” he says. He can’t wait to bring his platform to an even wider audience and introduce a new generation of car enthusiasts to the Panther Platform.