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RAC Motoring Book of the Year Winner 

October 30th 2019

Motoring book awards

 Image copyright: John Brooks. 

Matthew Fields new book

The accolade of ‘Motoring Book of the Year’ went to Matthew Field for ‘The Self-Preservation Society 50 Years of the Italian Job’, published by Porter Press International. A unanimous decision by the judges.

Christian Whitehead from Foyles said “It’s a treasure trove of archive material with stills, behind the scene shots, promotional cinema posters and engaging facts of the stresses that the film crew had to endure. You can’t help but smile at the story of the making of one of Michael Caine’s best loved films”.

Mick Walsh from Classic & Sports Car said “A remarkable celebration of this cult movie classic that author Matthew Field has researched passionately since his teenage years. Bloody brilliant!”.

The 335-page book includes more than 50 in-depth interviews with the cast and crew, and is beautifully illustrated with hundreds of never-before-seen photographs and production documents from the filmmakers’ private collections providing a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at how the British classic made its way to the big screen and includes a foreword by Sir Michael Caine and an introduction by Academy Award-winning Producer Michael Deeley.

 

NEW Ultimate Series

Ultimate titles are written by highly respected authors chosen for their superior knowledge and experience. The series kicks off with a look at the Fitzpatrick Group C Porsches written by eminent motoring author and journalist Mark Cole. Cole covered the FIA World Endurance Championship over the period in which John Fitzpatrick Racing competed.

Serge Vanbockryck started his career as a journalist and photographer in the late 1980s, covering the fascinating world of endurance racing for newspapers and magazines around Europe. For the Ultimate series, he has written about the Works Porsche 956 and 962, with the latter due to be released in September 2020. 

 

Coming soon

Exceptional Cars - Ferrari 250 GT SWB

Ferrari Short WheelbaseThe 250-series was an early Ferrari success story and in 1959 spawned one of the most recognisable sports cars ever built. It is now also one of the most coveted. The 250 GT Berlinetta (aka SWB, ‘Short Wheelbase’) had a dual role as supreme grand tourer and outstanding racing car. Chassis 2689GT, the subject of this book, was purchased by amateur racer Pierre Dumay on behalf of his friend Pierre Noblet – who had written off his previous 250 GT SWB in an accident at Clermont-Ferrand. Shortly after taking delivery, Noblet and co-driver Jean Guichet took the new car to a class-winning third place overall in the Le Mans 24 Hours – the dawn of a relatively brief, but very bright, competition history. Register your interest

 

Available

Coachbuilt Cars – Jaguar XK 120 Supersonic by Ghia

Jaguar XK Supersonic bookFrom the book's introduction: 'When we first mooted this Coachbuilt Cars series of books, there was much discussion within Porter Press over which car should act as a template. It needed to be an exemplar of the coachbuilder’s art; something that broke moulds and pushed boundaries. There was only one candidate on which we could all agree. It simply had to be a Supersonic. But not just any Supersonic. Only 19 cars were produced by Ghia, based variously on Fiat 8V, Jaguar XK 120 and Aston Martin DB2/4 running gear. The Jaguar Supersonic was the most powerful of them all, thanks to its high state of engine tune. This remarkable machine has adorned covers of publications the world over and been garlanded at prestigious motoring events spanning several decades. What follows is a full account of the car’s history, from its birth in 1954 to the present day. It is the first time the extraordinary story has been fully told.' Order your copy

Written by Richard Heseltine

 

Ultimate Series - Works Porsche 956

by Serge Vanbockryck956 racer

In the decade following the 956’s launch in 1982, Porsche’s Group C racer and its long-wheelbase derivative, the 962, swept to five consecutive world championships and repeatedly won every classic sportscar race: the Le Mans 24 Hours seven times, the Daytona 24 Hours six times and the Sebring 12 Hours four times, with victories in 39 World Championship events and 55 IMSA races.  
 
The authoritative text is accompanied by a comprehensive selection of period photographs, some showing early design and wind tunnel models and prototypes, many previously unpublished. This beautifully-produced publication extends to 800 pages across two volumes, which we believe makes it the biggest book ever written on the subject and is presented in a stunning grey cloth slipcase. Production is strictly limited to 956 copies. 

 
Here's an extract from the book setting the scene for the 1982 season. 'At the end of 1981, at the dawn of the Group C era, the FISA could at least already say it had done a good job in creating a decent set of rules, even if they had been announced rather late. Into 1982, Porsche and Ford would be the factory teams fighting for the World Endurance Championship of Makes, with Rondeau-Ford and maybe even WM-Peugeot expected to challenge well. Lancia would be there with an all-out attack on the World Endurance Championship for Drivers, at the same time trying out the Group C waters for 1983. The usual suspects, Lola and March, would soon be supplying chassis to private teams, as they had done in the past, and newcomers like Sauber, TOJ and URD were not to be discounted either and would at least help to populate the grids. And legendary sportscar names from earlier decades in the form of Aston Martin and Mirage were scheduled to make selected appearances, adding some extra appeal. 
 
Sportscars and endurance racing were about to begin their most successful ever era.' Order your copy

 

John Fitzpatrick Group C Porsches - The Definitive History

Book by Mark Cole

This is the very first in our Ultimate SeriesIt looks at two of the most successful world-class racing cars of all time, the Porsche 956 and 962, and the Group C era regarded by many as the ultimate in sportscar racing. Group C Porsches were hugely successful throughout the 1980s both with the factory team and independent entrants, and the focus of this book is successful privateer team John Fitzpatrick Racing.  
 
From the foreword by David Hobbs: "This book, expertly put together by Mark Cole, who was also there and saw it all, is an excellent read, particularly for those interested in the history of sportscar racing."

 

One Formula: 50 Years of Car Design - Gordon Murray

Gordon Murray book928 pages, 1,200 plus images, a two-volume set in a slipcase. A collaboration between Gordon Murray and author Philip Porter, this two-volume blockbuster has been two years in the making. Covering in depth every single design the legendary Murray has created in his amazing 50-year career - from Formula 1 to the McLaren F1, to more recent ground-breaking motor cars of all types - this is truly a landmark publication. Order your copy

 


 

The Self Preservation Society – 50 Years of The Italian Job

by Matthew Field

Sir Michael Caine actor

Celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the British cult classic film, this new book takes a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at how the movie made its way to our screens. Lavishly illustrated throughout with hundreds of never-before-seen photographs and production documents, it is a joyful look back at the film, the inspirations behind it, the personalities who made it, and the experience of shooting on location. Author Matthew Field is the world's foremost expert on The Italian Job, and over the past 20 years has enjoyed unprecedented access to the cast and crew. The film's star, Sir Michael Caine, provides the Foreword, and the Introduction is supplied by Oscar-winning film producer Michael Deeley. A fascinating read, this book is sure to appeal to fans of The Italian Job, movie buffs and classic car lovers alike. Order your copy

 

Mini Scrapbook - 60 years of a British icon

Image of the Mini ScrapbookIn this latest addition to the Scrapbook series, the story of this unique little car is broken up into accessible nuggets and aided by a collection of archive and contemporary photography, to illustrate just what makes the Mini so special in this, its 60th year.

Order your copy

 

Maserati 4CLT - The remarkable history of chassis no. 1600

Maserati 4CLT bookThe latest in the 'Exceptional Cars' series tells the story of one of the two cars bought by The Automóvil Club Argentino (ACA). Painted in the bright blue and yellow Argentine racing colours, 1600 was to play an important role in the Argentine team's international expeditions to Europe. Fangio won two races in the car, the most important being at Pau in 1950, where he repeated his win in the ACA sister car a year earlier.
As well as a detailed chronicle of the car’s highs and lows, the text includes profiles of the drivers who raced in 1600 and a personal account of driving and running the car by a former owner who describes the daunting task of re-creating a Maserati 4CLT engine from scratch. Order your copy

 

Aston Martin DB4 GT Continuation - History in the Making

DB4 GT book coming soonThe inside story of the design, development and building of the 25 DB4 GT continuation cars produced by Aston Martin Works in 2018. Order your copy here.

 

 

Great Cars - Bugatti Type 50 - The autobiography of Bugatti's first Le Mans car

Bugatti Type 50 bookThe latest addition to the 'Great Cars' series tells the full story of Bugatti's magnificent works contender for the Le Mans 24 Hours. The remarkable original, sole-surviving chassis number 50177. Heralding a new era with the introduction of the Molsheim marque's first twin-cam engine, a supercharged 4.9-litre straight eight of prodigious power. Order your copy

 

Exceptional Cars - Ferrari 250 LM - The remarkable story of 6313

Classic Ferrari bookSold new to Ecurie Francorchamps, this famous yellow 250 LM was a stunning example of Ferrari's first mid-engined sports GT racer and finished second at Le Mans in 1965. Order your copy

 

A Ford lover's dream...

The Cars You Always Promised Yourself  by Steve Saxty, available now! 

Collectors Ford bookThis book covers Ford of Europe’s 50-year journey, told through the lens of its most sporting cars and the coupes that followed the Capri. The author’s connections, as a senior industry executive, allowed him to gather unique material that grants a reader the most privileged peek inside the secret world of car design and product planning. Ford granted access, for the first time ever, to its highly-secure archives and allowed the author to retrieve beautiful design sketches and secret photos of prototypes that had been kept locked away for decades. 

The uniqueness of the author’s approach gained the support of Ford’s best-known leaders from the ‘70s, ’80s and ‘90s. Three of the biggest names contributed extended-length forewords, to meet the reader and to tell their highly-personal first-hand stories before the 50-year journey begins. Iconic cars like the Sierra Cosworth, Capri Injection, and many more are examined from their earliest origins – the strategy behind the cars, the prototypes, the abandoned designs and the marketing strategies are all there.

Standard edition only £44.95. Or for an extra treat, perhaps we can tempt you with the Collector's edition at £79.95, featuring slipcase, poster, unique cover and exclusive additional pages.

 

 Aston Martin Ulster - The remarkable history of CMC 614 

book for Aston Martin enthusiastsCMC 614 is the registration number of an historic Aston Martin Ulster which has, without doubt, competed in more races than any other Aston. Built in 1935 to the same specification as the factory team cars, it took part in the Le Mans 24 Hour race, the Mille Miglia, and the Tourist Trophy in 1935. CMC 614 is one of the finest examples of the 28 made – as well as the most raced Aston of all time.

 

A pretty price: GT40 MkII fetches $9.8m 

GT40 P/1016 sold at RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction

The distinctive gold-and-pink Ford GT40 MkII which features in one of the most famous photographs in motorsport history, taken when three GT40s crossed the line together in a 1-2-3 finish at Le Mans in 1966, has just changed hands for $9,795,000. Bidding for GT40 P/1016 was one of the highlights of RM Sotheby’s August 24th auction during California’s annual imitation of automotive heaven, Monterey Car Week.

car from one of the most famous photos in motorsport historyThe full story of this particular GT40, which was steered to third place at the Circuit de la Sarthe by F1 driver Ronnie Bucknum and NASCAR ace Dick Hutcherson, was published last year in our Exceptional Cars series. Another car featured in this series, the Ferrari 250 GTO with chassis number 4153 GT, sold this summer for the all-time record price of $70m – which does make you wonder if publishing a fine book about a special car serves to heighten the vehicle’s desirability. 

 

The full story of the car that just sold for $70 million

Highest price ever paid for a carHeadline-writers the world over expressed their astonishment a few weeks ago when one of the best-surviving Ferrari 250 GTOs changed hands for $70 million (£52.3m), the highest price ever paid for a car.  The vehicle in question, chassis number 4153 GT, was the subject of a Porter Press book published only last year.

Ferrari 250 GTO - The Autobiography of 4153 GT traces this great car's history from its debut in the '63 Le Mans 24 Hour through the action-packed seasons of '64 and '65 through to its little-known competition career in Spain.  Notable adventures included the Angolan Grand Prix and victory in the 10-day Tour de France in the hands of Lucien Bianchi and Georges Berger.  A must-read for Ferrari enthusiasts - and anyone else who'd like to know what the fuss is all about!

 

Derek Bell - All My Porsche Races

Insights into racing with Porsche in sportscar racing’s golden era 

Book on Derek Bell and Porsche

In this new, 276-page book, sportscar racing legend, Derek Bell MBE, collaborates with author Richard Heseltine to look at every race he drove for Porsche. By sharing some very personal insights, Derek casts new light on his most famous victories for the German marque - four of his five wins in the Le Mans 24 Hours, three in the Daytona 24 Hours, two in the World Sportscar Championship, and many more besides. Bell describes the Porsches he raced from 1971 to 2000, from the fearsome 917 to the iconic 956, 962, and 911. And he shares his thoughts on drivers he raced with, including Stefan Bellof, Jacky Ickx, Hans Stuck, and Jo Siffert. A fascinating trip back in time to a golden era for Porsche and sportscar racing as a whole.

 

Purchase your autographed copy by ordering one directly from us.  Place your order soon, though - they're going as quickly as a 917 on the Mulsanne! 

 

A magical children's story - The XK Files: 120

XK 120 childrens bookThe first children’s car book to be published by Porter Press. This is the magical tale of nine-year-old Bill and a classic Jaguar XK 120 which transports him back in time. The XK takes Bill and his Grandpa to visit London in 1949 and 1952, and again on the June ’53 day of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation. At a street party outside Grandpa’s boyhood house, Bill overhears a conversation between two spies which sends him on an adventure across London. This entertaining story is written by Jennifer Barker, a long-time writer for and editor of national children’s magazines, with illustrations by Robin Lawrie, whose drawings and watercolours have brought to life more than 400 children’s books including such classics as The Wind in the Willows.

This delightful book is aimed at 7-11 years-olds (and their parents & grandparents...!).

 

Austin Healey: The story of DD 300

Austin-Healey bookThis first title in a brand-new series of Porter Profiles, with a cover price of just £20, takes us back to the swinging sixties and one of the most successful Big Healeys of all time. A works entry for the 1960 Sebring 12 Hours and Le Mans 24 Hours, this car was re-registered ‘DD 300’ and returned to Le Mans in ’61 and ’62. Driven by the likes of Peter Riley, Jack Sears, Austin-Healey specialist John Chatham, and even Jim Clark, DD 300 went on to score countless wins over four decades, including recent blue-riband historic racing events. Featuring a mix of new studio photos and evocative archive shots, this story is expertly told by amateur racer and RM Sotheby’s consultant Simon Ham.

 

As a small company, comments from our customers are hugely important to us

This is why we always ask for feedback with every parcel we send out. Online reviews are fantastic, as they help us both improve what we do, but also spread the word about our books.

We have been very fortunate in receiving some wonderful reviews from the trade press over the years, but we would particularly like to hear from you, our customers, so that we can continue to provide the high quality titles and service you have come to expect.

Each title has its own page on our website, and at the bottom of each page is a link to enter a review. If there's a book you particularly enjoyed, we would be very grateful if you would take a few moments to tell us what you thought about your purchase.

 

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