We start 2021 with mixed emotions: on the one hand Porter Press had a fantastic 2020 and we are very excited about 2021, and on the other many people and businesses are suffering. Touch wood, most of our team have avoided the virus so far but we live in dread of it compromising our plans. I just hope you and your family are well and, with the vaccines, the world has a brighter future very soon. Let’s hope the Goodwoods and our own E-type 60 event in June will happen and lift our spirits.
Please don’t forget the selection of books that came out in something of a rush late last year and of which we are very proud: SuperFinds, Ultimate GTR (Limited Edition and Collector’s Edition), the JCB Scrapbook, The Michael Turner Collection and the Rocket story.
As ever, so much to talk about but I don’t want to bore you with too much detail.
The Self Preservation Society - 50 Years of the Italian Job, our award-winning book, is now available in softback and incredible value at just £30.
With the sad closure of the Haynes book division, we have taken on a couple of books they were to publish - a splendid one on the Model T Ford by Chas Parker, which is about to go to the printers, and one on the F40s being written by leading Ferrari authority Keith Bluemel.
Talking of Keith, he is currently proof-reading Vol 1 of Ultimate GTO that James Page has now completed. These books have been a marathon for James but, knowing him and judging by the comments of Keith and editor Mark Hughes, they will be amazing. Now aiming for April publication.
We love doing books that are very different, and break new ground for us. The ArtProject is certainly different. It will consist of paintings by six distinguished artists (including Tim Layzell) of each of 25 cars - 150 paintings, and it will be a big book - 400 x 295mm / 16” x 12”!
In 2000 I wrote a book on my E-type FHC, 9600 HP, for Orion, one of the world’s biggest publishers. With the E-type’s 60th anniversary this year, we feel it is time to create an updated, modernised and expanded new edition. I am trying to find the time to progress rapidly with this. Meanwhile, Malcolm McKay is working hard on the ultimate authenticity guide, Original E-type.
Gavin Green is currently editing Ian Wagstaff’s text for our forthcoming BRM book, and the Owen family are aggregating a wonderful selection of unique material from their archives.
Several more contracts are on the cusp of being signed - more detail soon, all being well. Meanwhile, we have loads more in the pipeline but I have waffled for long enough!
News from 2020
Above: Michael Kliebenstein (left) is given the award by Andrea Martini (right), President of Milano AUTOCLASSICA.
Have you ever heard of a book being given a Book of the Year award before it has been published? It has happened with SuperFinds. With many of the extraordinary featured cars being Italian, it is a real honour that the Milan Autoclassica Classic Car Show has given their ‘Book of the Year 2020’ to SuperFinds by Michael Kliebenstein.
The ROFGO Collection by Doug Nye.
This book allows us to take an inside look at one of the world's greatest collections of iconic racing cars.
Limited to 900 copies, of which the first 300 bought direct from us are signed by the author Doug Nye.
Click the following link to read more about this title and to order your copy.
The All - American Hero and Jaguar's Racing E-types
The All American Hero and Jaguar’s Racing E-types is a fabulous book which majors on Briggs Cunningham’s dream to win Le Mans. Magneto makes mention in their superb edition (which pays tribute to Stirling) of, ‘the usual Porter Press high production values… ...the period photography is superb… ...an entertaining read rather than a dreary drudge through history'. Price: £60
Ferrari 857S - The remarkable history of 0578M
We're delighted with our Exceptional Cars book, Ferrari 857S - The remarkable history of 0578M. It is Packed with superb, atmosphere period photos, with stunning studio photography and written by Ian Wagstaff (his fourth book for us - he’s currently working on the next one), this is a great book. The fact that this car was driven by Hawthorn, Maglioli, Phil Hill, Castelotti, de Portago and Gendebien illustrates that the featured car had a long and illustrious history. Price: £30
Updated April 2020
Sir Stirling Moss, British motor racing legend dies at 90
To me, and to many, he was simply the greatest.
Not only was he the finest all round motorsport competitor who has ever lived, he was the personification of the perfect sport. A sporting hero to several generations, he was probably the first sporting superstar.
He was both James Bond and the Beckham of his era: he dated a roll call of beautiful women and he was the first sportsman to be on the front pages of the newspapers as well as the back. Admired worldwide but loved by the British, he was the English crusader who went to foreign lands and, against the odds, conquered. That he became known as 'Mr Motor Racing' says it all.
His greatest sporting achievement, and one of the very greatest in the history of sport, was his victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia – a wonderfully insane race of 1,000 miles round Italy. Comprising a mix of fast long straights alongside the Adriatic, roads through cities, towns and villages and taking in long, snaking tortuous mountain passes, he averaged, together with his invaluable navigator ‘Jenks’, just a shade under 100mph. It defies belief.
The world has lost one of its greatest ever sportsmen; Britain has lost one of its greatest heroes.
Read the Stirling Moss obituary by Philip Porter
In his foreword to this book, Peter Brock, the Director of Special Projects at Shelby American from 1962-65, observes: "There have been many words written about the Shelby era but relatively few that focus on this most intensive early period with the Daytona Cobra Coupes." Here this story is told in unprecedented detail and with special emphasis on one of the six Coupes built. Author Rinsey Mills, the writer of Shelby’s authorised biography, draws on first-hand accounts from Shelby American drivers and team members, and shares many period photographs never previously published.
The Daytona Coupe was created with the audacious ambition of dethroning Enzo Ferrari as the king of sports car racing, and in 1965 it did just that. Despite the Ferrari factory’s greater experience, and despite the all-round competitiveness of the Italian marque’s 250 GTO, the Daytona Coupe defeated Ferrari in the large-capacity class of the FIA’s International GT Championship – a prize not won before or since by any other American manufacturer.
This book looks at all the Cobra Daytona Coupes’s significant races in 1964 and ’65, and in particular detail at the five races contested by chassis CSX2300. This car played an important role in the Shelby team’s success and is a worthy addition to Porter Press’s acclaimed Great Cars series.
RAC Motoring Book of the Year Winner 2019
October 30th 2019
Image copyright: John Brooks.
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.
The 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. Order your copy
From 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
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 late 2021.
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
This is the very first in our Ultimate Series. It 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."
928 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 was 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
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
In 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.
A 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
Sold 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
The 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.
This book 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!
Insights into racing with Porsche in sportscar racing’s golden era
In this, 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.
As a small company, comments from our customers are hugely important to usThis 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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