When it comes to the automotive world, the allure doesn’t just reside in the sleek curves and roaring engines; it’s often the stories, the histories, and the intricate details that elevate the passion to an art form. Enter the world of Porter Press, a haven for car connoisseurs who appreciate the elegance of prose as much as the elegance of design. Today, we embark on a journey through pages that encapsulate the essence of automotive fascination – presenting the top 10 most luxurious and exclusive automotive books showcased by Porter Press. Remember, if you buy any book from Porter Press, do use our discount code to make a saving (see below).
So here we go, check out these wonderful books…
By Philip Porter – £950
Exclusivity is the hallmark of this treasure trove – with a mere 15 sets made, only 9 of them remain. The embodiment of craftsmanship, it arrives ensconced within a bespoke handmade celebration slipcase, as if to herald its exceptional nature.
Pause and pay homage to Sir Stirling Moss, the indelible racing icon, as he marks his 90th lap around the sun. Behold the four meticulously curated scrapbooks, each a gateway to a specific chapter in the illustrious narrative spanning 1929 to 1961. Venture into the world of the man who etched his name into racing lore, an unparalleled pilot who eluded the World Championship yet forever remains the victor in hearts.
Nestled within this treasure chest, the first volume bears the inked signature of the legend himself, Sir Stirling Moss, while all volumes are graced with the mark of eminent motoring maestro and author, Philip Porter. It’s more than a tribute; it’s a riveting journey, a homage wrapped in an exquisite edition.
9. Jaguar Lightweight E-type – The autobiography of 4 WPD (Collectors’ Edition) – By Philip Porter – £1200
Diving into the riveting annals of automotive lore, the Great Cars volume unveils the chronicle of the Jaguar E-Type‘s conquests, charting the journey of an iconic machine that shifted the tides of competition. Under the banner of John Coombs and supported by the factory’s meticulous craftsmanship, this E-Type danced on the track with the grace of top-tier racers, etching its legacy in motorsport history.
In a symphony of exclusivity, a mere 25 copies were made of this special edition. Encased in a Solander Box, bound in a marriage of leather and cloth, the masterpiece is an ode to craftsmanship. A red cloth slipcase guards the treasure within, held by a bonnet buckle-style attachment that hints at the thrill beneath. The grey leather-bound volume, with its gleaming silver gilt-edged pages and bevelled corners, houses metal plate reproductions of the car’s number plates – BUY 1 on the prow and 4 WPD on the aft. This limited edition waltzes with history, each copy graced by the signature of the author, Philip Porter. Each craftsman-made box is priced at £2,200, with £1,000 going to the Henry Surtees Foundation.
By Richard Heseltine – £1500
Prepare to be whisked away into the delectable world of automotive history with the Baker’s Edition – an indulgent creation limited to a mere 19 copies. Presented in a lavish clamshell box, swathed in the elegance of black leather, the lid boasts the Breadvan’s iconic red-foiled graphic, a nod to the legendary Ferrari 250 GT Short Wheelbase Competizione, chassis number 2819 GT.
But this is no ordinary tome. Gently peek through the rear window, and there lies the pièce de résistance – a scarlet leather-bound book, carefully poised on a deceptive false floor. Like a culinary masterpiece, the pull-out drawer below offers three signed prints, showcasing John Colley’s studio photography in all its glory. Is it an oven tray? No, it’s a drawer of delights that add layers to this luxurious experience.
Breadvan – A Ferrari To Beat The GTO is packed with new research, composed by renowned author Richard Heseltine, with compositions from Nicola von Dönhoff and Ferrari virtuoso Keith Bluemel. Within its pages, you’ll uncover the life of the unmistakable ‘Breadvan,’ from its origins as a Ferrari 250 GT Short Wheelbase Competizione to its transformation into the legend we adore.
Delve into the development of the 250 GT Berlinettas, the tale of Maranello’s ‘Palace Coup’ that birthed the Breadvan, and the riveting narrative of its racing days under the expert hands of Ludovico Scarfiotti and Carlo Maria Abate. Discover the tantalising revelations of 2819 GT’s escapades at Daytona and Sebring in 1962, immortalised through countless archive photographs.
It’s not just a book; it’s a sensory journey, a fusion of automotive passion and culinary artistry, all wrapped up in the Breadvan mystique.
7. 9600 HP – The Story of the World’s Oldest E-type (Unique Edition) – By Philip Porter – £2000
Ladies and gentlemen, behold the Unique Edition – a masterpiece that car aficionados can truly connect with, owning not just a book, but an authentic fragment of history. With only 25 copies in existence, this edition isn’t just a window into the past; it is a genuine piece of the past.
Each edition houses an actual slice of the car itself, a tangible link to its storied existence. Encased in a luxurious grey leather box lined with the elegance of black Suedel, the piece of historic sheet metal rests inside, akin to a cherished artefact. But the magic doesn’t end there. The lid pays homage to the iconic E-Type‘s heritage, boasting a 3D-printed bonnet bulge and metallic ‘bonnet’ vents, a nod to its sixties allure. And let’s not forget the meticulously leather-bound book, adorned with all the charms of the Collector’s Edition.
This edition unveils the narrative of the indomitable 9600 HP, from its inception as a prototype to its illustrious debut at the Geneva Motor Show, and its roaring 150mph road-test escapades. More than a car, this is a tribute to the genius behind it all, Malcolm Sayer, the unsung maestro of Jaguar’s iconic designs.
Step into the world of 9600 HP through interviews with those who were part of its journey and delve into exclusive archives from the family of Malcolm Sayer. Imagine the exhilaration of 9600 HP as it blitzed across France to make its dramatic appearance at the E-Type’s official launch. Acquired by Philip Porter in 1977, it lay dormant in a barn until a serendipitous turn of events brought it back to life.
This isn’t just a book; it’s a time machine. A chance to touch, feel, and own the spirit of automotive evolution.
6. Ultimate Ferrari 250 GTO – The Definitive History (Owner’s Edition) – By James Page – £2500
Exclusivity takes on a new definition with the Owner’s Edition – a prized possession limited to a mere 36 copies, an exquisite tribute to the 250 GTOs that once ruled the asphalt. Clad in the sumptuous embrace of red Alcantara, the tactile allure is undeniable. Jet-black paper edges serve as a dramatic contrast to the dazzling ‘Ferrari 250’ script, a signature that sparks admiration.
This unique book is a testament to the GTO’s legacy, revealed through meticulously crafted details. Slide it into the matching Alcantara slipcase, and you’re met with the enticing glimpse of the G T O letters, artfully framed by three cut-outs, reminiscent of the car’s iconic front inlets.
The devotion to exclusivity continues, with each volume and slipcase individually debossed, bearing the imprimatur of a specific GTO chassis number. Drivers Peter Sutcliffe and David Piper, author James Page, and Ferrari connoisseur Keith Bluemel bestow their signatures upon these limited treasures.
The Ultimate Ferrari 250 GTO transcends mere storytelling; it’s an immersive plunge into the history and allure of this remarkable automotive lineage. Born in 1962 as the final crescendo of the 250 GT series, the GTO became the ultimate expression of a front-engine era. Crowned with three World Championship titles, it reigned not only on the track but also in the hearts of car aficionados worldwide.
The allure of the GTO extends beyond its racing prowess – it’s a symphony of beauty, charisma, and the unparalleled thrill of the drive. The pages of this two-volume masterpiece, adorned with previously unseen photographs, unveil the essence of the GTO. It’s not just about cars; it’s a poetic tribute to the essence of motoring passion.
By Mark Cole – £2500
In a league of its own, outshining even the Limited Edition, stands the peerless Collector’s Edition, handcrafted by the skilled artisans at Ludlow Bookbinders in the finest quality leather. A true marvel, this edition proudly bears the signatures of visionaries Gordon Murray and the trailblazing instigators of the GTR legacy, Ray Bellm and Thomas Bscher. Not only are the twin volumes elegantly ensconced in leather, but the slipcase itself is likewise adorned in this regal material. A period McLaren metal badge, a testament to history with McLaren’s kind assent, graces the front of both Volume 1 and Volume 2, a symbol of prestige.
A quarter-century after its iconic victory at the 1995 Le Mans 24 Hours, the awe-inspiring McLaren F1 GTR commands this monumental two-volume saga. Born from the lineage of the BMW V12-powered McLaren F1 road car, the F1 GTR emerged due to clamorous demand from patrons compelling the ingenious Gordon Murray to forge a racing iteration. This remarkable feat gave rise to 28 exemplary models across three seasons, amassing a staggering 41 victories in its 131 races and clinching two international championship titles. Within these sumptuous pages, the epic tale of the McLaren F1 GTR unfurls in exhaustive splendour. Volume 1 is a captivating chronicle of race-by-race exploits, while Volume 2 unveils the unique histories of each car, intertwined with the captivating stories of the intrepid drivers who dared to conquer the track. All of this is magnificently illustrated through an opulent gallery of over 775 vivid colour photographs.
By Ian Wagstaff and Doug Nye – £2500
BRM – Racing for Britain (Unique Edition) doesn’t just grace your bookshelf; it redefines it. Encased in rich dark green leather, punctuated with vibrant orange text, and crowned with a recessed enamel BRM badge, this edition is a visual overture to the racing story within.
Yet, its allure doesn’t stop at aesthetics. This edition is a familial testament, signed by the scions themselves – Sir Alfred Owen’s sons and grandsons – a direct lineage to the heart and soul of British racing history. A dark green leather-bound slipcase cradles this treasure, accompanied by a portfolio that’s a portal to the past – housing a period BRM technical drawing and an autographed certificate of authenticity.
And as if this isn’t an ode to exclusivity, here comes the punchline: a mere 17 copies, a homage to the 17 Grand Prix Championship victories. Each copy encapsulates the triumphant roar of a race-winning car. Then there’s the cheeky orange cap, mirroring a nose cone, safeguarding a BRM engine component akin to those that powered the victorious chariots.
This Unique Edition is a keepsake that delves into history, marries it with art, and encapsulates the very spirit of racing. It’s more than an addition to your library; it’s a testament to your reverence for the road less driven.
3. Ultimate Works Porsche 962 – The Definitive History (Owner’s Edition) – By Serge Vanbockryck – £3000
Limited to a mere 19 copies – a number that mirrors the official Porsche Works 962 cars in existence – the Owner’s Edition is nothing short of a masterpiece. Encased in the tactile allure of black Alcantara, it’s adorned with a debossed yellow-foiled script that dances elegantly across the cover and spine. The visual feast continues with black-edged pages, harmoniously encompassing the essence of speed.
But that’s just the cover. Delve into this automotive wonder, and you’ll find a three-volume saga ensconced within a matching black Alcantara slipcase, tenderly lined with the opulent touch of black Suedel. And to top it all, a pop of vibrant red Alcantara caps the slipcase, exuding the passionate heart of Porsche.
Inside this captivating ensemble, carefully cradled beneath a Perspex cover, lies a certified connecting rod from one of the mighty Porsche 962C engines that once roared on the tracks of the FIA World Sports-Prototype Championship. This isn’t just a book – it’s an immersion into the very spirit of Porsche’s racing prowess.
The first volume, a testament to history and star power, bears the signatures of luminaries like Derek Bell, Jochen Mass, and Mario Andretti. These legends united their autographs to grace the narrative that unfolds through these pages. And as a clarion call to enthusiasts, a gentle reminder: this extraordinary edition is brought to life with care and craftsmanship, a masterpiece that’s meticulously handcrafted to order.
Step into the realms of the Porsche 962, a creation that emerged in 1984 as the heir to the mighty Porsche 956, dominating Group C-specification races. It bridged continents, conquering IMSA GTP Championship with finesse. With its triumphant engine note echoing through history, the 962 remains a pivotal chapter in automotive lore, and this three-volume opus traces every twist and turn of its ten-year journey. Driven by the likes of Jacky Ickx, Derek Bell, and Al Holbert, this magnificent machine redefined race track glory, a story that’s now told in unparalleled detail, exclusively within these pages.
By Chas Parker with Michael Turner – £4050
Porter Press continues to push the boundaries of excellence with their stunning array of bespoke editions. An ode to the age-old craft of artisan bookbinding, these editions are more than just books – they are the epitome of bookish luxury, a renaissance of elegance for the bibliophile connoisseur.
Among these treasures, the crown jewel is undeniably the Michael Turner Collection Unique Edition, an endeavour that unfurls like a grand theatre performance. Imagine this: you unlatch the bespoke wooden box, carefully lift out a portfolio, and there it is – an original masterpiece by the illustrious Michael Turner himself, ready to be admired and displayed. And the stage for this artistic marvel? The box lid, ingeniously transformed into an easel. The crowd goes wild – or, in this case, you might just find yourself giving a well-deserved standing ovation to your own collector’s coup.
But there’s more to this masterpiece. This is where the collector turns auteur. With the Michael Turner Collection Unique Edition, patrons are given the rare privilege of commissioning a personal painting or drawing, a timeless ode to their favourite driver. And exclusivity? It’s the rule of the game, with each edition limited to one per driver – a single Moss, a solitary Stewart, an individual Senna, a lone Hamilton. It’s a homage to the legends and a celebration of the unique bond between enthusiasts and the drivers who captured their hearts.
By Nick Dimbleby – £5342
Lastly, the ultra-limited edition of the Camel Trophy roars onto the scene, a collector’s pièce de résistance for those who yearn for adventure fused with history. Sourced from the annals of rugged conquests, five original Camel Trophy Pelican cases stride forward, each embossed with the battle scars of legendary feats.
Within this vault of vehicular mythology lies a canvas-bound edition of the book, adorned with a debossed leather label and a tantalizingly tactile matching closing strap. But the treasures don’t stop there; like hidden treasures within a modern-day treasure chest, each of the five exemplars boasts its own unique blend of official Camel Trophy garb and artefacts. Picture it: Fjällräven trousers, Camel Trophy jackets, badges that hold stories, maps that whisper secrets, metal luggage tags that are like keys to the past.
The exclusivity is etched in signatures too. Author Nick Dimbleby leads the ensemble, joined by the symphony of Graham Fazakerley, Nick Horn, the 10-time event director Iain Chapman, and the triumphant duo of 1989 Camel Trophy winners, Bob Ives and Joe Ives.
As the tome unfurls, it charts twenty-one years of audacious quests, a chronicle of Land Rovers being pushed to the edge and beyond in landscapes as varied as the adventurers themselves. A journey from Borneo’s wilds to the heart of Mongolia, Papua New Guinea’s mysteries to Siberia’s frozen tundras, and Tanzania’s untamed frontiers. Nick Dimbleby’s lens captures more than just images; it captures the grit, the camaraderie, and the soul of these expeditions. Through anecdotes, interviews, and snapshots of history, this book invites you into a world where adversity and adventure go hand in hand.
From behind-the-scenes snapshots to iconic captures, this extensive volume, with its 930 images, stands as a true testament to the Camel Trophy legacy. The journey, the struggle, the evolution – it’s all here, waiting to be relived through the pages of the definitive Camel Trophy history.
In the realm of luxury automotive books, Porter Press stands as a beacon of exquisite storytelling. These books are more than mere reading material; they’re gateways to a world where metal and passion intertwine. Whether you’re an admirer of the classics, a devotee of racing legends, or simply someone who revels in the beauty of automotive history, these books are designed to resonate with the petrolhead in you. As you consider your next literary indulgence, remember that these books aren’t just purchases; they’re investments in moments of fascination and inspiration.