Porter Press International

Professional Research Services – For Historic Motor Cars

From Porter Press and Classic & Sports Car

Porter Press International and Classic & Sports Car have joined forces to create the RESEARCH DIVISION, offering professional historic car research by a team of highly-experienced and respected authors and journalists, supported by access to the 13 million images in the LAT photographic library.


Your report can prove provenance, verify and detail motorsport achievements, fill gaps in a car’s history and gather period photographs, reports and event programmes. We can trace and interview former owners and relatives as well as those who worked on the car before presenting our findings in a beautifully-designed, hand-bound report with a variety of available presentation options.



Porter Press International (PPI) is an award-winning publisher of motoring books founded by Philip Porter, the well-known motoring author. In recent years, PPI has published four books with Sir Stirling Moss plus books with Murray Walker and Martin Brundle, and such definitive titles as Ultimate E-type – The Competition Cars involving painstaking, detailed research.


PPI titles have been chosen by Octane magazine as their ‘Book of the Month’ probably more times than those of any other publisher. One of the reasons for this impressive accolade is the depth of research that goes into every serious PPI book.


PPI has recently launched its new Great Cars series. The first book, on the prototype Lightweight E 4 WPD, was published in September 2015. Currently books are being written for clients on: Ferrari 250 GTO, long-nose ex-Works D-type, Le Mans-winning Porsche 917, an important Lola T70 and (for Mr. Ross Brawn) the TT-winning Moss Ferrari 250 GT swb. The authors include Doug Nye, Ian Wagstaff, Keith Bluemel and Philip Porter – all top names in the motoring writing world and highly respected.


The very strong Porter Press team includes Mark Hughes (former Editor of Autosport and Classic & Sports Car, and Editorial Director of Haynes Publishing) and Nic Waller. Nic, who splits his time between the UK and the USA, is one of the principal organisers of the famed Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California.


Leading the team is Chas Parker, Research Division Manager.  Chas swapped a career in astronomy, where he was press officer for the Royal Greenwich Observatory, for one writing about motor sport. Along the way he edited a computer magazine for Hewlett-Packard business users and provided copywriting services to companies such as Air Miles, Elf Oil and South East Water. He also contributed to Patrick Moore’s ‘Yearbook of Astronomy’ and the ‘Philip’s Astronomy Encyclopedia’.


For a time he was motoring correspondent for ‘Sussex Life’ magazine and then worked for seven years as a sub-editor on ‘Motorsport News’, for which he still contributes race reports, particularly on the Goodwood Revival and Members’ Meetings, along with occasional articles for publications such as ‘Autosport’ and ‘Motor Sport’. He is the author of a number of books, including comprehensive histories of Brands Hatch and Silverstone, both published by Haynes. Chas is also co-author or one of our latest books in the Great Cars Series, Jaguar D-type - The Autobiography of XKD 504.





When an owner of several very historic cars could find no-one to conduct professional research into the history of his cars, he approached Porter Press, as respected publishers, suggesting the company was ideally placed to offer such services and commissioned PPI accordingly.



The Next Step


PPI has put together a growing international team of researchers, covering a wide variety of specialisms including racing, rallying, record-breaking, single marques and individual countries.


PPI can produce anything from a stylish report, containing period and modern photography, to an eBook to a full printed book.


PPI is regularly engaged in research for the books it has been publishing for 10 years. That research can involve tracing former owners and/or drivers, painstakingly piecing together a car’s competition history and interviewing those who have worked on the car.



The Facilities


Porter Press is based in rural Worcestershire, in the heart of England. The offices are situated in a restored 16th Century thatched, timber-frame barn in the grounds of Porter’s home of 37 years. In another restored barn, Philip has his archive room which is packed with, literally, thousands of magazines and books. The archive is constantly being added to.


In Philip’s Writing Office are stored several thousand images and several hundreds tapes of interviews (currently being digitised, as are the images).


In spite of being based in such historic buildings, PPI’s use of technology is cutting edge. The team, who are based in several continents, are all linked through a dedicated digital structure in the cloud.


Most IT work is carried out in-house.


The company also has a small base in Chelsea in London.



Philip Porter & Nic Waller


Philip Porter bought his historic cars, including 9600 HP (the oldest E-type), in the ‘70s, has been writing award-winning books since the ‘80s and formed the International Jaguar XK Club and The E-type Club in 1997 and 2004, respectively. He is known and respected worldwide for his authoritative Jaguar books and fascinating motor racing publications. He has vast experience of the classic car world in all its many forms, has competed successfully and loves driving his cars. “Though I have many other interests,” says Philip, “much of my life has revolved around old cars and I have derived enormous satisfaction from the research – the detective work – involved in writing my hefty tomes. It is, though, a sheer coincidence I used to be Chairman of the Sherlock Holmes Society!”


Nic Waller became Sales Director of Lavenham Press, who are renowned for printing classic car magazines, in the ‘90s and one of his clients was Philip Porter. In 2006 Nic joined the Pebble Beach team in California and is a member of the Selection Committee, finding and authenticating cars. In this role, he has researched, and commissioned research on, many important cars. Since 2008, he has also organised the Double Twelve Festival at Brooklands and a new concours at The Warren Golf Club in Essex.


“My work with Pebble Beach and other worldwide events,” states Nic, “has brought me into contact with many car collectors and owners all over the world. Many of them have become firm friends.”



An adviser to Porter Press International is the eminent London-based lawyer Martin Emmison of Goodman Derrick LLP. Martin specialises in historic cars and has acted for a number of leading collectors worldwide for many years.

Philip Porter's Research Archive at Porter Press International

Porter Press International – Professional Research Division


Bespoke Service: detailed motor car research on behalf of car owner.


Research Criteria: may include detailed research of manufacturer records, competition activity and results, race programmes, available images, drivers, team personnel, car evolution, original and subsequent owners.


Textual Sources: may include (where appropriate) – manufacturer’s records, period magazines, books, interviews, licensing authority records, race/competition organiser records, libraries, input from specialist authors and journalists, motoring clubs, former owners, personnel who worked on car and restorers.


Illustrative Sources: photographic libraries worldwide, former owners, team personnel and media.


Report: a professionally designed and produced printed report, including photographs (PPI can produce anything from a report to a book).


Charging: time is charged at three agreed rates – Senior Researcher & Report Designer, Junior Researcher, Specialist Consultant. Copies of copyright photographs are charged at cost plus 20% research charge. Minimum charge: £1000. Terms: Deposit £1000, plus stage payments, frequency dependent on progress. All charges plus VAT.


Timescale: Entirely dependent on urgency, client requirements, workload and co-operation of third parties but client to be updated regularly and company to use best endeavours to complete as swiftly as possible.





How much will it cost? This is, of course, entirely dependent on the time expended. It is rather like restoration work: it is often impossible to quote precisely for such work and the client has to rely on the reputation, ethics and competence of the restorer. There has to be trust and good, regular communication. It is the same with professional research.


Authors and Consultants


The unbeatable and growing PPI Team of authors and consultants includes Sir Stirling Moss, Doug Nye, Murray Walker, Mark Hughes, Sir John Egan, Ian Wagstaff, Nic Waller, Martin Brundle, Keith Bluemel, Chas Parker, Malcolm McKay, Marco Makaus, Martin Emmison, Rob Schulp, Jeremy Wade, Philip Porter...



Research Team

The growing team of Researchers includes Giles Chapman, Brian Laban, Paul Skilleter, Martin Gurdon, Nick Baldwin (France), Richard Bremner, Kim Henson, Martyn Morgan Jones, Michael Oliver, Hal Ridge, Davide Bassoli (Italy), Terry McGrath (Australia), John Pearson...


Report Presentation Boxes

Option 1: Bespoke handmade de Luxe edition – A3 size


Price to be confirmed (will include tracked courier delivery)


The designed report will be finished in two A4 landscape pages (AA), printed and bound in an A3 portrait book form (D).


The report is presented in a hand-crafted, cloth covered clamshell box (C).  The report and document folder are bound in leatherette and recessed within the box (A & B).  The colour of the report binding and box will be based on the subject car’s paint colour and trim.


Blocking is included on the spine and cover of book and front of the box (A & C).







Research Division Report beautiifully hand-bound.

Option 2: Standard edition


Price to be confirmed (will include tracked courier delivery).


A3 size – Based on up to 60 x 2 printed A4 landscape pages.  Includes report folder & separate document box (E).  The clamshell box and report folder are in black (A, B & E).


Optional bespoke title blocking for the front & spine of box and folder.






Supplementary copies of Options 1 and 2


Price to be confirmed (will include tracked courier delivery).


A4 size – Based on a supplementary report of up to 120 pages (unbound).  Presented in an A4 black cloth-covered clamshell  box (A).


Additional costs: Optional bespoke title blocking for the front & spine of box and folder.



Option 3: Electronic Copy – No Design


A copy of the report text and accompanying images to be supplied on a CD in a pdf format.


Bound Report Examples

Hand Bound Report on a stunning Lotus. 

Bespoke Handmade de Luxe Edition

Hand-bound classic car report

For further information, please contact Louise Gibbs:


Porter Press International

PO Box 2, Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, WR15 8XX

Tel: +44 (0)1584 781588

Fax: +44 (0)1584 781630

Research Division of Porter Press International - for Historic Motor Cars

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