Palawan Press was established by Simon Draper in 1993, following his retirement as chairman of the Virgin Music Group after its sale to EMI.

Reflecting his passion for the special and exotic, Draper named the publishing house after the beautiful Palawan peacock pheasant of the Philippines. Through Palawan Press, Simon set out to publish books of unsurpassed quality - in design, binding, illustration and authorship - of interest to lovers of beautiful things.


Prices of the exclusive limited edition books range from 75 to 2,000.

23 titles have been published to date and the catalogue comprises books on Aston Martin, other grand marques of motoring, motor racing and art.

Click here to browse the complete catalogue.


All books are produced in more than one limited edition - usually a standard clothbound edition enclosed in a slipcase and a leatherbound edition encased in a drop-back solander box.

For some titles there is a special owners edition, numbered with the chassis numbers of the original cars, which can include extras, such as limited edition prints, additional books and brass or aluminium plates.

A number of limited edition publications have already sold out, including:

  • Aston Martin The Compleat Car (all editions),
  • Lagonda (all editions),
  • The Bentley Continental Sports Saloon (all editions),
  • Aston Martin Zagato (clothbound),
  • Jaguar D-Type (clothbound).


Palawan books are eminently collectable, as was demonstrated at the Goodwood Revival auction in September 2011, when a clothbound edition of Ferrari in Camera sold for 920, almost three times the original retail price.

In September 2016 at the Goodwood Revival Auction a Lagonda leather edition sold for 1500 and a Bentley Continental sold for 3300.

James Knight, Group Head of Bonhams motoring department comments: 

In my opinion, the Palawan books are the benchmark to which other publishers aspire. The quality of production is exemplary.  There are plenty of motoring books containing nice photographs but it is Palawan's attention to detail that elevates their publications to a new level entirely. The choice of editions; the format; the art direction, informative content and design — even the choice of paper stock — is carefully considered. The brief from management comes across as, 'produce the best book you can, let's not worry about margins....'. With such a philanthropic view, this is tremendous news for motoring enthusiasts. They are instant collectors' items and rarely come to market for two very good reasons — limited supply and a reluctance to sell. When they are offered at our sales we have no shortage of bidders competing against one another to secure a copy.


All of Palawan's books are produced to the highest possible production standards, and no effort or expense is spared to ensure that these standards are met. Palawan uses only the finest printers and binders in the UK, Switzerland, Germany and Italy. Production materials are always of the best quality, and no detail is overlooked, from the construction of the slipcases to the colour of the ribbon markers. 

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