About Us

The origins of Palawan Press

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, Simon 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.

The catalogue

26 titles have been published to date and the catalogue comprises books on Aston Martin, other grand marques of motoring, motor racing and art, with prices ranging from £75 to £2000. Palawan books are eminently collectable, especially once sold out, as was demonstrated at the Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale in June 2014, when author Christian Hueber’s own copy of the Owners’ edition of the Bentley Continental book sold for £14,750, almost twelve times the original retail price, and the following year a clothbound edition of Ferrari in Camera sold for £1500, over four times the original retail price.

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.”

The finest traditions of bookmaking

All of Palawan’s books are produced to the highest possible standards, using 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.

See our books