- Motorbooks began in the Minneapolis garage of founder Thomas Warth in 1965.
A native of England and a lifelong automotive aficionado, Warth began a modest
automotive book retail business, then known as Classic Motorbooks, in his home
because he was unable to find quality car, motorcycle and racing books.
In 1973, Motorbooks began to publish auto-related books of its own, which it
distributed along with those of leading publishers from around the world. In
1976, Motorbooks relocated to Osceola, Wisconsin, where the company's
warehouse remains today. Motorbooks International was created in order to
wholesale automotive and aviation books, first to specialty bookstores and
then to the world's book trade.
During the 1980s and 1990s the company continued to grow,
expanding its own publishing program of books and calendars and providing the
highest quality products to enthusiasts in the United States and around the
world. Mr. Warth sold the company to the Chronicle Publishing Company of San
Francisco in 1989. During Chronicle's ownership, MBI Publishing Company was
established as an umbrella group over Classic Motorbooks and Motorbooks
In 2000, Motorbooks was acquired by Flagship Partners,
Inc. of New York, a private equity investment firm. Operating as MBI
Publishing Company LLC, a new phase of growth began. The publishing offices
and headquarters were moved to St. Paul, Minnesota and the publishing program
further expanded. MBI Publishing Company LLC was acquired by Quayside
Publishing Group in 2007 and our headquarters moved to Minneapolis in January
2008. Within the Quayside Publishing Group, MBI Publishing Company publishes
titles under three distinct imprints: Motorbooks, Voyageur Press and Zenith
Today, Motorbooks.com carries the best in books from the
leading publishers from around the world - all for the enthusiast.