In the motoring world, autumn is awards season, and Porter Press has been a frequent attendee at these glittering gatherings of motoring’s great and good. In 2016, Philip Porter’s Stirling Moss – the Definitive Biography Volume 1 and Ian Wagstaff’s Maserati 250F – the autobiography of 2528 were both shortlisted for the International Historic Motoring Awards. Philip has won garlands before, winning Book of the Year in the Octane International Motoring Awards 2011 and Motorsport Book of the Year in the 2012 British Sports Book Awards with Ultimate E-type – the Competition Cars and, in 1989, won the prestigious Guild of Motoring Writer’s Montagu of Beaulieu Trophy for Jaguar E-type – the Definitive History.
We are currently compiling our entries for the Guild of Motoring Writer’s 2017 awards and the relaunched Octane Awards (previously the International Historic Motoring Awards), and our confidence received a boost this week with the news that we have earned a place on the six-strong shortlist for the Royal Automobile Club’s 2017 Motoring Book of the Year. The worthy entrant is the Jaguar C-type – the autobiography of XKC 051, by Chas Parker and Philip Porter, and we all have our fingers crossed that it will come out on top.
The judges of the 2017 award are Tom Wiltshire of Auto Express; Mark Dixon, the widely respected deputy editor of Octane; Christian Whitehead from the motoring department of Foyles bookstore; Ben Horton of Hortons Books, Gordon Cruickshank from Motor Sport; Classic & Sports Car international editor Mick Walsh; and commentator Henry Hope-Frost. All independent of the Royal Automobile Club, they represent the UK’s most informed motoring literary critics. Mr Cruickshank says of Jaguar C-type: ‘Duncan Hamilton’s character and the family connection gave it a warmer feel – and the spat over Top Gear enlivened it too.’
The winner will be announced on November 1 during the RAC’s annual London Motor Week (www.londonmotorweek.com), which includes the Art of Motoring exhibition, a dinner with FIA president Jean Todt and the Dewar and Simms Trophy presentations, awarded for British engineering excellence. To be shortlisted for the flagship award of this week is quite an achievement.
It may not quite be escaping from Colditz, which XKC driver Tony Rolt almost accomplished before he won the 1953 Le Mans 24 Hours with Duncan Hamilton, but we are extremely proud!