My Car Heaven, February 2022
'A bespoke design distinguishes this book...'
'The text leverages a winding journey through the car’s history, from prototype to press car to post-Jaguar life. There’s also an analysis of the under-publicised input of key construction influencer Malcom Sayer.'
Classic Car Weekly, February 2022
'An epic narrative of an epic machine, which also includes a large dollop of general E-type history and should inspire anybody who has restored, or is about to restore, a complex classic.'
Octane, December 2021
'When this book was first published in 2000 by Orion Media, it was titled The Most Famous Car in the World - a claim already staked on behalf of a certain Birch Silver DB5 (see Book of the Month, left). Truth be told Bond's DB5 and E-type '9600 HP' are both worthy of the hyperbole but 9600 HP is at least a unique car - the oldest surviving E-type, road-tested by The Autocar to 150mph and driven flat-out to Geneva in 1961 to launch the E-type to the press. Author Philip Porter acquired 9600 HP in 1977 and had it rebuilt in the late 1990s. Now the head of a hugely successful publishing house in motoring books, Porter has been able to re-issue his own previous history of 9600 HP - although it is actually s much of his own autobiography as the car's. Car and Owner have both had fascinating lives, and Porter tells their intertwined stories in entertaining fashion. Besides being updated to reflect what's happened over the last 21 years, this new version includes an enlightening chapter about aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer. Yes it's basically a £45 re-issue, but it's still an excellent buy.' MD
Coventry Cat, September-October 2021
'9600 HP is beautifully produced, suitable both for coffee-tables and for in-depth reading and re-reading. (You might also use it in a weight room for work on forearm and wrist strength – it is that substantial.) 320 pages of heavy high-gloss paper with an endless and fascinating array of photos,data-sheets and reproductions of handwritten notes, typed correspondence, public-relations documents and general memorabilia, all very well annotated and meticulously produced. And ohhhh, those photos...
The book tells the story of Jaguar’s creation of the E-Type, including much history of the company itself, the principal characters involved with this particular adventure, the adventure’s prelude and postlude, stories about the various people that owned or were involved with 9600 HP (even including Stirling Moss, who was photographed driving it through a car wash!), the process of restoration of 9600 HP, and a great deal of information regarding the design characteristics of the E-Type, characteristics that made it such a big step forward in terms of production car design, engineering and marketing.'
'The balance of the book gives us a pleasant introduction to Porter himself, who modestly describes his descent from accounting into car collection and restoration, plus writing and publishing about cars, and then provides a detailed and delightful narrative describing the full restoration of 9600 HP to the highest possible standard of authenticity he could imagine, and might also possibly almost be able to afford.'
'Part of what makes the book such fun to read is Porter’s humor and ability to share the silly stories and adventures that lie just beneath the surface of any well-lived life. His writing here is superb, bringing all of the characters vividly to life and making obvious why it is that we can become so besotted messing about with cars. He also illuminates many of the issues relating to restorations, authenticity, the need for careful research, and all of the good and not-so-good things that happen along the way.
Should you buy and give this book away as a gift? Of course! You will be amply rewarded at future Christmases.
Should you buy this book for yourself? Of course, if you have any interest in cars.
Should you buy two or more copies of this book for yourself? Absolutely of course, if you own or have any sort of passionate interest in Jaguar E-Types. You will need a copy for the library, of course, one for the coffee table, possibly one for the weight room and one for the barn (see Porter’s ruminations on house-buying criteria for car collectors, page 185). If you value your marriage, probably best not to buy one for the bedroom.
9600 HP is one of the most enjoyable automobile books I have read. Thank you for sharing, Mr. Porter.'
Best of British, August 2021
'This is an updated and extended version of a book first published in 2000, presented in the fine Porter Press tradition with peerless production qualities, excellent design and image presentation that does the subject matter full justice.'
The Automobile, August 2021
'When Porter comes to 9600 HP itself, there is obviously very much to be said. The text is accompanied by a large quantity of period photographs, from its launch ad various press appearances, through its time with a run of private owners, up to its purchase by Porter in a derelict state. The remainder of the book charting Porter's life with the car is written as a memoir, which would risk being indulgent if it wasn't so interesting and written with such warmth. The appendices are a treat, shedding yet more light on Sayer and showcasing among many other things, his photograph albums from 1930s race meetings, illustrations of Vintage Bentleys and witty cartoons. Ninety per cent of books on E-types can be glances at and forgotten, but this is one to keep.'
Auto Express, July 2021
'Half history lesson on the E-type itself, and half the tale of the epic restoration of the oldest E-type still in existence. This updated edition edition is beautifully produced and adds what's happened to the car in the 21 years since this title was first printed. A great coffee-table book, interesting and comprehensive.'
Auto Class Magazine, July 2021
'Back to the book, this beautiful volume is written by Philip Porter who has made over 35 motoring masterpieces, as well as having founded "Porter Press International" in 2005, discovering a lot of interesting stuff regarding the 9600 HP E-type.'
'A book that cannot be missing in the library of any Jaguar fans, also because those who made it experienced certain events in first person alongside the protagonists and, not by chance, years ago wrote the great story of Sr.William Lyons.'
'Auf 320 prächtigen Seiten entfaltet sich die ganze Geschichte des Wagens und
seiner teilweise bedeutenden Besitzer bis zum heutigen Tag. Dass 9600 HP von 1977–1999 im Besitz des Autors war, verleiht dem Werk natürlich zusätzliche Authentizität.'
'On 320 magnificent pages, the whole history of the car unfolds and of its partly important owners to this day. The fact that 9600 HP was owned by the author from 1977 to 1999 naturally gives the work additional authenticity.'
Review by Syd Taylor
'9600 HP. The story of the world's oldest E-type Jaguar. A weighty tome - but the most forensic analysis of one of the most significant cars in the history of motoring.'
'Authoritatively written and fully illustrated tis tome is an excellent addition to any enthusiasts' library.'
'We recommend reading this book from cover to cover to gain an understanding of the cars chronological adventures through time, whilst establishing its place in the model's development, and subsequent restoration. All set against observations of what was happening in the contemporary wider world, both international and personal to the author. The photography throughout is fascinating, much time can be whiled away studying not just the main subject matter but the period background detail. One particular image from the late '90s taken in Philip's barn showing his collection of restoration projects residing in a restoration project building is particularly evocative. The takeaway of this image will not be lost on those of us with similar (but definitely not so unique) collections - giving us hope that one day they will be as magnificent as 9600HP is now.'