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Philip Porter Author Profile

Philip Porter in 848CRY

Philip Porter is the author of around 30 motoring books. In an action-packed life, he started competing in hillclimbs and sprints while still at school, winning 10 of his 12 events in 1970 in his full-race Sprite. Bitten by the classic car bug, he bought five Jaguar XKs in 1973 (four of which he still has) and his historic E-types (9600 HP, the oldest E-type which was the development, launch, press car, and 848 CRY, the '61 racer and roadster in the film The Italian Job) in 1976. He began writing articles and books in the mid-'80s. In parallel he began flying hot air balloons and airships competitively (European Airship Championships Silver Medallist) and was the first person ever to fly an airship in Africa. He has twice been Chairman of the Sherlock Holmes Society and in 1997 he and his wife Julie formed the International Jaguar XK Club, the Jaguar E-type Club following in 2004. In 2005, he created Porter Press International, which is now one of the world's leading motoring publishers thanks to the amazing team with which Philip is immensely proud to work.


Philip Porter with XK140

Below is an extract from The Confessions of a Motoring Writer hosted on the Classic Motor Hub website and written by Philip Porter.


When writing a book, particularly one of my larger works, I have often referred to it as being ‘in prison’. You are locked away for very long hours, generally in solitary. Failing to learn the lesson, I am ashamed to say I have offended something like 35 times.

Furthermore, since I started Porter Press 15 years ago and commenced publishing motoring books, unforgivably I have coerced many of the world’s leading motoring writers to offend, some several times. Equally appallingly, this offending has embraced distinguished editors and designers, all at the top of their game. The numbers make grim reading. I’d like about 60 cases to be taken into account.

How did all this begin? I could blame others, such as Stirling Moss. I could try and claim I just started with petty offences, such as writing articles for classic car magazines, before being myself forced by others into writing books.

I suppose, if I am really honest, one can trace the character traits all the way back to childhood. Parents can be an influence for good and bad. My father was a car enthusiast and had an XK 120 roadster – white with red upholstery – an intoxicating combination for an impressionable four-year-old – for a while as a spare car. My parents took me to Silverstone aged five (me, not my parents) and there I saw my hero, one Stirling Moss, and others such as Fangio, Hawthorn, Collins… These people must bear much of the blame for influencing my future.

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Philip Porter with his E-type 9600HP