Stirling Moss - The Definitive Biography, Volume 1 - Reviews & Testimonials

Stirling Moss Biography

The Daily Telegraph, December 3


‘Volume one of Philip Porter’s biography charts the life of Britain’s most famous racing driver from birth up to 1955, sprinkled with quotes from Moss and his contemporaries. It’s highly entertaining and features superb photography.’


Classic Car Weekly, 28 September 2016

‘You don’t have to be a petrolhead to know the name Stiring Moss; to many he is Britain’s greatest racing driver and certainly the best known.

‘Many myths have grown up about Moss’ racing career between 1948 and 1962 after his meteoric rise as a young gun made him the man the car builders and race teams wanted to see behind the wheel of their marque. He always seemed to get the best from cars, giving his all even if the car was not 100% reliable.

‘Sorting the facts from all those myths, Philip Porter has spent two years going through all the race records and reports to correct some inaccuracies. The author of 30 books – four written with Moss – Porter knows his subject well. This volume – the first of two – bucks the current trend for large format, photo-rich coffee-table books on motor racing – with 672 pages providing a traditional great read. Volume 2 will be with us in two years’ time.’


Octane, November 2016

‘Hearing this hardback thump onto the Octane review desk was a little disconcerting: it’s not so much a brick, more a concrete breezeblock of a biography. Then we started reading…and were entranced.

‘Moss offers his biographer the massive advantage that he kept detailed diaries and scrapbooks, which means that the minutiae of his daily life were always thoroughly recorded. It’s this insight into his personal life that is really fascinating.

…’We thought we’d been given everything there was concerning Sir Stirling, but Philip Porter has proved us wrong. Here’s to volume 2.’ MD

‘Author Philip Porter has spent a great deal of time with Sir Stirling fleshing out the details behind the stories and therefore this rightly can be claimed to be the definitive tome on the man.

‘It is a book that will probably need to be read and re-read for all for details to be absorbed, but with Philip’s writing style, that is very much a pleasure.


Auto Italia, December 2016

‘Six hundred and fifty pages of in-depth research, anecdotes and interviews of the greatest driver never to win a world championship – and this is volume 1.

‘His career was an exciting cocktail of innate and honed skills, deadly danger, jet-setting, fast cars and fast women. Revered by the public the world over and continually courted by the media, he was the James Bond of motor racing in his era.

‘Team orders prevented him from becoming World Champion winning for Maserati in Formula 1, but he dominated the Mille Miglia with some extraordinary drives for Mercedes. This book covers his story up to 1955 so you will have to wait for Volume 2 to read the inside story on Stirling Moss and Enzo Ferrari.’


Barking & Dagenham Post, September 2016

‘Philip Porter’s biography on the ‘Beckham of his era’ debunks myths, corrects many mistakes and adds much new information, including previously unrecorded races. This first volumn of two covers from birth to 1955, finishing with his first Grand Prix win. It includes his extraordinary victory in the Mille Miglia in the Mercedes-Benz 300SLR and features many quotes from Moss and his contemporaries.’ Review by Iain Robertson

‘Porter’s tome (Part One) is, without doubt, the finest, most passionate and most fascinating study into the 87 year old racing driver’s life, warts and all. While Sir Stirling might be aged, one look into his eyes reveals that a competitive light still burns intensely and, even though he needs a little more time to walk around the paddock at race meetings, he can still be coaxed behind the controls of some of the greatest racing cars that he has driven over the past seven decades. It is a story of tremendous bravery and excitement, much of which stems from a pre-politically-correct era, when the birds and booze were in abundance but racing safety was seldom a consideration. I am very fortunate to be able to review this fantastic book but it is one of the few major titles in which I would have invested my own cash, so thorough and well-written it is. If you are a motoring enthusiast, make some space for what I can only term as my ‘Book of the Year’. I cannot wait to review Part Two, which will serve to complete the most comprehensive, well warranted and staunchly British motoring biography so far.’


Historic Racing Technology, Issue 10

‘This is a book that has to be at the top of the ‘to read’ list for any student of motorsport history. Despite the many books on Stirling Moss over the years, this looks to be the definitive one; the one that will become a collector’s item.

‘Author Philip Porter has done the well-loved British racing driver proud in his biography. What could have been a dull chronology of events that has been churned out before, is instead a book in which every page springs to life with anecdotes and stories, many of which have not been heard or read before.’


Hagerty Insurance, November 2016

‘This book, of nearly 700 pages, is written from the unique perspective of an author who has already written four books with Moss and who spent two years preparing this first volume. The result is remarkably easy to read, full of anecdotes, humour, tragedy and character; it captures Moss perfectly. With over 60 colour photographs, the book would make a wonderful addition to any motor racing enthusiast’s bookshelf.’


Guild of Motoring Writers

‘A self-confessed Moss fan, Philip Porter himself has also written about his hero. So the inevitable question is whether there is anything more to say. Porter proves there is.

Clearly he has researched the subject in exceptional depth; his style continuously cross references Moss’s own recollections with contemporary newspaper reports, material from interviews with people who knew Moss during the period and books such as Raymond’s or Alf Francis’s memoirs. What emerges is not just a finely detailed account, but also a fascinating narrative of British and continental racing in the immediate postwar years.’

‘Volume 1 concludes with Moss’s fantastic season in 1955 when he and Fangio in their Mercedes beat all comers: this really whets the appetite for the rest of the story, but frustratingly though entirely understandably we have to wait till 2018.’          


VSCC Bulletin, December 2016

‘Stirling Moss needs no introduction, many consider him Britain’s greatest racing driver and this first volume of a two-volume biography is intended, as the title says, to be definitive. Clearly the research has been spread over many years, with information and interviews collected from Moss, his contemporaries and many other sources. The author admits that, as a schoolboy, Moss was a hero to him, a reverence that was shared by many who were teenagers in the 1960s, and his admiration for the subject shines through. Moss has had many previous biographers and it might seem that there was little need for another, but this volume is not some glossy coffee table work filled with photographs, it is a serious history that scrutinises all aspects of the subject’s lifetime, including his racing career and his personal life in a way that no other biographer has.’

‘It is clear that much of the information imparted to the reader has come from the subject himself, both from diaries and personal interviews, which means that it is probably more accurate than many other historical records; this accuracy and detail make it a fascinating read helped, no doubt, by the author’s erudition and writing skills.

‘The book is illustrated by sixty or so photographs, collected in separate sections out of the main text and printed on a glossy paper and accompanied by brief captions. They serve to remind the reader just how good film was; no artificially sharpened and coloured images here, they all have a natural, sometimes slightly faded, look that adds a period authenticity to the book.

…’To sum up, if you want a book on Stirling Moss and only have room for one, this is presently the book to buy. Purchase will, of course, almost certainly commit you to the purchase of the second volume but if the extremely reasonable price for Volume I is maintained, that will be no hardship.’

‘If there were such an award, the choice of the Bulletin’s ‘Book of the Year’ becomes harder by the issue but this certainly deserves consideration and a “Highly Recommended”.’ JRCS


Daily Mail and Scottish Daily Mail, December 17, 2016

‘Still searching for that stocking filler? Try Stirling Moss, The Definitive Biography, charting the rise of one of Britain’s greatest drivers – dubbed the ‘Beckham of his era’.’


Vintage Racecar, February 2017

‘, this is a book for all Moss fans, it is a book for all those who wish to study the life and times of a real racing driver of the period…’


Ferrari magazine, March 2017, by Richard Dredge

‘Philip Porter does not do things by halves, but even he has surpassed himself with this biography of arguably Britain’s best ever racing driver.’


Automobile, March 2017

…’But minute detail is what you would expect from so hefty a tome, and Porter's efforts to set down once and for all the twists and turns of this great man's career are nothing less than Stirling.’ MB


Just British, US website, October 2016

‘This new work is, to say the least, a serious biography. Author Philip Porter, a personal friend of Sir Stirling, has composed a detailed history of the man. From his parents and their automotive exploits down to the registration numbers of various cars, this new book is encyclopedic in its coverage. But it is no dry account. Just as his life, book is spiced with humour, tragedy and period flavour with liberal doses of quotes from Moss himself and his contemporaries, many of whom Porter has interviewed over the years.

‘Debunking myths, correcting many mistakes and adding much new information, including previously unrecorded races, this is probably the most deeply researched motoring biography ever written.

…’Here, in fascinating, authoritative and exhaustive detail is the ultimate work on arguably the greatest all-round driver the world has yet known, a book worthy of a great man.’


Automobile Magazine, US, January 2017

Listed in ’11 of the Latest Books Worth Your Time’

Publisher Porter calls this 672-page behemoth ‘a biography worthy of Britain’s greatest racing driver’. Plan a long vacation of reading, because this is only the first instalment, covering the period from Moss’s birth to his first Grand Prix win in 1955.


National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, newsletter spring 2017

‘Many books have been written on the life and racing career of Sir Stirling Moss. This book, by respected author Philip Porter, must rate among the very best.

‘Philip Porter must be congratulated on a fine piece of work; sourcing material from diaries, magazines and interviews to create a very readable book. Volume Two will no doubt be equally enjoyable. Highly recommended.’


TheFuriousEngi7zneer, May 201

'At a whopping 640pp, it is worth noting that this is just ‘Volume One; 1929-1955’. While the word ‘Definitive’ can be no less than an idle boast for some publishers, Philip Porter, a renowned motoring author, already has four previous Sir Stirling titles to his portfolio, although he admits that this is the book he always wanted to write. Hardly a novelette, it is fortunate that it is packed with more detailed, yet fascinating information, than I have ever read before about the only British Formula One Champion, who never was! My tenuous connection to the Beckham of his era lies in an autograph that was given to me by him, when I was a mere babe-in-arms.

…’I am very fortunate to be able to review this fantastic book but it is one of the few major titles in which I would have invested my own cash, so thorough and well-written it is. If you are a motoring enthusiast, make some space for what I can only term as my ‘Book of the Year’. I cannot wait to review Part Two, which will serve to complete the most comprehensive, well warranted and staunchly British motoring biography so far.’


Car Mechanics, December 1, 2017

'Despite having penned four books already on the 87-year-old Moss's racing career, Philip Porter admits that this is one that he always wanted to write about the James Bond of motorsport. Covering the years 1922-1955, the book runs to a gargantuan 640 pages, such is its attention to detail. As well as detailing the warts-and-all escapades of the great man in pre-politically correct times, where driver safety came second to booze, fags and birds, the book is only the first volume and several reviewers are clamouring already for the next instalments.


GEM Motoring Assist, December Issue

'Philip Porter, admits that this is the book that he had always wanted to write about the 87 year-old Knight of the Realm. The attention to detail is incredible and highlights a very different approach to racing in pre-politically correct times.'

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