THERE’S A PHOTO IN THIS HUGE and typically weighty offering from Porter Press that takes me back 35 years. It’s the dim interior of a barn with a row of scruffy Jaguars all in need of attention. The barn is on Philip Porter’s farm HQ, “And that,” Philip told me reverently, “is the world’s oldest E-type Jaguar.” I looked at the remains of the once beautiful coupé, seeing rust flaking off the nose where the letters 9600 HP were dimly visible through the grime.
“Eventually I’ll restore that,” said Philip, and I wondered how long it would take.
It did take a long time, fitted round Porter’s many other enterprises including Jaguar clubs and his busy publishing house, but lately 9600 HP has been recapturing its life as Jaguar’s original press car with a glorious story.