Rarely does a book's title reflect accurately on its contents, as does Phillip Porter's "Jaguar E-type, The definitive history". One's initial impression is of physical presence, for this is a
massive work in all respects. Leafing through the book for the first time, one is immediately
struck by a sense of awe that this could possibly represent the work of one man. There can be
no doubt this is Porter's legacy, for which he laboured long and hard and gave much of himself.
The foreword is written by sportsman Briggs Cunningham, hinting that the car's racing heritage
will figure prominently within. This is indeed the case, for fully a third of the content is dedicated to competition. The greater volume of the book, however, deals with the production car, against an historical timeline that begins with its evolution and conception and extends, rather than ends, with the E-type as it continues to exist today.
It is clear that Porter is unabashedly passionate about this greatest of all sportscars, but he masterfully avoids what could have been a eulogy and creates both a powerful reference work
and an entertaining read. "The definitive history" brings together a multitude of colourful
personalities and anecdotes and weaves these into a framework of facts, insights and specifications. There are literally hundreds of photographs and illustrations, some of which will be familiar to those who have read other books on the subject but the vast majority of which have never been published before.
History and objectivity are often mutually exclusive and if there can be fault found in this work it would be historian's soft disdain for cars which diverged from the pure lines of the Series 1 two-seaters. This, however, does nothing to detract from what is an otherwise magnificient
accomplishment. There will be no other comprehensive histories written about the legendary Jaguar E-type, for none could possibly better this one.
1968 E-type OTS