Stamp of approval

As it makes its swan song on London’s streets the ‘classic’ taxi is getting the recognition it rightfully deserves from an organisation whose own future is also uncertain. The Royal Mail recently issued a series of stamps commemorating British Auto Legends Workhorses. Featuring the Land Rover Defender 110, a Morris Minor van in Royal Mail livery, the Ford Anglia 105E police ‘panda’ car and the FX4 Black London Taxi.

Royal Mail’s description of the Black Cab is as follows:

Designed by Austin’s Eric Bailey and introduced in 1958, the manufacture of this much-loved ‘black cab’ stretched for 39 years. With a separate body and chassis, and initially powered by a 2.2-litre, four-cylinder engine, the FX4 was a rugged workhorse where practicality and ease of maintenance were key considerations as six-figure mileages were the norm. Production of this iconic design was later taken over by LTI (London Taxis International).

[N]ow known as the Fairway this vehicle will disappear from London’s streets by the end of the year. This is due to the 15-year age limit imposed by Mayor Boris Johnson rather than obsolescence.

The series of stamps were issued on 13th August 2013 and one can imagine hundreds of cab drivers, forced to replace their vehicles due to the 15-year diktat, sending their letters of protest to the Mayor and affixing this stamp to the envelopes, which by association carries the Royal stamp of approval.

6 thoughts on “Stamp of approval”

  1. How sad and short-sighted.

    I’d be willing to bet that a fifteen year old London cab is in much better shape than any other car at half that age. It also seems like the sort of bad deal that college education is becoming here in the US – the cost of acquiring the tools of your trade exceeds your ability to pay it off during your working life.

    Don’t they have emissions and safety inspections in the UK? If your cab passes those sorts of inspections, you should be able to use it forever! Good grief!


    1. I find it hard to reconcile that it’s better for the planet to destroy a working cab and by definition try to recycle its components and then buy another which has also been the cause of pollution in its manufacture, with keeping the old cab with a bit of Co2 coming out of its rear end.


    1. I find it ironic that TfL are trying to erase the iconic black cab from London’s streets at the same time that a Government agency (well until last week it was) promotes it on their stamps.
      Oh! by the way I like the Accidental makeover:
      New domain name, new logo, but same old great content.


    1. Yes they kept a few of the Routemasters on the road. Is it too much to ask that a few of these icons be allowed to transport tourists around London? Thanks for the comment.


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