A range of Royal Mail stamps will this year celebrate the best of British in a series of stamps that will include Doctor Who, steam locomotives, Jane Austen and the London Underground.
Issued on January 9th 2013, the series will commence with a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the London Underground, the first underground railway in the world. This will be followed in February by a series of stamps commemorating 200 years since Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was first published in January 1813. The series will feature stamps depicting scenes from her various written works.
In conjunction with this, from August Royal Mail will also be issuing a series of stamps showcasing British automotive legends, starting with the iconic Jaguar E-Type.
The perennially beautiful E-Type, which celebrated it’s 50th anniversary in 2011, has been touted as the inspiration behind the company’s new F-Type which will chase the company’s roots all the way back to the XK120 as it becomes Jaguar’s first small, rear-wheel two-seater for some time.
Indeed, Jaguar state that the F-Type isn’t meant to be like any other manufacturer’s sports car, “it’s a Jaguar sports car”.
The F-Type comes in at a reasonable (for this sort of thing) £58,500 for the basic version. But we’re talking Jaguar here, so for ‘basic’ read 335bhp engine mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. Though if you want the V8 version you will have to stump up twice that amount.
The prototype Roadster was tantalisingly revealed to almost unanimous acclaim from both the public and cynicism-free automotive journalists in September last year at the Paris Auto Show. Although still rumoured to be undergoing pre-release tests, the F-Type Roadster is expected to see the light of day in mid 2013 with, just maybe, a coupe version to follow.
It comes as no real surprise that the F-Type’s designer, Ian Callum, says that the Jaguar E-Type first made an impression on him as a wide-eyed 7-year old. It’s clear in Mr Callum’s case that first impressions do count – especially when it comes to a labour of love.
Callum’s design team have toyed with the idea of a successor to the E-Type for some time, and like all ideas that bear fruit, the best ones take time to mature into something tangible. Although the actual process of coming to fruition has been a surprisingly speedy one since Jaguar Land Rover’s owner Ratan Tata announced he wanted the company to produce a new sportscar.
It was an announcement that Callum had been waiting for. And with luck and a good schedule, the process from concept to reality will have taken a mere 2 and a half years.
The F-Type is not a retro-inspired vehicle though as you can see. Inspiration does not have to mean sticking a Doctor Who stamp on your forehead and sending yourself back through time to the swinging sixties to appreciate this car, the F-Type is clearly a very 2013 sportscar. I think that the release of the Royal Mail E-Type stamp will perhaps prove rather timely and serve as an appetiser for a long awaited modern successor to the classic E-Type.
Stamp image from autoguide.com