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).
Now 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.