Official: Royal Mail celebrates British Auto Legends with special stamp collection

Filed under: Classics, Etc., Government/Legal, UK

Lotus Esprit stamp from the Royal Mail

We love cars because they’re fast and exciting. The postal service, not so much. But at least the mail is reliable, which is a lot more than you could say for most classic British cars, like the ones which the Royal Mail in Great Britain is celebrating with this special philatelic collection.

Launched this year on the occasion of Aston Martin’s centenary and the 150th birthday of Sir Henry Royce, the British Auto Legends stamp collection includes the 1961 Jaguar E-Type, 1965 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, 1963 Aston Martin DB5, 1968 Morgan Plus 8, 1976 Lotus Esprit and 1962 MG MGB as part of the six-stamp Thoroughbreds set. Another four-stamp Workhorses mini sheet features the Morris Minor Van, Austin FX4 black cab, Ford Anglia 105E and Land Rover Defender 110.

Rather than create them from stock images, the Royal Mail commissioned veteran automotive photographer Andrew Mann (since our own Drew Phillips was busy) to capture pristine examples of the cars selected. And like all special stamps issued by the Royal Mail, Queen Elizabeth II approved the final designs herself, and apparently didn’t object to the absence of her own Daimler and Bentley (or any Daimler or Bentley, for that matter) from the collection. The stamps are available to the estimated 2.5 million stamp collectors in the UK by phone, online or at any of the 10,000 post offices across the UK.

Royal Mail celebrates British Auto Legends with special stamp collection originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 25 Aug 2013 08:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Top Gear caught filming Best of British near Buckingham Palace

Filed under: Videos, Aston Martin, Bentley, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lotus, Mini, Rolls-Royce, UK, Celebrities, McLaren, TV/Movies

Top Gear readies Best of British special outside of Buckingham Palace
YouTuber and car-fan extraordinaire Shmee probably had very little trouble tracking down the Top Gear film crew recently, as the group was putting together an episode that could accurately be described as “excessive.” With its flag-waving (literally) Best of British theme, the TG guys gathered a jaw-dropping array of British cars, and parked them all right in front of Buckingham Palace to make extra sure that the point was driven home.

Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May were outfitted with a trio of Jaguar F-Types festooned with gigantic Union Jacks, with which to survey the landscape of British motoring glory. In the video below, you’ll see that this includes any number of Mini, Aston Martin, Lotus, McLaren, Land Rover, Bentley and Rolls-Royce models (just to name a few), as well as a healthy dose of weird stuff that most people would never guess at being built in the UK. The lawnmowers and military vehicles are especially cool.

Continue reading Top Gear caught filming Best of British near Buckingham Palace

Top Gear caught filming Best of British near Buckingham Palace originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 24 Jun 2013 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ultra lightweight Mazda MX-5 GT unveiled for British enduro racing

Filed under: Motorsports, Convertible, Mazda

Mazda MX-5 GT Race Car

Mazda MX-5 GT – Click above for high-res image gallery

Mazda has been trumpeting its “gram strategy” to cut weight on all of its products, and the best example of how this philosophy works is in the new MX-5 GT race car. The roadster, which will compete in the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship this year, weighs just 1,874 pounds while packing nearly twice the punch of the standard MX-5.

The heavily modified MX-5 engine produces 275 horsepower – enough juice to propel the light-weight roadster to 60 miles per hour in a scant three seconds flat. The race-ready Mazda can also crest 160 mph while looking damn fine with its new Spirited Green paint job.

In order to cut several hundred pounds off the base MX-5, the Jota Sport racing team removed interior components, revised other interior fittings and dipped the car’s shell in acid. The doors, like many interior components, are made of carbon fiber and the windows are made of polycarbonate. The racing team also lowered the engine height, adjusted the suspension and added a six-speed paddle shift transmission to aid with handling.

The Mazda MX-5 GT race car sees its first action on Saturday at a three-hour endurance race at Silverstone. See the lightweight MX-5 for yourself in the gallery below. Trust us, you’re going to want one.

Gallery: Mazda MX-5 Race Car

Mazda MX-5 Race Car

[Source: Mazda]

Continue reading Ultra lightweight Mazda MX-5 GT unveiled for British enduro racing

Ultra lightweight Mazda MX-5 GT unveiled for British enduro racing originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Mar 2011 13:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Meet the Italian and British cars appearing in Cars 2 [w/video]

Filed under: Videos, Toys/Games

Francesco Bernoulli from Cars 2

Francesco Bernoulli from Cars 2 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Pixar has revealed five more new characters from its upcoming film, Cars 2. Since the seqie; takes place on a global stage, the characters are from all over the world, with the five newest members of the Cars 2 family hailing from Italy and the United Kingdom.

Francesco Bernoulli is a Formula Racer champion and his own biggest fan. Uncle Topolino – cleverly named after the miniscule Fiat he’s modeled after – runs a tire shop in the tiny town of Porto Corso, Italy. His wife, Mama Topolino, is a great cook who dishes out delizioso fuel.

Miles Axlerod is a former oil baron turned all-electric sport utility vehicle. He is joined by an Aston Martin lookalike in the form of Nigel Gearsley. Nigel is a former hill-climber who has turned to grand touring events.

In addition to this latest crop of characters, you can see the full set of Cars 2 players in our high-res gallery below, and click past the jump to see Francesco Bernoulli, Miles Axelrod and Nigel Gearsley on the Cars 2 turntable.

Gallery: Cars 2 Characters

GremAcerShu TodorokiRaoul aRouleCarla Veloso

[Source: PixarTimes.com, Car and Driver]

Continue reading Meet the Italian and British cars appearing in Cars 2 [w/video]

Meet the Italian and British cars appearing in Cars 2 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 14 Feb 2011 18:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Barrett-Jackson 2011: Scottsdale gets a taste of British class

Filed under: Convertible, Auctions, Rolls-Royce

1952 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Mercia Special Roadster

1952 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Mercia Special Roadster – Click above for high-res image gallery

We’re surrounded by mighty American Muscle here at the 2011 Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale. Faintly in the background, behind the roar of massive V8s and flashy paintjobs, sits a cup of tea amidst a sea of Budweiser. A 1952 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Mercia Special Roadster is patiently waiting to cross the auction block.. and it looks nervous.

In storage for 33 years, this two-passenger convertible may be a blast to the past but it also features a few modern amenities such as a power-adjustable driver’s seat and fiberglass mats in the wheel wheels to prevent chipping.

Originally the car had just 17,000 miles on the odometer. After being completely restored in 2010 it has added just 50 more. We’re not quite sure how the muscle car-happy crowd will react to this fine example of British open-top motoring.

Be sure to check out the official auction listing for this 1952 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Mercia Special Roadster. Also, make sure to stay on top of what’s crossing the block by watching streaming coverage courtesy of Speed.

Are you playing Speed’s Online Fantasy Bid Game? If not, test your auction pricing mettle by guessing what a series of featured vehicles will end up bringing at the auction block – you could end up winning a prize, like an Apple iPad. Enjoy!

Gallery: 1952 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn Mercia Special Roadster at Barrett-Jackson 2011

Photos copyright 2011 Jeff Glucker/AOL

Barrett-Jackson 2011: Scottsdale gets a taste of British class originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 22 Jan 2011 18:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: James May pits American RV vs. British camper van

Filed under: Etc., Videos, Humor

James May

James May explores RVs, U.S. and UK style – Click above to watch video after the jump

On the subject of recreational vehicles, James May comes alive. Taking a video tour of a U.S. RV and a campervan, or what suffices for an RV in the UK, May brings a severe wit along as his helper. According to Captain Slow, the Boogie Nights-like interior of the U.S behemoth lets you know how you’re supposed to treat its interior, while the oven in the British equivalent “is barely big enough for one of my pies.” It’s a toss-up as to who wins that round… Follow the jump for all of May’s motorhome feelings.

[Source: BBC America]

Continue reading Video: James May pits American RV vs. British camper van

Video: James May pits American RV vs. British camper van originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 24 Oct 2010 16:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Six-figure classic British GTs on the block at Barons

Filed under: Classics, Coupe, Auctions, Aston Martin, Bentley, UK

1953 Aston Martin DB2/4 MkI – Click above for high-res image

Motoring anglophiles will want to check out the upcoming Barons’ auction at the Sandown Park horse racing track in Surrey, England. The auction house has a pair of rare classic coupes crossing the block in what looks like splendid condition and with exceptionally low mileage.

First up is a 1963 Bentley Continental Coupe by Mulliner. One of only 11 built (and one of eight right-hand drive models), the Mulliner coupe is reportedly in as-new condition with just 91,000 miles on the odometer, only 3,000 of which have been put on in the last 15 years. It’s expected to fetch between £90,000 and £125,000 ($145k to 200k) when it goes up for grabs on October 26.

Barons’ is also following up former Aston Martin chief David Brown’s DB2/4 MkIII, which it sold last month for more than twice its top estimate at £207,000 ($330k), with another rare Aston: a 1953 DB2/4 MkI purchased new by an elderly doctor who barely ever drove it. It was mostly unused until its current owner bought and restored it. Only 11,000 miles have been put on the car overthe past 57 years, with presale estimates putting it in the same ballpark as the aforementioned Bentley.

There’s more to read about in the press release after the jump, including a Jaguar E-Type, a Rolls-Royce, a ’34 Talbot and a Ford GT40, so check it out.

[Source: Barons]

Continue reading Six-figure classic British GTs on the block at Barons

Six-figure classic British GTs on the block at Barons originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 17 Oct 2010 18:36:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2012 British International Motor Show gets the axe

Filed under: Misc. Auto Shows, UK

2008 British Motor Show

The 2010 British International Motor Show was canceled in March 2009 due to the industry troubles inflicted as a result of a steep sales drop. There were hopes that the show could return for 2012, but they’ve been dashed. The UK Press Association reports that the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has decided to one again cancel the biennial show. Chief executive Paul Everitt says that in recent years, BIMS had less influence on customers’ buying decisions, adding that “vehicle manufacturers are focusing their limited resources on events and activities that have a more direct impact on brand awareness and consumer decisions.”

Will the British Motor Show ever again see the light of day? Sadly, two consecutive cancellations since the 2008 exhibition lead us to believe that it’s very unlikely.

[Source: UK Press Association]

2012 British International Motor Show gets the axe originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 16 Oct 2010 14:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Triumph Tiger 800 proves the British can still manufacture adventure

Filed under: Motorcycle

Triumph Tiger 800 XC – Click above to enlarge

Back in the day, the British were known for being a nation of ready-and-willing explorers, and somewhat similar expressions could be made of their motorcycles. Sadly, Jolly Ole’ England’s once impressive two-wheeled heritage very nearly vanished as quickly as all those headline-grabbing expeditions to the ends of the Earth.

At least one storied British motorcycling brand hasn’t forgotten its heritage, as the revived Triumph has seen fit to launch a new adventure touring mount for 2011 called the Tiger 800. As we’ve mentioned before, two versions of the machine will be available, one meant for off-road excursions dubbed the XC and one biased for the road.

Triumph has finally let loose an official shot of the Tiger 800 XC, and we generally like what we see. There’s a 21-inch front wheel with spokes and knobby tires, bash guards and mud-catching fenders. We also note some accessory parts, including a beefier engine guard and an Arrow exhaust can. Check it out for yourself by clicking on the image above to enlarge.

[Source: Hell For Leather]

Triumph Tiger 800 proves the British can still manufacture adventure originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Oct 2010 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How the British Pay Homage to 50’s America: Chevrolet Spark woody

Filed under: Aftermarket, Budget, Europe, Hatchback, Chevrolet, UK, Design/Style

Chevrolet Spark Woody art car – Click above for high-res image gallery

At some point in history, the notion of having a wood-lined automobile went from the pinnacle of awesome to the depths of loathsome. We’re guessing that demarcation falls at about the same point in time when automakers stopped using real wood and started gluing vinyl recreations to the sides of vehicles that were an affront to cool to begin with. If you need proof, please direct your attention to any number of woody Chrysler PT Cruiser models or, if you’re of stouter stomach, the self-proclaimed Chevrolet Spark Woody Wagon art car pictured above.

Chevrolet UK decided to wrap one of the company’s diminutive people movers in wood-grained Di-Nocto harken back to the company’s American, youthful roots – or at least that’s what the press release says. If that’s not enough to send your head spinning, take a good close look at those tires. Yup, they’re wide whitewalls.

The company has rolled out a few different one-off art Sparks so far, and plans to keep it up with a new British Touring Car Championship inspired version set for an unveil later this month. We’re guessing that one will strike our fancy a bit more than the trans-generational pastiche above. Hit the jump for the press release and make sure to check out the large high-res gallery below – but perhaps you’ll want to pop a few Tums first.

Gallery: Chevrolet Europe Spark Woody Art Car

[Source: Chevrolet UK]

Continue reading How the British Pay Homage to 50’s America: Chevrolet Spark woody

How the British Pay Homage to 50’s America: Chevrolet Spark woody originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Aug 2010 12:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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