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.