Australia Post is celebrating some of the country's favourite pre-World War II motorcycle models in its latest commemorative stamp release, Vintage Motorcycles.

Australia Post Philatelic Manager, Michael Zsolt, said the release would appeal to motorcycle fans and stamp collectors alike.

"Vintage Motorcycles will make a great keepsake for young and old with the nostalgic stamps showcasing four different models that were constructed or conceived in Australia in the early 20th century when motorcycles became a very popular and economical mode of transport," Mr Zsolt said.

The issue features artwork from world-renowned vehicle illustrator Mike Harbar. Mr Harbar, who is based in Victoria, said the stamps feature four restored motorcycles, which are currently privately owned.

"The motorcycles depicted on the stamps are rare and obscure, so it was necessary for the current owners to provide good high resolution images. I can never have enough photographs to work from and only start drawing when I'm fully committed to the design," Mr Harbar said.

The motorcycles featured on the stamps are:

  1. 1904 Kelecom: James Hill & Sons in Adelaide assembled motorcycles using Kelecom engines from 1902 to 1904. Most of the motorcycles were emblazoned with the name 'Kelecom' on the tank as the engine was named after Belgian engineer, Paul Kelecom.
  2. 1912 The Precision: Several Australian motorcycle businesses used Precision engines - which were manufactured in Birmingham in the United Kingdom - including AG Healing in Melbourne as well as Adelaide companies Lewis & Bullock, and James Hill & Sons.
  3. 1919 Whiting V4: Conceived in Melbourne in 1912 by engineer Saville Whiting, who became a partner in a London engineering firm. The 1919 Whiting V4 is a significant piece of Australian motorcycling history, as it is the original motorcycle built by Whiting in London c. 1919 and brought back to Australia in 1920.
  4. 1923 Invincible J.A.P.: The best known of pre-World War II Australian-constructed motorcycles was made predominantly with British parts and built in Melbourne for Turner Bros of Swanston Street by Firth Bros., Richmond. The Invincible J.A.P. sold across the country to a marketing campaign: "It's all British, built in Australia by Australians!"

The products available with this stamp issue include a first day cover, stamp pack, maxicards, prestige book, and booklet collection. The Vintage Motorcycles special stamp issue is available from 4 September at participating Post Offices, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at auspost.com.au/stamps, while stocks last.