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Ye Olde London Taxicab

London-taxisThey are as associated with London as Big Ben. They have a reputation for being as clean as a crumpet plate. And they are as recognizable as Parliament.

And perhaps they should be, since they have been around for quite the while. Perhaps the best-known is the Austin FX4, which was made from 1958 to 1994.

They also have a reputation for being all-black, but they do come in many colours. In fact, there are no rules and/or regulations requiring any of them to be black. They can also carry five passengers in comfort, and can turn on a dime. 

They had diesel engines of various sizes and makers, though a gasoline engine was available starting in 1962. Automatics were standard from Day One, but manuals became an option later. Why? I have no idea. I mean… a manual tranny in London???

Taxi boot

Their “boots” weren’t really designed to carry luggage in a most proper way; this is a Chinese market Taxicab.

Taxi Interior

Many pains have been taken to provide access for disabled persons, as well as comfy and clean seats for others.

To steal a line from “Skyfall,” “Sometimes the old ways are the best.” And speaking of the old ways, if you like to see vehicles assembled in a factory as much as I do, this video will be all eye candy. In this outstanding segment from “How It’s Made,” we see that most of the Taxicabs are built by hand. Its frame is stamped and placed into a welding jig by experts. The body is assembled and spot welded by technicians. Even the body is placed on the frame by human hands (With a little help from an overhead lift). In other words, the old ways:

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Well, that ran for a bit, so I won’t keep you here much longer. But before we part, here’s a few examples of ye olde Taxicab that followed the trusted FX4:

TX1

TX1 (1997-2002)

TXII

TXII (2002-2007)

TX4

The TX4 (2007-Present Day)

So the London Taxicab is a purpose-built, timeless conveyance. And if I ever get over to London, I will definitely make a special effort to take a ride in one.

In this case, I would say that the olde ways are the best.

That Car Guy (Chuck)

Image Credits: Our first image of the Taxicabs is from YellowTaxiBlog.com. The Taxicab boot photo was found at PhotoShelter.com. That Taxicab interior shot is from Media-Cache-ec0.Pinimg.com. “How It’s Made” produced that really cool video. The TX1 image is from Wikipedia.org; the TXII picture came from Wikipedia.org; and the TX4 photo was found at, you guessed it, Wikipedia.org.

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-carlustblog.com