Taxis have been and remain an integral part of the roads of all countries of the world. In some countries, taxis are a comfortable means of transportation for wealthy citizens, in others they are a common and not very expensive means of transport for anyone.
London cabins began the history of taxis in the late 1890s by London Electrical Cab Co., they replaced noisy carts with electric cars. However, they did not live up to expectations and became the cause of many accidents in a couple of years. At the beginning of the XX century, Berseys machines left the service.
The car with the Prunel petrol engine became the first London taxi. The fleet of taxis was replenished with French Unic and Citroen, Vauxhall and Scottish cars William Beardmore, local Morris-Commercial, and later a number of Austin models.
It was the London cab Austin FX3 then became almost the most recognizable taxi in the world, it was produced for ten years from 1948 to 1958. It was later replaced by the FX4 model – with an Austin diesel and automatic transmission, although a manual transmission was available as an option. Surprisingly, it was the longest-lived and was produced by various companies until 1997. About 75,000 cars were seen around the world, although they were usually constantly upgraded.
Already in the XXI century, the London authorities announced a competition to find a successor to the legend. And all because it was decided to make taxis more environmentally friendly. Nissan based on the NV200 van had a good chance of winning. But Geely (China) still snatched the victory, she together with a company that produces London taxis since 1984 – London has developed a hybrid TX5, which was able to travel with a petrol “four” and exclusively on electric traction. The first models will appear in a few years, and the Chinese manufacturer plans to create a series of models based on the TX5.
And what about America? Morris and Salom Electric Wagon and Carriage Company electric cars roamed the streets of New York in the late nineteenth century (pictured). At the beginning of the twentieth century, French cars appeared on the taxi market, and after 1920 Ford and General Motors joined the business. The rivalry began, many taxi models were produced by both GM (in particular, under the Chevrolet brand) and Ford, but today at least 80% of New York taxis are produced by Ford.
There are plans to revive the classic – Checker Motor Cars. One of the first new models should be a six-door limousine for corporate clients or hotels.
Moreover, Checker Cabs sedans, manufactured by Morris Markin, an American businessman of Russian origin, once had considerable success. But the most famous taxis in New York are Ford Crown Victoria, which in addition to taxis have distinguished themselves in the police service.
The streets of New York are lit by yellow or green taxis, which in turn differ in the rules of operation. The yellow color of taxis appeared in the early 20th century, which made them as visible as possible in the stream. However, until the 1960s, taxis could be seen in any color – the law on yellow for official carriers (to distinguish them from unofficial ones) was passed only in 1967.
In bright Tokyo, against the background of new inventions and ultra-modern architecture, only a taxi remains a classic. The real symbols of the Tokyo taxi to this day are the Toyota Crown Comfort and Nissan Cedric sedans, although of course you will even be offered a limousine to order. These models began to be produced more than 20 years ago, now – exclusively for the needs of taxis.
Nissan Cedric has been produced since 1987, full name Cedric Crew Taxi and is equipped with front-wheel drive, 85-horsepower 4-cylinder engine and a simple automatic. Its feature is that the driver can open the rear door with a special handle on the front. Its competitor from Toyota – Crown Comfort – was designed specifically to work in a taxi in 1995. In addition to working on a taxi, “Crown Comfort” is used in Japanese driving schools.
The city of Mexico City has a taxi fleet of over 100,000 cars, which is considered one of the largest in the world. As far back as 1970, the city authorities decided to replace large and voracious cars with compact cheap models to make taxis more accessible to customers. To do this, we bought a modern Nissan Tsuru (aka Sentra – in the photo above).
Although to this day the calling card of local taxi drivers is the Volkswagen Sedan – the same classic Beetle Type 1 Beetles, purchased in the 70’s. Already after 1990, the authorities decided to repaint public transport in green, pursuing the idea of environmental friendliness. Therefore, the green “Beetles” can still be found in Mexico City.
The most exotic taxis can be found on the streets of Cuba – the country-museum of retro cars in the open air. For more than 50 years, no commercial car transactions in Cuba could be carried out without the permission of the authorities, and buying a new car was unrealistic. And all because after the revolution of 1959 on the island there was a ban on the import of cars and almost the only supplier of transport was the USSR.
Therefore, all sorts of retro cars imported to Cuba from America in the first half of the twentieth century and can now be found on the streets of cities .. Every second works by taxi or used to transport tourists. Since the purchase of spare parts was beyond fiction, under the hood of a 1953 Chevy you can find a “Vazov” engine.
The Dutch taxi fleet has both Tesla and other electric cars. The Amsterdam authorities are implementing an environmental program to replace traditional taxis with electric cars.
In the capital of the Netherlands, taxi drivers used to ride only on Nissan Leaf, but last year they were joined by hundreds of Tesla Model S. The most popular place to see these beauties is Schiphol Airport, the number of which today is approaching two hundred.
In Southeast Asia, every tourist has ridden a tuk-tuk (or motor rickshaw) at least once, and they can rightly be considered attractions for adults – as a rule, their drivers turn every trip into an exciting adventure. And the price is pleasing. The models used to build tuk-tuks, of course, do not count.
The fastest taxi in the world – “Ring Taxi”. And it rides on the famous Nurburgring (race track in Germany). The BMW M3 and M5 of the previous generation were used as taxis on the track at different times. Now the latest generation BMW M5 is running on the track. And if you are very lucky, your taxi will be driven by “Queen of the Ring” Sabina Schmitz. “Ring-taxi” operates from April to October, in one car can be up to three people. One round of such a taxi costs 225 euros per car.
The Hindustan Ambassador model can always be seen only with “checkers”. It has been produced since 1957 on the basis of the English Morris Oxford III, it is called the “Queen of Roads of India”. Despite the fact that many relatively inexpensive models (approximately $ 10,000) of local production were purchased for taxis, the new environmental law of 2011 actually stopped the sale of Ambassador. After all, since the 1950s, the configuration of the car has hardly changed and does not meet any environmental requirements. All attempts to save Hindustan Motors by installing a more modern diesel on it did not lead to anything, so its production stopped completely. Although you have to look at things realistically, the beautiful “Ambassadors” are still traveling in Mumbai and Calcutta.
And there is also a women’s taxi. In the emirate of Dubai since 2007 there is a special service of “women’s” taxi – only for women (or women with children). Pink beauties with drivers exclusively for women who have undergone special training and have a long experience. Therefore, a trip in such cars is as safe as possible.