The famous Austin FX4 Taxi, launched in 1958 - part of the Museum's collection

1961 Austin FX4 Taxi

First launched in 1958, the chassis for the legendary London FX4 ‘Black Cab’ was designed and built by Austin at their Longbridge plant at Birmingham. However, its famous shape was created by Carbodies of Coventry who also built the body and went on to engineer and manufacture almost the entire vehicle.

The taxi was purpose built to meet the demands of the London Public Carriage Office and the Metropolitan Police ‘conditions of fitness.’ These cover factors such as seating, door size, floor height, passenger headroom and the need for a 25 ft (7.6m) turning circle.

All early FX4s had an Austin 2.2 litre diesel engine and fully automatic gearbox. Only in 1964 did a petrol option and manual gearbox become available. In 1984, the company became known as London Taxi's International - LTI.

This particular style of FX4 was built until November 1997 when the new TX series was launched. Since the first ‘Black Cab’ was built at the Coventry factory in 1948, more than 100,000 have rolled off the production line and are famous throughout the world.

This vehicle can be seen in the Museums Boomtime Boomtown Gallery.
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