Post War History of London Taxi Vehicles
In 1947, a consortium of Mann and Overton, Carbodies of Coventry and Austin created this new design that came to dominate the market. Originally petrol powered, the first diesel version became available in 1952.
The FX4 became the best-known taxi in history over its long life. It began as another joint venture between the three companies (early ones wore Austin badges), but in 1982, Carbodies bought the rights to the design and, as London Taxis International, continued to develop the vehicle. The model underwent continuous development: originally a 2.2 diesel, it was offered with a petrol option in 1961. The engines were uprated from Austin units to Land Rover diesels in 1982.
In 1989 the FX4 was heavily revised to create the Fairway.
The major changes were a new 2.7 litre Nissan engine, new front suspension incorporating disc brakes and a fully wheelchairaccessible interior.
The all-new TX1 was possibly the biggest single step forward in the history of London Taxis. The design combined the unmistakable silhouette of the traditional taxi with huge advances in usability and refinement. To take just two examples - the windscreen is 48% bigger and the rear doors open 44% wider, to a full 90° angle.Those changes mean it is easier for passengers to get in and easier for them to see out, better to view the famous landmarks as they pass. It was also safer, with full three-point seat belts for all five passengers and an integral child seat.
A major evolution of the TX series, the TXII introduced a number of major improvements. The engine changed to a Ford 2.5 litre unit giving better performance and the suspension was given a major redesign.
At the rear, coil springs were used for the first time on a London taxi. Combined with a new front anti-roll bar this gave passengers a much smoother ride with less roll through corners.
The TX4 brings yet further improvements to the London taxi. The new VM Motori diesel engine meets the Euro IV emission standard which means a much improved environmental performance. ABS brakes provide increased safety, while the passengers benefit from reduced noise levels.
There are a number of other refinements, such as improved ventilation (with the option of air conditioning), improved intercom system and an interior redesign to give a lighter, brighter ambience.