Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. Here's the fourth 1930s car I've found down on the Alameda street.
I spotted what appeared to be a London cab parked in front of the hardware store, just around the corner from the '69 Citroën DS station wagon, the 1973 BMW 2002tii, and the 1953 Packard Cavalier. Naturally, I wanted to meet the owner of such a beautiful machine, so I hung around until he emerged from the store.
It turns out that he's the owner of Bear Paw Fiddles, an Alameda shop specializing in vintage violins and mandolins, and this cab is his work vehicle (those of you who drive Taurus or Lumina company cars, feel free to experience pangs of envy). This '37 Beardmore Taxi was built by the the William Beardmore Company in a factory converted to Spitfire production a couple years later, and it survived the London Blitz. It was brought to the United States by a Bay Area Jaguar dealership in the late 1950s, received a Nissan engine swap a decade or three back, and now calls Alameda its home.
This may be the roomiest back seat ever made. The Beardmore has proven to be quite reliable, but it can't really be driven on the freeway; the engine has sufficient power, but the windshield tends to implode at speeds greater than 40 MPH.