Say Goodbye To The Premier Padmini TaxiS

It's just been a terrible time for old taxis. Icons like the London taxi are struggling to stay alive, while others like the Ford Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town Car were unable to stave off death. You can add the Premier Padmini to the soon-to-disappear list, now.

You may remember the Padmini from such roles as the Fiat 1100D, which is what it started life as in 1962 – hence its nickname as the "Fiat taxi." It was built under license by Premier Automobile in India starting in 1964 and became a staple of transportation in Mumbai until it went out of production in 2001.

There are about 9,500 Pads being used as taxis in Mumbai, according to The Associated Press, but 4,500 of them are being taken off the road now because of a new government regulation that forces out vehicles more than 20 years old. Once all of them reach 20 years old, they'll be wiped from the city streets.

It's going to affect cab drivers in the city greatly, though, since few can afford to buy more modern cars, and newer cars can't be fixed with a rock at the side of the road like this old Fiat-based design, either. The idea may be to clear up air pollution and improve occupant safety, but there's no denying the landscape of cars will completely change in the next decade.

While Checker cabs may no longer show up on every Manhattan street corner, they're not totally gone. 1950s Chevys and 20-30-year-old Ladas are still picking people up in Havana. Even though the London black cab isn't really an Austin anymore, it still has that instantly recognizable look. But the Pad is being forced into extinction, and no matter how ancient the car, it's not a cool move.

Besides, getting a ride in a characterless Nissan isn't really the same experience, anyway.

Photo: AP