Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe London Cab looks to be in fare condition, but will its price have you wanting to keep the meter running?
They say a hard man is good to find - or at least the dyslexics do. Conversely, a good AE86 is seeming hard to find, and yesterday's 3SGE-powered 1985 SR5 apparently proved to be no exception. While debate raged over its execution, there was no doubt about its price-ecution, as 58% of you deemed its thirteen-five asking to be Crack Pipe worthy.
Okay so now that we've come to terms with fact it's not worth driving that Toyota home, we're going to need a ride. Oh Cabbie!
Once ubiquitous across the streets of London, and typically announced with a cheery where to, guv'nor?, the Austin Taxi is as iconic a representative of that historic city as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, or now, the Duchess of Cambridge's amazing booty.
This 1964 FX4 presently calls Southern California home, but it looks like it has enough of the right pieces to be still picking up fares in old Blighty.
The FX4 debuted in 1958, in replacement of the FX3. It was developed by a consortium that included Austin Motor Company LTD, London Taxi dealer Mann and Overton, and coachbuilder Carbodies Limited of Coventry. Under its different corporate parents, the FX4 remained in production for the better part of 40 years.
By the time this ‘64 was built, chassis production was being handled by Morris Commercial Cars and the original Borg Warner automatic transmission had been joined in service by a 4-speed manual, as evidenced here. Most FX4s came with a 2,178-cc (later 2,520-cc) diesel, but this one happens to be a gasser. The ad says that it's the Austin Healey 100/4 unit - a thumping 2,660-cc cast iron behemoth of a four - but when not burning oil, these cars were supposed to come with the Austin A70's 67-horse 2,199-cc pushrod four. That's what I think this one has.
Either way, the ad says that this taxi has had its in-service lights off for enough years that it now needs a thorough going over in order to make roadworthy. That means flushing the tank, making sure the pistons haven't carpe cylinder-umed, and rebuilding the brakes, because, you know, stopping and all that. Also, and possibly more financially consuming, its tags expired a decade ago.
Aside from that stasis decay and potential DMV fleecing, the cab looks to be in pretty good shape, evidencing no rust or major body damage anywhere. The trim is all intact - right down to the rubber pads seating the bumper overriders - and the chrome all looks perfectly serviceable. Inside, it's a little more tattered, but still workable, and there's a seat next to the driver instead of a luggage shelf so you'll have to figure on only the limited boot capacity for carrying all your fares' crap. On the plus side, you could play Twister on the floor in the back of this cab.
As the ad notes, America isn't London and while the FX4 is no longer such a ubiquitous sight in Jolly Old, it's even more rare so here. The seller is attempting to parlay that to his favor, and is asking $7,500 for his long standing cab. What is your take on this currently taxidermied Taxi, is $7,500 a fair price considering desirability, condition, and impending work necessary to get it driveable? Or, does all that make this a cab unworthy of hailing?
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