A Century of London Taxis

ISBN-10: 1861267622

ISBN-13: 9781861267627


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A Century of London Taxis

by Bill Munro

Despite having an image of stability and tradition, London's taxis have a troubled history. Their distinctive design is controlled by a framework of regulations called the Conditions of Fitness, and although these rules have ensured that the cabs have been the safest in the world, their existence has caused much controversy.

The heart of the matter is a regulation demanding that a London taxi must have a 25 ft (7,6 m) turning circle. Whilst this feature has made the vehicles highly manoeuvrable it has made the adaptation of standard production vehicles increasingly difficult. As a result, taxicab manufacture for London is a specialist business, which for most of the century has been motivated more by dealers and fleet proprietors than by motor manufacturers.

By far the most successful organization involved in the supply of cabs was the dealership of Mann and Overton, which in 1905 began selling the Richard-Brasier and later the Unic, and which in 1929 persuaded Herbert Austin to make taxis. Mann and Overton was eventually bought by Manganese Bronze Holdings, who had acquired Carbodies Ltd, a company that began manufacturing taxis for Austin after World War II. Carbodies and Mann and Overton were combined in 1987 to form London Taxis International, the largest maker of purpose-built taxis in the world. The other important organization in this story, more troubled and thus less successful, started in 1915 within the Scottish industrial empire of William Beardmore and eventually led to the Metrocab.

In this book Bill Munro relates the story from the time the first petrol cab appeared in 1903, through the twentieth century when dozens of vehicles - successful and otherwise - appeared on the scene, to a point one hundred years later when, with just two manufacturers in the marketplace, the Conditions of Fitness became the subject of only the third major review since their introduction.

Buch, Hardcover, 19,5 x 25 cm, 192 Seiten, 27 farbige und 140 s/w-Abbildungen, englischer Text
gebraucht - sehr guter Zustand