A Meterless Cab

Section:

Black cab (in green) that has never carried a paying passenger to be auctioned in May; it was originally owned by construction giants Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd.

What do the Duke of Edinburgh, Noel Edmonds, Yvette Fielding, Stephen Fry, Simon Hughes, Stanley Kubrick, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Kate Moss, Sir Laurence Olivier and Arnold Schwarzenegger have in common? All of them, variously, have owned black cabs (also known as ‘Hackney carriages’ and ‘hacks’).

Stephen Fry with the black cab he owns.
The ex-Nubar Gulbenkian 1960 Austin FX4 Brougham Sedanca taxi with coachwork by FLM Panelcraft. It was sold at auction for £31,900 ($39,000, €36,200 or درهم143,600) in 2015 by Bonhams at their Quail Lodge auction in Carmel, California.

Whilst in the past, the eccentric Armenian business magnate and socialite Nubar Gulbenkian went one stage further and “dolled-up” a 1960 Austin FX4 taxi to his own specifications, a more modern adapted example is to be sold by Bonhams in May.

 

Lacking a traditional amber light on its roof, the 2006 London Taxi International TXII Gold to be offered has “never carried a fare paying passenger in its life.” This vehicle, instead, was bought new by the construction company Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd. and subsequently given a “bespoke upgrade” costing £12,000 ($14,700, €13,600 or درهم53,900) by LTI dealers KPM Automotive.

 

Fitted with replacement green velour seating in the passenger section, the 2.4-litre, automatic car has two Motorola telephones, air-conditioning, an intercom and a fold-down wheelchair access ramp. It has covered 18,000 miles from new and is described as being in generally “superb condition” and having a “distinguished air.”

 

Bonhams will offer the taxi at their online Bicester sale on 30th May. They have set an estimate of £12,000 to £18,000 ($14,700 to $22,000, €13,600 to €20,400 or درهم53,900 to درهم80,900).

 

As someone named Lou Erickson once said: “Life is like a taxi. The meter keeps a-ticking whether you are getting somewhere or just standing still.”

 

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