Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Taxi Of The Day: October 18, 2011
Today's car of the day is Fava's 1980 Austin FX4.
The FX4 is the classic Black Cab. While the majority are black, there is in fact no requirement for them to be black. Over the years, the FX4 has been sold under a range of brands.
For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Austin FX4
The quintessential British cab! Fava is a name that's unfamiliar but the tooling is all Corgi.
The FX4 was the successor to the Austin FX3 produced between 1948 and 1959 and in its own day regarded as the classic British taxi. Like the FX3, the FX4 was designed by Austin in collaboration with Mann and Overton (a taxi dealership) and Carbodies (a coachbuilder). The design team included Albert Moore from Austin’s engineering division, Jack Helberg from Carbodies and David Southwell of Mann and Overton. The original design was by Austin’s Eric Bailey with the assistance of Carbodies' Jake Donaldson. Little change was necessary to produce the outline of the production vehicle.
Like the FX3, the FX4 had a separate chassis (which was in fact barely changed from the FX3 chassis) with a body stiffened by a divider between the driving and passenger compartments.
The first FX4, registration mark VLW 431, was delivered in July 1958 with an official launch later that year.
As launched, the FX4 was fitted with a 2.2 L Austin diesel engine and a Borg-Warner automatic transmission. In 1961, the manual transmission from the Austin Gipsy was available as an option. From 1962, the Austin 2.2 L petrol engine was available. The vast majority of FX4s used throughout its service history were however fitted with a diesel engine and an automatic transmission.
In 1968, there was a facelift. The original cars were provided with small rear stop and tail lights and roof-mounted turn indicators known as "bunny ears". The rear wings were modified to accept the taillights and turn indicators from the Austin 1100. Front indicators were also provided below the headlights. The "bunny ears" were later removed.
In 1971, the 2.2 L (strictly 2178 cc) diesel engine was replaced by a bored-out unit displacing 2.5 L. This new model was known as the FX4D.
Originally the FX4 was fitted with chrome bumpers and overriders which are said by many to be the same as those fitted to the Ford Consul. By 1979, the tooling for the overriders was worn out and the bumper blades remained chrome while the overriders were replaced by rubber mouldings.