1983 English Carbodies Taxi, Model FX4, Propane model
Owners: Bernie and Janice Taulborg Collection
Original cost, previous owner, number made: Unknown
Engine, etc.: Propane; 139.4 cu. in.; 60 hp; (0 – 60 mph: 34.5 seconds); 110.6 in. wheelbase; 3,439 lbs.
The FX4 began production in 1958 and was intended to remain in production for ten years which was the maximum number of years for which a cab could normally remain in service. In fact, it reigned supreme for almost 40 years and remained a familiar sight on London streets well into the 21st century.
Carbodies tried several new concept projects to replace the FX4 but it continued to be made until 1997. When finally replaced by the TX1, the new design was an evolutionary, not revolutionary, change from the FX4. The new body still sat on what was essentially the FX4 underpinnings.
One very handy characteristic of the London Carbodies taxis was their very tight turning radius – a necessity in London’s narrow streets and traffic.
Carbodies was a British company that started as a coachbuilder. The company was founded in 1919 when Robert Jones bought a vehicle body making business. It supplied bodies for car makers that did not have their own body shops or were short of capacity. During World War II the company made bodies for military vehicles and aircraft components.
Carbodies was sold to the BSA group in 1954. Under BSA, Carbodies got a contract from Austin Motor Company to make Austin FX3 taxi bodies which turned out to be the most important vehicle in Carbodies’ history. It gained additional work including supplying prototype bodies and tooling for the Jaguar E-type hood. Gradually the FX4 taxi would become more important for the company.
In 1971 Carbodies bought the FX4 chassis assembly line from British Leyland. The company was sold in 1973 to Manganese Bronze Holdings.
In 1984 Manganese Bronze Holdings bought another taxi company and formed the London Taxis International or LTI Ltd. The name Carbodies was dropped in 1998 and in 2010 the name was simply London Taxi Company.
https://lvta.co.uk/menu/lvta-taxi-history/ (London Vintage Taxi Association history page)