From Checker in New York to 50s-era American automobiles in Havana, taxis are part of the culture of a city. Those who have traveled to London , Havana , Calcutta or Mexico City can not have noticed classic taxis, the trademark on the streets of these cities, which have been in circulation since 50s some of them . But these well-known vehicles have come to an end because of the economic crisis and the new stringent emission standards .
Some of them will be replaced by a new generation of zero emission vehicles in effort to reduce air pollution in large urban settlements. and some of them like Cubans are determined in keeping these cars up and running.
London’s Iconic Black Cabs
Historically the four-door saloon cabs or hackney ( The term ‘hackney’, as used in hackney coaches and cabs comes from the Norman French word ‘hacquenee’ meaning a type of horse suitable for hire ) have been highly popular as a tourist attraction as any of the city’s landmarks , There have been different makes and types of hackney cab through the years , from popular European carmakers. The design standards for London taxis are set out in the Conditions of Fitness, which are now published by Transport for London.
New York City’s Yellow Cabs
The Checker, particularly the 1959–82 Checker A series sedans remain the most famous taxicab vehicles in the United States. The vehicle is comparable to the London Taxi in its internationally renowned styling, which went largely unchanged from 1959 to keep production costs down. For decades checkers have been the taxi of choice in New York City and many other US cities. Checker taxis are often used as movie props. If you look closely, you will see many younger checkers in movies that play in the 1960s. This is because few original utility vehicles have been preserved and the bodywork has hardly changed over a very long period of time.
Mexico’s VW Bug taxicabs
Back to 1970 when the government took measures to give Mexico City an affordable taxi transport. Instead of the big cars used through the ’50s and ’60s, the Volkswagen Sedan (Beetle type 1) was the car selected to serve as taxicabs.There are more than 140,000 taxis in Mexico City, which makes it one of the largest taxi fleets in the world
Kolkata’s Hindustan Ambassador
Of all the Kolkata s, icons ,the yellow Ambassador taxi is the most recognisable. The Hindustan Ambassador was an automobile manufactured by Hindustan Motors of India,It was in production from 1958, The company produced the iconic, four-door, manual transmission cars until 2014.In Kolkata, there were some 33,000 Ambassador taxis at the end of 2013.
Cuba’s classic American taxis
A large number of American cars were imported from the US. But after Fidel Castro’s Cuban Revolution in 1959, the U.S. embargo was setup and Castro banned the importation of American cars and mechanical parts. , today the vast majority of them extremely old and always very damaged cars, almost without exception North Americans, built in the 1950s and even in the 1940s.Many of these kept running in mint condition by Cuban ingenuity using odd parts and pieces including Russian diesel truck engines.