1935 Austin 12/4 Taxicab  Chassis no. 82431L
Lot 554
1935 Austin 12/4 Taxicab
Registration no. FGT 532 Chassis no. 82431L
Sold for £19,090 (US$ 24,098) inc. premium

Adrian Brown Photography

Lot Details
1935 Austin 12/4 Taxicab  Chassis no. 82431L 1935 Austin 12/4 Taxicab  Chassis no. 82431L
1935 Austin 12/4 Taxicab
Registration no. FGT 532
Chassis no. 82431L

Footnotes

  • To most people, the Austin Twelve landaulette is the archetypal London taxicab of the 1930s. Introduced in 1921, the Twelve, together with the Seven, saved the Austin Moto Company from bankruptcy. The Twelve was a conventional car, soundly engineered in the best Austin tradition, powered by a 1,660cc (later 1,861cc) four-cylinder sidevalve engine driving via a four-speed gearbox. Such was the Twelve's reputation for durability that it was used for a number of commercial variants and became the London cab-drivers' favourite, enjoying an extended lease of life in this role that lasted well into the 1930s and beyond. After the introduction of the six-cylinder Light Twelve, the model became known as the 'Heavy Twelve Four' up to 1935, by which time there was also a 1,525cc Light 12/4 in the range.
    Austin used the dependable 12/4 as the basis of their first London taxicab of 1930 and the model would go on to dominate the market. Built to a mechanical specification dictated by the Metropolitan Police's demanding Conditions of Fitness, and expensive to produce because of the low volumes involved, most enjoyed lengthy careers in service. Indeed, pre-war Austin taxis could still be seen plying for hire at prime tourist locations in London in the early 1960s.
    Registered 'FGT 532', a London mark, this Austin 12/4 taxicab features the model's landaulet coachwork and comes complete 'For Hire' sign, fare meter and luggage. The vehicle was purchased at auction by the current vendor in 2002, since when it has been on museum display, the previous owner being recorded as David Brock Jest of Ashby de la Launde, Lincoln. Finished in blue over black, coachlined in red, with matching leather interior trim and black hood, 'FGT 532' is offered with SORN letters, Swansea V5C document and four old MoT certificates (most recent expired September 2011). An opportunity to acquire a restored Austin taxicab ideally suited to period-set film and television work.
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