page last updated: 22 February 2017
we have the release of a model that had already been in the range for
nearly 20 years 1:43 scale remade in 1:36 scale. The FX4 Taxi had changed a little
over the years - the 'ears' flashing indicators had gone from the roof
and the little tail fins had been rounded to use the Morris 1100 tail
lamp units, but it is still fundamentally the same car although no
longer an Austin; they were at this time made by a company called Carbodies. With the new Corgi we get opening rear doors,
tip up jump seats and a sliding
glass screen between the driver and their passengers. The 425 Taxi was
added to the Corgi range in 1978 and remained in production for very
many years after the Corgi company changed hands, I would not be
surprised if it is still being made in some form, although Corgi are now
making the new shape taxi. Because of the long life of the model and the
numbers sold prices will always be low.
These days this familiar design of taxi is beginning to disappear from the streets of London as the newer style takes over, but they are so long lived that it will be many years before the last one goes. I still find the rear-hinged doors easier to manage than the new ones that go the other way, I may be a bit of a dinosaur but this taxi and the Routemaster bus are not only traditional sights of London, they actually work better than their replacements as they were designed with London, and only London in mind. They both have a small footprint in comparison to their replacements and are designed for the narrow streets of the city in terms of overall size, manoeuvrability and ease and speed of getting on and off. All designed to keep the traffic moving. I think I see the dead hand of EU safety legislation behind the removal of both. Boris Johnson has promised if elected Mayor to try to get back to a bus that matches the city, good luck to him I say.
Actually if you are buying these models off eBay you have to be really careful or you may not get the one you want, especially if the pictures are a bit fuzzy. The trick is to look at the wheels. This one has the later Whizzwheels with detailed hubcaps & moulded tyres. The small scale taxi had spun hubs up to about 1970 and the old one-piece Whizzwheels after that date.