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Old 08-06-2007, 09:08 AM
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London Taxi as a rod?

My neighbor owns a storage facility and ended up owning a London Taxi (approx a 1976 model) after it sat in one of his units for ten years without the rent being paid. He doesn't want it and has been talking with me about taking it off his hands. There are some title details he is still getting finalized (he had to go through a claims procedure to get ownership) but I'm toying with the idea of taking it on as a project. Here is what the taxi looks like (I always forget to take my camera with me when I look at the car so this is a stock photo - not the actual car - but exactly the same.)



And here is what I came up with in Photoshop as one possible treatment. In this approach, everything remains the same on the body with the exception of the top chop and the suspension drop. It should also be noted that the car does have "wrong side" steering...so that needs to be converted as well. My understanding is the frame is a bit underbuilt in these things so would probably need modification to accommodate a small block.



Obviously, this is a HUGE project to undertake and I could not even start on it until next summer after the sedan/delivery is finished. The thing is, I'm not quite sure it is worth the effort...so I'm looking for opinions and/or some other renderings from the "car art" folks who like to mess with these things in P-shop. I can get the base car at a VERY reasonable price so that's not the issue. The issue is whether to put the time/effort into that top chop (which I've never done before), the steering conversion, and the chassis mods. Clearly this would be a unique car to tackle...but "unique good" or "unique bad" is the question.

Also, if anyone has ever had one of these as a project...the input would be much apprechiated. There may be unique challenges I am not aware of yet.

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Old 08-06-2007, 10:32 AM
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I think it looks really cool. I wouldn't change the steering though, that would be pretty unique.
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:06 PM
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It would definately be different , juat a observation, would building a new chassis be easier than modifying the existing one , as far as the steering and reinforcement, and drive train positioning goes?

I don't think I have ever seen a rodded English Taxi,, but several checkers , and I think they are cool looking, different,,

Can't really judge about the value factor, just the different strokes for different folks version should probably apply here,
Keep us posted,, it does look good as a rod,
EDIT<<<<<<<<<
Chopping the top on a 4 dr is a tremendous amount of work,, but doable, does it have a solid roof or a cloth insert? with the insert, the top would be alot easier to strech, insted of having to put the splice all the way across,, or possably leaning the a- pillars back , maybe photoshop it with the pillars leaned back and see what that looks like,, Bill

Last edited by Bad Rat; 08-06-2007 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:16 PM
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I'm with bad rat, it seems modifying the top picture to the bottom product is a huge undertaking. It almost looks like you're really only saving a few of the original body lines, is it easier to start with something else? I really don't have any idea what to tell you on this issue, just a thought.

I do like the car, though, and I can picture it sitting very low with a comfortable interior and maybe a little bit of blower whine as it rumbles down the street...

K
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:14 PM
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That could be cool. I agree with speed5 though on the steering. If done right, there could possibly be a market for it.
As a side note, I am currently over seeing a renovation on a early 1900's hotel restaurant. The hotel has one for a shuttle vehicle.
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:17 PM
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hi there i think it would be cool to shorten it a little at the front doors and combine the doors into a large 2 door ... maybe shorten both little but you might be able to maintain the boddie lines with or without the chop it'd be rockin!
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:37 PM
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I think it would look great just with wheels and a big motor! Chopped top on a 4 door is not the look I like. Definitely leave it right hand steer!
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Old 08-06-2007, 06:24 PM
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Very interesting responses...and not quite what I expected (lots more yeahs than nays). Is the reason so many of you recommend keeping the right hand steering the uniqueness factor or something else?

And if no top chop...could be a very doable project.
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Old 08-06-2007, 07:59 PM
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Cboy, about the only thing I would do body wise is...... NOTHING! Keep it looking like a cab, but throw your energy into the power plant and chassis. Lower it a little or bag it. Talk about a sleeper!? I would hate to be the guy that shown up by an English cab!
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:13 PM
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I think I would keep the right side steer also.What engine is in it?
What about building yourself a four banger little hot rod for fuel mileage?
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:14 PM
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own a sawzall?
seriously, it'd be unique build- same reason for keeping the right hand drive, you don't see it very often.
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:41 AM
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These are neat looking just the way they are and the pain and grief to chop the top will not be worth the trouble IMHO, and will only serve to detract from its' uniqueness. I don't agree with keeping right side steering though, especially if you have to reinforce the frame and install new front suspension. Driving a "wrong sided" car is distracting - take a trip to the US Virgin Islands if you want a taste of that kind of experience.

Many of these taxis had diesels and a fairly small engine compartment that would welcome a V6 of some vintage, a warmed Ford Zetec 4, or a GM Iron Duke. Then decent wheels and rubber, a comfortable interior.............

My opinion - go for it - you want to. Right!!

Dave
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:52 AM
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Cboy, with your skills this could be a great looking car! A slight chop, little more in the front than the back, a slight rake, a little taller in the back, a small v-8 or v-6 automatic, a few custom touches on the shiny stuff, awesome! Personally, I'd switch to left hand drive, right hand would be unique, but I think it would be a bit scary driving, passing, parking, etc. Built for comfort and a little speed when needed, but I wouldn't get real radical, the car speaks for itself. Dan
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:12 AM
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Left hand drive would be way more convenient on roads designed for left hand drive vehicles. maybe an ls series small block and if a deal could be found Whipple supercharge it. oe a 3800 turbo 6 (worked in the gnx ) or if you build a custom chassis go crazy with it and drop in a 472/500cad. or if sticking with a conventional small block make it a 4.56 geared high rpm screamer with a 400 block and a 283 crank (would have to weld the crank or use bearing spacers)
maybe even junkyard turbocharged.

Shane
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Old 08-07-2007, 12:28 PM
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the right hand steering would interfere with the starter , if you installed a V/8 or V6. , I like the idea of the LS-1 motor,, or even a 4.3,

The thing is tho,, if you can pick it up for a decent price,, just hang on to it until such time you either decide to build it or sell it,, I would assume that it is a fairly rare car in the states, even tho it isn't as desirable as others,, but unusual cars are becoming more and more popular,, myself, I am tired of looking at every imaginable version of a 32-33- 34 ford, Bill

Last edited by Bad Rat; 08-07-2007 at 12:37 PM.
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