Treasure Island Hackney: 1957 Beardmore Taxi

1957 Beardmore Taxi

“Hackney Carriage” is the official term used for London’s famous taxis. From the 1950’s to the 80’s, these black retro-styled cabs made up much of London’s traffic, although almost all of them were Austin FX3’s and FX4’s. Over 75,000 FX4’s were made. A little-known competitor for Austin, Beardmore produced all of 650 Mk 7’s from 1954 to 1966, making this model quite rare. This barn find Mk 7 is available here on eBay in Blanchard, Michigan with an opening bid of $7,500 and no reserve.

Beardmore Taxi

One of the interesting features of old London cabs is the open platform on what in the UK is the passenger side front. This was a legal requirement for London-based taxis to be able to load and unload luggage easily, as was a 25-foot turning circle due to the tight driveway of one of London’s more famous hotels. The dust on this barn find makes it easy to believe the seller’s claim that it was driven into a barn more than 10 years ago. Prior to that, this taxi was used on Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay and it comes with a clear California title. The modern license plate on the rear backs this claim up, although I wish the photography was clear enough to make out the last year of licensing. Why do sellers utilize such poor pictures when even a smartphone can take nice clear shots?

Beardmore Meter

The original taxi meter certainly adds to the charm of this car, and decent rear seat upholstery looks like it needs nothing more than cleaning. The front of the interior is questionable as the photos are too blurred to make out any details. But does the front really matter, guv’nor? I think this is one car where I’d rather ride around in the back seat, imagining being driven around London and someone else having to deal with its famous traffic. When I was there on business a few years ago, I was happy to be picked up at the train station by a very entertaining and knowledgeable cabbie who gave a running tour description on the way to our hotel.

London Taxi Barn Find

From the rear, it’s hard to believe that this is a car from the late 1950’s. A straight bumper and a body claimed to be solid mean that this project might not be a monster to take on. A missing taillight fits the standard for many barn finds that we’ve discussed recently. The British Ford 4-cylinder engine appears to be intact and the seller states it can be turned over by hand. A friend of mine owns a similar Mk 7 and it seems to motor down the road quite nicely, although his is the diesel version rather than this gas-engined model. Does this barn find inspire your imagination?

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Comments

  1. Charles

    Interesting vehicle! That’s one to mechanically restore, and leave the patina intact.

  2. Tom

    Occasionally, you’ll find a London Taxi listed for sale on EBAY. This one has been on again and off again for a while now.

    Its been a long time since I was involved in car audio, but I’d always thought that either a hearse (Lanzar used them in the 1990s) or a London taxi would be an ideal shop show car. $7500 is more than a bit pricey considering EBAY UK can get taxis for far less even with shipping and the dollar to pound conversion.

  3. john e.

    Yep, these late 50 Euro cars were a favorite of one of my friends growing up. I would buy it, restore it just as a reminder of working on these when we were younger.

  4. Horse Radish

    so, what are the chances of 2 ! of these floating around…?

    I found this out of IN, sold in November….

    for far less……

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/RARE-PRIVATE-CAR-4-DOOR-CONVERTED-TO-PERIOD-TAXI-/181590920059

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Wow! That would have been the one to pick up, no doubt!

  5. bruce R. Colbert

    i like the Pontiac he has.
    it looks pretty solid eh ?

  6. RickyM

    Wow, these are rare in the UK, so to find 2 for sale in the US is quite amazing ! I have only ever seen 2 over here, so this is a great find. Hope it is rescued and restored. Would seem to be quite expensive when you see this one for sale in Germany for £3,500:
    http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C476198

  7. Jason

    ” Why do sellers utilize such poor pictures when even a smartphone can take nice clear shots?”

    To obscure the ugly truth!

  8. Johnny Dixon

    These are not actually “Taxis”, only the Austin FX3/4 and the Winchester were in the era. The Beardmore could not pick up a street fare as the real taxis could, it was a for hire by call car that wasn’t very successful due to competing with cheaper cars such as the Fiat Multiplia and Ford Anglia/Cortina. The Beardmore looked like a traditional Taxi, but did not meet all the requirements.

  9. Debbie Belt

    I sold my 1955 Beardmore in September 2015. Miss it a lot and want to find another one. Anyone know of one for sale in U.S.?

    • Mario Ercolini

      Debbie Belt, I have a 1956 Beardmore that I am about to restore. However, if you want to discuss buying it before restoration, let’s talk. I live in the upstate of South Carolina and since I am retired I can talk almost anytime.
      I speak Italian and English quite well. Call me if you like. Thanks
      Mario 864-386-3893

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