Austin FX3 taxicab, 1948Austin FX3 taxi : Introduced in 1948, the FX3 became the standard London black cab for the next ten years. It was the last to have an open space beside the driver for luggage.
See this object and other related objects from within the On the surface after 1945 gallery
Related story:Taxi versus minicab
Since 1907, licensed taxi drivers in London have undergone strict tests for driving, health, character and knowledge of the city’s streets. Taxis have to conform to specific construction and performance rules, including a very tight turning circle. Only specially designed vehicles meet these conditions, which is why London’s black cabs are unique. The traditional London taxi system was challenged in 1961 when the first minicabs appeared. These were ordinary saloon cars, not taxis. There were no fare controls and drivers only needed an ordinary licence. They were not allowed to ply for hire and minicabs could only be ordered by phone.