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Keep the London black-cab British

Haynes Black Cab Manual author calls for rescue deal
06 Nov 2012
Bill Munro
Out Now

FX4 Black Cab Enthusiasts’ Manual

A leading authority on the London black cab is calling on investors to step in and rescue the iconic vehicle before another classic incarnation is lost forever.

This week Coventry-based black cab manufacturer Manganese Bronze called in the administrators, threatening the disappearance of a British motoring manufacturer, and London’s most popular black cab model, the TX4.

Bill Munro, author of Haynes’ FX4 Black Cab Enthusiast’s Manual and London cabbie for over 40 years, said:

“The TX4 is by far the most popular London taxi model and cabbies who drive them are fiercely proud that they’re made in Britain by a British-owned manufacturer. There’s certainly no shortage of buyers for them.

“The London black cab is a world-famous icon, and with around 65% of the London market, and a national dealer network, the Manganese Bronze business is a very viable prospect. We desperately need an investor to step in and rescue the firm, before this classic taxi follows the Routemaster bus down memory lane.”

Author Bill Munro is available for interview and comment on the significance of the TX4 to the London black cab market.

His book, the FX4 Black Cab Manual, was published in April 2012 by Haynes and celebrates the history, development and influence of the ubiquitous FX4, built between 1958 and 1997. A predecessor of the TX4, the FX4 first appeared on our streets in 1958 and over years in service, become an icon, not only of London but of Britain too.

Tracing the origins of the Hackney carriage, expert author Bill Munro follows the evolution of the taxi through early 20th century designs to the dominance of later vehicles commissioned from Austin by Mann and Overton, the dealership which began selling motor cabs in 1905 and continued to trade under that name until 2010. Mann and Overton was responsible for commissioning the FX4, and earlier designs, from Austin and has remained a prominent influence throughout its entire service life.

In a taxi-driving career spanning almost 40 years, Bill Munro has driven every version of the FX4. As well as producing Vintage Taxi (the magazine of the London Vintage Taxi Association) and contributing to the London cab trade press, he has written several other taxi-related books.

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