TLCB’s historical accuracy is pretty flakey, but even we know this isn’t what Henry VIII used to get to whichever beheading event was on that week. This stupendous build is Ford Model A, nicknamed the ‘Tudor’ because it had two doors. Lots of cars probably had two doors at the time, but as 90% of all the cars on the roads were Fords, they got the ‘Tudor’ moniker. This one comes from TLCB favourite _Tiler, who has captured the late ’20s sedan wonderfully, constructing it atop a Fabuland old-timey chassis. Hail a ride in 1930’s New York via the link above!
The world’s most vibrant cities have often been defined by their public transport system. London’s red Routemaster bus, Tokyo’s Toyota Crown with its amazing self opening doors, Hong Kong’s wonderful Star Ferries, and – perhaps most iconic of all – New York City’s yellow cabs.
Checker sedans and Ford Crown Victorias were long part of NYC’s street furniture, and were big, softly sprung, and almost ridiculously inappropriate for taking one or two people a short distance at a low speed.
Despite their thirst, pollution, and unnecessary size, to a tourist they were somehow rather wonderful, however recently (and probably rightly) their days were numbered.
Today few cities have their own bespoke taxis. The cost of developing or adapting a vehicle for just a few thousand sales a year is too great, thus New York’s yellow cabs can now be one of any number of mainstream vehicles that are about as interesting as a white sock. Even if they’re yellow.
Flickr’s Ralph Savelsberg, whose glorious classic Checker NYC cab appeared here a few days ago, has now updated his brick-built taxi fleet inline with New York’s recent changes, building this excellent (and incredibly boring) Toyota Highlander Hybrid.
We’re sure that Toyota’s large SUV makes a far better taxi than the Ford Crown Vics and Checkers that preceded it, but when it’s the very same car used to collect Tommy and Ashleigh from school, it’s somehow not better at all.
There’s more to see of Ralph’s NYC Highlander at his ‘LEGO NYC Taxis’ album on Flickr, where you can also find his Lego recreations of a few other real-world yellow cabs that might not be as good, yet are somehow better in every way.
New York had the coolest taxis. Built from the late ’50s until the early ’80s, the Checker A9-A12 was as synonymous with NYC as the Black Cab was with London. However with awful air quality both cities have since replaced their taxi fleets with standard passenger hybrids like the Toyota Prius, which are far less polluting, but far less soulful too. It makes us think that perhaps their could be a market for retro-fitting an EV powertrain to a classic cab – we’d be the first to hail a ride. Until then we’ll look wistfully at this beautiful classic Checker cab by regular bloggee Ralph Savelsberg, and try to forget what would be coming out of the tailpipe…
Many cities and countries are known for having an iconic taxi. London has the Black Cab, although it’s now vastly outnumbered by Prius Ubers, New York had the Ford Crown Victoria, until it was replaced by Nissan vans, Camrys and the Prius, and Mexico had the Volkswagen Beetle, now superseded by boring Asian boxes including, you’ve guessed it, the Prius. There’s a theme here…
Fortunately (and perhaps ironically) Japan still has its iconic taxi cab, the Toyota Crown Comfort, complete with its amazing automatically opening rear doors. Built right up until 2017, the Crown has served as Japan’s taxi for over two decades. It’s finally being retired though, replaced by a bespoke Toyota taxi design that will probably end up becoming even more iconic, and which owes more than a little to its London counterpart.
The Comfort will be around for a while yet though, weird doors and all, and you can hail a ride in Ralph Savelsberg‘s brilliant Miniland scale replica via the link above.
Vehicles from 1982’s Blade Runner are a popular choice to build from Lego (see here, here, here, and here). OK, one particular vehicle is, but not every car in the movie was a ‘Spinner’. Cue keiichi kamei and this ‘Metrokab’, surely one of the least cool sci-fi vehicles of all time. That might be why everyone builds Spinners we suppose. Anyway, this mini-figure scale Metrokab captures the design from the film brilliantly, with a few custom decals enhancing the realism. Hail a ride via the link above.
1997’s ‘The Fifth Element’ had it all; alien opera, robotic turkeys, Milla Jovovich, a malevolent cosmic entity, and – of course – flying yellow cabs. This is Bruce Willis’ hover taxi and it comes from Davdup of Flickr who has done a superb job of recreating it in Model Team form. There may not be a super-hot-saviour-of-the-universe in the back seat, but it’s got everything else. Click the link above to hail a ride 250 years in the future.
This TLCB writer was not impressed by the Ford Crown Victoria taxi he experienced in New York. Bumpy, not actually that big inside, and probably getting around 8mpg, it seemed a bizarre choice for the congested and awful roads of NYC.
More recently most New York cabs are Toyota hybrids, which seem a far more sensible choice, but we’d still pick this over both the Crown Vic and an anonymous modern appliance.
Based on no one particular classic cab but taking design cues from all of them, Flickr’s Redfern1950s has created a stunning looking ’50s taxi complete with suicide doors, bench seating, and a huge trunk for some old-timey suitcases.
Stick your hand out and hope this picks you up rather than a ratty old Crown Vic via the link above.
One of the greatest movies of all time – Martin Scorsese’s 1976 ‘Taxi Driver’ – created two very different but equally brilliant stars in Robert De Niro and a very young Jodie Foster. There was another star of course; the bright yellow Checker Marathon cab driven by De Niro’s Travis Bickle. Already world famous, the Checker didn’t need the movie to earn its notoriety, but it did probably become much cooler as a result. This perfect replica of the iconic classic cab comes from TLCB regular Ralph Savelsberg aka Mad Physicist, and you can see more here.
The Elves usually don’t like taxis. They tend to be slow and old looking (London), or spectacularly dull (everywhere else). Plus we don’t like using them with the Elves in tow as we’ll inevitably have to pay the additional ‘soiling charge’. A charge that’s far more likely to required with this; Markus’ racing London Taxi FX4.
Markus has put a big tick in both the ‘fast’ and ‘stripes’ boxes with his brilliant competition entry, plus his taxi features working steering, opening doors, bonnet and boot, and folding jump seats. There’ll be a standard version posted soon too, and it could be one of the most realistic models of the year.
In the meantime you can see more of the version TLCB Elves prefer by clicking the link to Markus’ MOCpage above, and you can find out more about TLCB Sumer Building Competition entry requirements and the awesome prizes available by clicking here.
1997’s blockbuster The Fifth Element contained everything you could possibly want in a sci-fi movie; Flying cabs, Milla Jovovich, giant robotic turkeys, Milla Jovovich, exploding spaceships and Milla Jovovich.
TLCB regular and Brothers Brickist Ralph Savelsberg (aka Mad Physicist) has applied his talented hands to the first item on the aforementioned list (insert your own joke about the second, fourth and sixth), with his brilliant Lego recreation of Bruce Willis’ hover cab. Ralph has also constructed a brick-built Milla Jovovich, but for some reason it doesn’t quite capture the subject matter in the same way.
Anyway, while we make friends with Google Images you can see more of Bruce’s taxi (and Milla) by visiting Ralph’s Flickr page here.
Previous bloggee Aitor Fernandez is making another appearance here with another excellent Town scale car. This one’s a classic Checker Cab and you can see more on MOCpages. Plus points if you can identify the set that the trunk-lid sticker came from!
This lovely trio of Town cars was discovered by a very fortunate Elf. An Elf which now has three meal tokens. Will it use these over a number of days, or will it go on a bender and use all three in the next hour? We think we know the answer to that…
Anyway, as we prepare for the appearance of a perfectly spherical – and possibly quite ill – Elf, you can check out its finds by heading to Aitor Fernandez‘ MOCpage. There’s an ’80s Ford Crown Victoria taxi, a beautiful Rolls Royce Phantom, and a neat ’65 Pontiac Firebird – all of which can be viewed via the link above.
Okay, slightly off-topic, but I couldn’t resist. Anyhow, this was a transport pioneer, of a kind. In the late 19th Century, the architect Joseph Hansom solved the problem of the comfortable taxi-cab that could be drawn by one horse, creating the first of many ubiquitous London Taxis on the way. This exceptionally pretty model of the Hansom Cab is brought to you by Lego Builders on MOCpages. Find it here:
A trembling elf returned to The Lego Car Blog Towers holding on to Misterzumbi‘s recreation of the iconic character, and cab, from Martin Scorsese’s 1976 masterpiece ‘Taxi Driver’.
The little chap has certainly expanded his vocabulary since watching the film. None of his new found words are printable here.