Small Cars: The best taxis in the world!
- 23 May 2013
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When someone mentions taxis, the first thing that comes to mind is probably one of the 13,000 classic cabs of New York city: they’re everywhere, they’re expensive and to be honest, their drivers aren’t always the friendliest people on the planet. On the other side of the Atlantic, you might also think of the Hackney carriages of London: equally expensive, classically British, and inescapable if you travel to England’s capital. But sadly in the Western world, we just don’t see enough small cars operating as cabs. Travel further afield though, and you will be greeted by a whole of host of quirky vehicles transporting fun-seeking travellers from place to place. They may not have the comfort we’re used to, but they do make you think about the potential for the small car cab.
These tiny vehicles are kind of like your Cuban equivalent of a rickshaw: a three-wheeled fibreglass egg, stuck on to a 75cc motor scooter, with three seats attached. They may be dangerous and at times dirty, but these novel little machines are very cheap, and are a great way of getting around. It’s highly doubtful though, that you would want to travel long distances in these little beasts.
Mexico City’s VW Beetle
Surely everybody loves VW Beetles, so why wouldn’t you love to cruise through the streets of Mexico City in one? Possibly because you might get held at knifepoint at any given moment. These Beetles were finally taken off the road for good last year, though they at one point represented half of all the taxis in Mexico City. Despite being an iconic part of Mexico City’s landscape, they were noisy, unsafe, they belched out pollution and were in some ways a reminder of the darker side of Mexico City’s sprawling urban culture.
Michigan’s BMW Isetta 300
Unfortunately, and to your disappointment no doubt, this cab is just a one-off. BMW enthusiast Chuck Miller of Michigan was lucky enough to acquire a 1957 BMW Isetta 300 for only $1,500, and over thirteen years, restored the car and converted it into the world’s smallest taxi. With a top speed of only 53 mph, it’s probably a good thing that this is only a show car.
Ok so the majority of these cabs are perhaps only here for their novelty value. And in all honesty, you probably wouldn’t want to be riding in one on a regular basis. But there is definitely room for turning smaller cars into taxis. How would you like to get picked up by your local cabbie in a VW Golf, Mazda 2 or even a Chevrolet Spark? Wouldn’t it be great to have the zip of some the vehicles listed above without the pollution, the dirty seats or the potential knife fight? Particularly with the number of taxis for sale worldwide, there must surely be an opening for someone wanting to set up a small car taxi service.