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#1 Doug Nye

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 18:29

Sad to see Manganese Bronze Ltd - present-day manufacturers of the London 'black cab' - following Lola and so many others into administration. Manganese Bronze was for many years controlled by Dennis Poore, financier and sometime racing driver. It was Poore who under-wrote the founding, in 1950, of 'Autosport', and of course is famous as Aston Martin works driver, member of the Connaught Syndicate and 1950 British Hill Climb Champion (driving his twin-Wade-blown ex-Hans Ruesch Alfa Romeo 8C-35).

Poore sold off Manganese Bronze Holdings' marine propeller business and attempted to stave off the collapse of the British motorcycle industry. At one stage Manganese Bronze owned Norton, AJS, Matchless and BSA. After BSA folded in 1973 its motorcycle division was combined with Manganese Bronze's to create Norton Villiers Triumph Ltd, while MB absorbed BSA's non-motorcycle interests, primarily its Carbodies subsidiary, builder of the FX4 'black cab'. After disposing of his motorcycle interests, Dennis Poore led Manganese Bronze until his death in 1987. The hardnosed old boy would be bouncing off his personal rev limiter right now...

DCN

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#2 Mistron

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 18:38

Intesting Motorsport connections to the tale, but I thought black cabs were built by LTI - London Taxis International, I had heard that they were one of the largest vehicle manufacturers left in the UK - what a sad state of affairs!

Edited by Mistron, 22 October 2012 - 18:38.


#3 kayemod

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 19:27

The demise of Manganese Bronze was mainly due to them importing cut-price Chinese components for the taxis which turned out to be hopeless, it was the cost of the massive recall that brought the Company down. This sad story should be a salutary lesson to all who are similarly tempted by dodgy cheap deals. As they still say oop North "There's nothing good that's cheap tha knaws, buy cheap, buy twice".

#4 nicanary

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 20:27

The demise of Manganese Bronze was mainly due to them importing cut-price Chinese components for the taxis which turned out to be hopeless, it was the cost of the massive recall that brought the Company down. This sad story should be a salutary lesson to all who are similarly tempted by dodgy cheap deals. As they still say oop North "There's nothing good that's cheap tha knaws, buy cheap, buy twice".


Now this is REALLY OT, for which I apologise, but I own a bridalwear business and most of the stuff, whatever the label might claim, comes from China. The quality is so poor that when the dresses arrive, my partner and seamstress has to take the goods to pieces and remake to expected standards.

If you have a daughter/relative who is tempted by buying direct from the internet - BEWARE.

Again, apologies. It's very stressful. especially when business isn't great anyway.


#5 kayemod

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 20:42

BEWARE.


Some of us would say, from bitter experience, that that's good advice for anyone so much as contemplating marriage, let alone buying an expensive frock for it.


#6 nicanary

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 20:52

Some of us would say, from bitter experience, that that's good advice for anyone so much as contemplating marriage, let alone buying an expensive frock for it.


Touche. Or is that touchy? :) You'ld be amazed at how many pay a 50% deposit and then call the whole thing off. And then want their money back. :evil:


#7 Marticelli

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 22:28

This thread seems to have veered off track immediately after the start just like a present day F1 event.... Once they have got past Turn 1, things usually settle down. Maybe this one will.

For my part, in a previous life I was the DTI project officer who oversaw the Support For Innovation grant of £X (not a roman numeral just not disclosed) million which gave Norton at Shenstone (post-Manganese Bronze Holdings), a large sum of money to help them make the capital investment necessary for the production of the Norton rotary, which did not prove to be the salvation of Norton we all hoped. The all important sales of rotary aeroengines for light aircraft and military drones didn't materialise and the motorcycles themselves were never going to sell in sufficient quantity to justify the investment in the engine manufacturing process necessary to turn out economic volumes of Wankel engines.

Interestingly given the OT submissions above, Norton's venture into branded clothing and accessories after the fashion of rival Harley Davidson were more successful, at least in the short term.

Marticelli

#8 D-Type

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 23:45

The demise of Manganese Bronze was mainly due to them importing cut-price Chinese components for the taxis which turned out to be hopeless, it was the cost of the massive recall that brought the Company down. This sad story should be a salutary lesson to all who are similarly tempted by dodgy cheap deals. As they still say oop North "There's nothing good that's cheap tha knaws, buy cheap, buy twice".


Although probably "cut-price" the defective steering racks should not have found their way onto the vehicles had they been properly specified and properly quality-controlled. There is nothing wrong with top end Chinese manufacture - just look at how many everyday goods are now Chinese made. As with all manufactured products the challenge lies in ensuring consistently producing adequate quality. This is exactly the same problem as BRM and Connaught had sixty years ago - they were let down by sub-standard components..

#9 Sharman

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:10

Precisely these same charges were levelled against Japan in the 50s and 60s, pre war the Japanese changed one of their towns name to Birmingham so that the goods could be marked made in Birmingham. Personally I don't buy Jap goods if I can avoid it, but that is because i grew up during and after WW2 and can remember a couple of my father's friends who were unfotunate enough to spend some time in the care of the little b------s.

Edited by Sharman, 23 October 2012 - 09:07.


#10 Repco22

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:29

I hope this isn't too far OT. We started with Manganese Bronze and have arrived at imitation gold. A news item last night showed the Chinese producing 'gold' ingots stamped with the 'Perth Mint' logo while the back is covered with little kangaroos, exactly like the real thing. The workers proudly showed how the base metal is plated with silver and then gold.
They sell for a dollar each. The Perth Mint is concerned!

#11 Bloggsworth

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 08:17

Black cabs are one of those anachronisms that deserved to die, ask any cab driver who owns and has to pay to maintain it, they make any of the worst of the products of BL a good buy, and IIRC they came without a warranty... Manganese Bronze should have done a deal years ago with another manufacturer and modified one of their cars/MPVs, but they were complacent and relied on an iconic image to play the marketing/sales manager for them, meanwhile others were modifying their cars and taking over the market - They were trying to sell B&W televisions in the age of flat-screens in glorious colour...

#12 Peter Morley

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:00

Although probably "cut-price" the defective steering racks should not have found their way onto the vehicles had they been properly specified and properly quality-controlled. There is nothing wrong with top end Chinese manufacture - just look at how many everyday goods are now Chinese made. As with all manufactured products the challenge lies in ensuring consistently producing adequate quality. This is exactly the same problem as BRM and Connaught had sixty years ago - they were let down by sub-standard components..


Very true, the top end car companies like BMW don't appear to have problems with their Chinese components (Toyota might!).
Presumably quality control was another department that was ruined by the cost cutting exercise and as Mr Cleggeron will eventually realise there is a limit to how much you should cut costs.

Talking to a former Connaught mechanic at VSCC Snetterton he said the reason for Connaught's closure was that the government changed the tax rules and McAlpine was no longer able to write off the cost of Connaught and they ran out of money.
Reading 'To Draw a Long Line' Connaught had a good supply of quality materials which they carefuly labelled, tested etc. in such ways they were the forerunner of current teams.

#13 RTH

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:18

Black cabs are one of those anachronisms that deserved to die, ask any cab driver who owns and has to pay to maintain it, they make any of the worst of the products of BL a good buy, and IIRC they came without a warranty... Manganese Bronze should have done a deal years ago with another manufacturer and modified one of their cars/MPVs, but they were complacent and relied on an iconic image to play the marketing/sales manager for them, meanwhile others were modifying their cars and taking over the market - They were trying to sell B&W televisions in the age of flat-screens in glorious colour...



True enough. Perhaps if Gordon Murray design did a London Taxi from a clean sheet of paper it would be spacious yet a compact exterior ultra lightweight comfortable silent and highly efficient... got a lot of time for Mr Murray.
Surely one of the few applications where rechargeable electric traction might make a bit of sense

http://www.gordonmur...com/history.php

Edited by RTH, 23 October 2012 - 09:22.


#14 D-Type

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 09:33

Very true, the top end car companies like BMW don't appear to have problems with their Chinese components (Toyota might!).
Presumably quality control was another department that was ruined by the cost cutting exercise and as Mr Cleggeron will eventually realise there is a limit to how much you should cut costs.

Talking to a former Connaught mechanic at VSCC Snetterton he said the reason for Connaught's closure was that the government changed the tax rules and McAlpine was no longer able to write off the cost of Connaught and they ran out of money.
Reading 'To Draw a Long Line' Connaught had a good supply of quality materials which they carefuly labelled, tested etc. in such ways they were the forerunner of current teams.

Peter, I'll not disagree with your summary of the reasons for Connaught's closure. I was referring to what Jenks wrote in Motor Sport in January 1957, where he summarised responses to an earlier article in November 1956 which criticised the British Formula 1 car makers' performance. Salient extracts:
"~ Connaught freely told me that of 11 failures during 1956, 10 - I repeat ten - were due to failure of components or materials doing contract work for Connaughts. ~"
"~ What they did admit freely was the fact that owing to shortage of money they could not employ a first-class inspection department, and even if they could they doubt very much whether there are sufficient people interested in Grand Prix racing to staff such a department. ~"
He says more in the same vein.

#15 Peter Morley

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 15:28

Peter, I'll not disagree with your summary of the reasons for Connaught's closure. I was referring to what Jenks wrote in Motor Sport in January 1957, where he summarised responses to an earlier article in November 1956 which criticised the British Formula 1 car makers' performance. Salient extracts:
"~ Connaught freely told me that of 11 failures during 1956, 10 - I repeat ten - were due to failure of components or materials doing contract work for Connaughts. ~"
"~ What they did admit freely was the fact that owing to shortage of money they could not employ a first-class inspection department, and even if they could they doubt very much whether there are sufficient people interested in Grand Prix racing to staff such a department. ~"
He says more in the same vein.


Prsumably DSJ is suggesting that if they had been more successful they would have attracted more financial support.

It could also be the case that McAlpine's support decreased over the years (either due to tax changes, loss of interest or not meeting the increased cost of F1?), the author of 'To Draw...' had apparently left before the team closed down, maybe the inspection department was reduced after his departure.

Given how solidly built the car is I suspect the majority of those retirements were due to engine failure? In which case you could blame a single supplier - Alta, but I think Connaught maintained (maybe built?) the engines themselves (rather than handing them back for a rebuild as happens more recently) and they presumably failed in different ways so they could blame a variety of suppliers.

Interesting that he says there aren't enough people interested in Grand Prix racing to work for them, presumably he meant locally (e.g. in their wealthy local area) no one was prepared to work such long hours for so little pay!







#16 D-Type

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 15:57

DSJ lists some causes of 1956 Connaught failures as: structural failure of the brake pedal mounting, broken rear hub, connecting rod, collapsed suspension (but it finished!), failure of the splines in a rear torsion bar, so certainly not all engine-related.

As for the dwindling McAlpine support, I wonder if the construction industry workload was taking one of its periodic dips which affected McAlpine profits.

As to the question of finding the right people, the next sentence, which I omitted says "This in itself is a staggering statement, but I fear that it is true, for how many people would seriously take a technical job with an industry that is as shaky as our Grand Prix industry?"

But we are rather wandering away from the demise of Maganese Bronze aren't we?

#17 Peter Morley

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 18:23

But we are rather wandering away from the demise of Maganese Bronze aren't we?


The different failures of the Connaughts certainly make Manganese Bronze's steering rack problems seem pretty trivial!

#18 Doug Nye

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 18:43

..err, would this be an appropriate point at which to begin listing BRM problems...?

DCN

#19 CarlRabbidge

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 18:56

Black cabs are one of those anachronisms that deserved to die, ask any cab driver who owns and has to pay to maintain it,


Or any traveler who hires one. our driver was not too impressed when we passed the comment that we only want to ride in the thing not purchase it.

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#20 Bloggsworth

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 21:09

..err, would this be an appropriate point at which to begin listing BRM problems...?

DCN



Not unless you know of a V16 2 stage supercharged Black Cab...

#21 Doug Nye

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 21:22

PREcisely - thread drift...

DCN

#22 arttidesco

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 00:13

Very sad to here about another British institution in trouble, though I have heard that none of the LTI/ Manganese Bronze products were particularly highly rated by their drivers, especially regarding driver comfort.

Apart from the 22' turning circle required by the Dorchester I have completely failed to understand how they have hung on so long. Presumably with rear wheel drive this criteria is not so hard to meet how come no one came forward to challenge the LTI / MB black cabs market earlier ?

Edited by arttidesco, 24 October 2012 - 00:13.


#23 oldclassiccar

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 15:43

Sad to see Manganese Bronze Ltd - present-day manufacturers of the London 'black cab' - following Lola and so many others into administration. Manganese Bronze was for many years controlled by Dennis Poore, financier and sometime racing driver ....

.... After disposing of his motorcycle interests, Dennis Poore led Manganese Bronze until his death in 1987. The hardnosed old boy would be bouncing off his personal rev limiter right now...

DCN


For several years Jamie Borwick - Poore's son-in-law - was Chief Executive (later Chairman) at Manganese Bronze, so the Poore family link to MB continued for some time after RDP's death (until 2003 according to wiki).

As an aside, Poore's daughter Victoria is now Deputy Mayor of London.

RJ

Edited by oldclassiccar, 24 October 2012 - 15:49.


#24 David McKinney

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 16:59

As an aside, Poore's daughter Victoria is now Deputy Mayor of London.

Lady Borwick, in fact


#25 mariner

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 23:03

Iam no expert on London black cabs but IIRC they were made by Austiin using many parts from the car and van portfolio. I would imagine that if significant engineering problems arose the BL design resources could be used to fix them - something lacking at LTI.

I think LTI switched to Toyota then Ford Transit engines to keep up with emissions rules.

The LTI cabs were also asembled in China but sales have been very, very limited.

The days of the black cab are probably now numbered. TFL rules require cabs to be scrapped after , I think, ten years so with no new LTI cabs alernatives must be found. The famous NYC yellow Ford Crown Victoria's are being replaced by Nissan MPV's and Nissan UK have come up with a clever modification to their MPV which allows the front wheels to move through a very wide arc thus allowing them to meet the TFL turning circle requirement.

I think MB have also developed a Black Cab replacement using a steering rear axle on a Vito MPV.

So I suspect that unless Boris J changes the ten year rule to allow rebuilds for tourism reasons the black cab may wel be gone.

#26 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 04:12

The true New york cabs were made by Checker. The Crown Vics were a good solid simple[comparitivly] roomy rear drive car that got most of the cab and Police contracts because of what they were. No nancy front drive stuff will hack the pace for simplicity and toughness.

Here in Oz a few Prius are being used. Not popular as they are cramped and tiny. There seems to be a few Camrys, still a bit cramped and damn slow too. And niether will outlast a Falcon for reliability. Most do about 600000km in 9 years. A lot of the privateer cabs are ex government cars, often ex cop cars.

#27 kayemod

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 07:25

So I suspect that unless Boris J changes the ten year rule to allow rebuilds for tourism reasons the black cab may wel be gone.


He has already done that, but probably only as a temporary measure to help with the current crisis.


#28 arttidesco

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 08:46

Apart from the 22' turning circle required by the Dorchester ...


Should be min 25' max 28' turning circle required by the entrance to the Savoy Hotel.

I think LTI switched to Toyota then Ford Transit engines to keep up with emissions rules.


I believe TX1s used Nissan motors too.

A lot of the privateer cabs are ex government cars, often ex cop cars.


Reminds me of a line from The Boiling Bones song Sympathy for the Devil "Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints " :smoking:



#29 Dipster

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 08:48

The true New york cabs were made by Checker. The Crown Vics were a good solid simple[comparitivly] roomy rear drive car that got most of the cab and Police contracts because of what they were. No nancy front drive stuff will hack the pace for simplicity and toughness.

Here in Oz a few Prius are being used. Not popular as they are cramped and tiny. There seems to be a few Camrys, still a bit cramped and damn slow too. And niether will outlast a Falcon for reliability. Most do about 600000km in 9 years. A lot of the privateer cabs are ex government cars, often ex cop cars.



I can't say I agree that the Crown Vics are roomy. For the exterior size of them they are pretty small inside. And the boot looks big until you try to put luggage in. The Oz Falcons are about the same inside but many seem to have large Plexiglass security divisions that take up loads of room.

A Camry managed to take a load of luggage in the boot (in Montreal) that a New York Crown Vic had spread between the boot and the interior. So, for my money, the Camry won that match.

Yes it is time that we dumped the Black cab and started using simple, cheaper cars instead. It'll help the industry. And get the outrageous fares down. Compare New York fares to London. Last time I was in NY the difference was amazing. Note too that I reckon there are more white vans in London than Black Cabs and their drivers manage witout a tiny turning circle!

Now let's getto racing topics!

#30 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:41

I wasn't aware of the roots of the company, thanks for sharing. It's a shame the company had to go into administration but the product is completely outdated in engineering terms. The last time it was aesthetically face lifted was in 1997 by Kenneth Grange but even then the underpinnings were antiquated. Nostalgia only goes so far unfortunately in the modern world, it would be sad to see the aesthetic design disappear but mainly because it is indicative of the lack of investment and pride we have in this country for engineering in the commercial world. It's probably not viable to have an automotive manufacturer making cars purely for one city (London) but they should have known this and widened their portfolio to sell worldwide maybe?

Dipster - A cheaper car won't equal cheaper London taxi fares, the entry fare and cost per mile are set in stone. The cost the cab driver pays for the car will be a cost (saving) to them that is separate. London Taxi drivers aren't going to start undercutting each other, it's regulated by TFL. http://www.the-londo...Carriage_Office Worth reading the rest of this website to show how antiquated the London Taxi ecosystem is and that it is essentially a union controlled racket that these lazy buggers will fight tooth and nail to protect remember this? http://english.ruvr....d-London-still/. Only the privately run minicab companies undercut each other. Getting rid of the London Taxi might be another nail in the coffin for these guys as the nostalgic identity they get from the design of the car is worth a lot to them. Remove it and what do they have left? A couple of cheeky sayings? Sat-nav has pretty much negated the need for "The Knowledge" too.



#31 Dipster

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 15:00

I wasn't aware of the roots of the company, thanks for sharing. It's a shame the company had to go into administration but the product is completely outdated in engineering terms. The last time it was aesthetically face lifted was in 1997 by Kenneth Grange but even then the underpinnings were antiquated. Nostalgia only goes so far unfortunately in the modern world, it would be sad to see the aesthetic design disappear but mainly because it is indicative of the lack of investment and pride we have in this country for engineering in the commercial world. It's probably not viable to have an automotive manufacturer making cars purely for one city (London) but they should have known this and widened their portfolio to sell worldwide maybe?

Dipster - A cheaper car won't equal cheaper London taxi fares, the entry fare and cost per mile are set in stone. The cost the cab driver pays for the car will be a cost (saving) to them that is separate. London Taxi drivers aren't going to start undercutting each other, it's regulated by TFL. http://www.the-londo...Carriage_Office Worth reading the rest of this website to show how antiquated the London Taxi ecosystem is and that it is essentially a union controlled racket that these lazy buggers will fight tooth and nail to protect remember this? http://english.ruvr....d-London-still/. Only the privately run minicab companies undercut each other. Getting rid of the London Taxi might be another nail in the coffin for these guys as the nostalgic identity they get from the design of the car is worth a lot to them. Remove it and what do they have left? A couple of cheeky sayings? Sat-nav has pretty much negated the need for "The Knowledge" too.



Tenmantaylor,

You are quite right of course that the fares would not be reduced voluntarily. I would like to see a New York style system (but without the ridiculous prices that are paid for cab operating licences (Medallions I believe they are called and are on the bonnet of the cab showng its right to ply). I recall that the City Hall sets fares at reasonable rates. The local Knowledge is only required for Manhattan (I do not know if this is tested). Out of this area YOU are expected to know where you want to go (all this is explained on an obligatory notice displayed in the cab). So no long learning process for drivers. And tariffs are displayed on the outside of the cab so no surprises.

And we could then make all London cabs equal - no Black, no Minicabs. Fare prices that give operators the chance to keep their cabs in a legally required state of road worthiness.

But I doubt this is likely for London.

#32 Steve O'Brien

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 19:09

For many years I was involved in the cab trade in Liverpool LTI nearly went bust soon after they started fitting the Ford Transit engine in about 2002 that has to be the worst engine they ever fitted to a black cab the dual flywheel would only last about 50,000 miles and that comes up pretty quick in a cab they also converted the engine to a camchain and that was only lasting about the same milage terrible engine not up to the job, the turning circle was what the original hackney cabs pulled by a horse could turn around in dont know about the rest of the country but a bye-law thats still exist in Liverpool is that the driver can have a wee on the offside rear wheel another one is a black cab must carry a bale of hay in the boot I kid you not.

Edited by Steve O'Brien, 25 October 2012 - 19:16.


#33 BRG

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Posted 26 October 2012 - 21:44

Personally, I would shed no tears over the demise of the black cab. A friend of mine worked for LTI some years ago, and for reasons to complex to list here, I ended up driving a TX4 from Egham to Portsmouth and back one evening to attend a motor club quiz. I am tall and found the driving position very cramped. I could not have driven one day in and day out without crippling myself. As it was, I had back ache for a week afterwards. The noise and ride were awful (although to be fair, the cab was not designed for long journeys down to A3). Thankfully, with Mercedes now providing a substitute and Nissan on the way too, the traditional black cab can quietly disappear. Hopefully, along with all the ridiculous Hackney Carriage regulations. Why London can't manage with ordinary cars as cabs, like 99% of the other cities in the world, I simply don't know. What else are Skoda Superbs built for?

#34 RTH

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Posted 27 October 2012 - 08:05

Not having been in a black cab for at least 40 years what does it actually cost now - any journey examples ?

#35 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 12:26

http://www.the-londo...Carriage_Office

Pretty accurate.

For an accurate example I recently went from Moorgate to Waterloo (2 miles) at rush hour and it was £12.

#36 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 18:44

Posted Image

Here is Dennis Poore's famous ex-Hans Ruesch Alfa Romeo 8C-35 photographed by Geoff Goddard in a family garage building, near Maidenhead as I recall. The old lady had been kept dry but untouched ever since returning home from its final outing in Poore's hands at Goodwood in 1955. It was a time machine, and one surrounded by fascinating spares, bits and bobs. A number of age-old Pirelli and Englebert racing tyres were stacked here, together with spare blowers, carburettors, spark plugs, quick-lift jacks, pit equipment...a treasure trove...

Posted Image

The Poore racing team transporter was just to die for - a fantastically patinated classic transporter, now happily rebuilt after having been neglected, abused and vandalised at Donington over many succeeding years. Fortunately, as we know, it has ended up in sympathetic hands, but the extensive bodywork restoration they found necessary would never have been required had the vehicle been shown due respect. It was here this day that I discovered in its glove-box a receipt for its last fuel fill-up, at a station just up the road from Goodwood upon the crew's 1955 return trip.

Posted Image

Here we are pushing the old lady, blinking, into the unexpected sunlight...left is Mick Walsh, in the cockpit is my pal Mark Beattie from what was at the time the Christie's motor car department, and right yr fthfl srvnt already grey as a badger... There must have been some intermediate storage site for the little equipe since this building looks decidedly later than 1955, but we were assured that they had all been stored together since then.

Posted Image

And then we photographed the old lady, paintwork chipped and cracked, in places sprung away from the aluminium skin beneath, plus a few minor scuffs and dents. It taught me a lot about true patina.

Posted Image

Another of Geoff's shots taken that day. What happened to the old lady subsequently left me distinctly underwhelmed. Incidentally, I knew I could date these pictures because during the drive home we heard the horrible news on the car radio that a couple of route-confused off-duty Army Corporals had blundered into a Republican funeral parade, been overwhelmed by a mob and murdered in Belfast. Checking the Corporals' killings just now, I find it was March 19, 1988. There we had been, deep in the English countryside, indulging shared enthusiasm and interest in lovely spring sunshine - and there they were, out of luck - and humanity.

Stay lucky boys.

All Photos Strictly Copyright: The GP Library

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 28 October 2012 - 18:45.


#37 RTH

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 20:50

Wow! Now that is quite something.

#38 David McKinney

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 20:56

How we admired this "time warp" car in 1988

And how disappointed that its patina was so quickly lost...

#39 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 22:42

Yes Dave. Exactly.

DCN



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#40 oldclassiccar

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:34

Wow thanks Doug, those photos made my day (in fact year..)

As for the storage location looking much more recent than '55, when Poore was racing he lived just down the road from Goodwood, at the now site of Rownhams Services on the M27. This was in addition to his Kensington pad, the location you uncovered everything at in the 1980s was a later purchase I think. The family estate at Rownhams was called Fernyhurst. Therefore Goodwood was in effect his local circuit during his racing career, the car and truck being regular visitors. That's where I believe everything was laid up in '55. When the move to the new location took place I'm not quite sure, presumably around the time of the M27 being built (according to Wiki this commenced in 1975).

While researching the truck I've encountered a number of people who knew Poore, including these memories sent by a distant cousin:

“As small boys my twin brother and I used to visit Fernyhurst just outside Southampton and as a great treat we were allowed to play in my cousin Denis's garage. The Alfa was pushed outside by Sinclair, the chauffeur, and we would spend many hours pretending to be racing drivers. I remember sneaking into the garage and sitting behind the wheel of the Dodge, even the old smells come back to me as I write this note. I am sure he would love to know such loving care is being put into the collection.”

RJ :)

(PS that fuel receipt didn't survive did it?)

Added: this photo was taken c1951/52 at Fernyhurst, note the red brick rather than rendered building - the main house I think - in the background.

Posted Image

Edited by oldclassiccar, 29 October 2012 - 08:47.


#41 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 09:22

Wow thanks Doug, those photos made my day (in fact year..)

(PS that fuel receipt didn't survive did it?)


Don't know - like everything else there it was the property of the vendor. We put it back where we found it in the Dodge and presumably it sold with the Lot in the auction. As you know, there's little clue what became of half of that stuff...but we had no control over it at all once the purchaser took delivery.

Modern owners with the humility to recognise any responsibility to posterity, since they will be merely transient custodians of such artefacts, tend to be few and far between... Humans flare and die. Their works can far outlive them. Dog philosophy, but true... :rolleyes:

DCN

#42 oldclassiccar

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 09:42

Someone else who contacted me, only earlier this year, used to install and service electric up-and-over garage doors. He'd regularly visit the Poore residence in Kensington in the 1980s, and got to know Mr and Mrs Poore quite well.

Over a cup of tea one day, conversations revealed that their London home had been broken into, and - so I was told at any rate - Poore's silverware had been, errr, "liberated" by persons unknown. How accurate this report is or is not I cannot say, does anyone know if this alleged incident indeed happened? and if so, how many of the pots were removed, and whether any were tracked down?

RJ

#43 David McKinney

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 10:27

Don't know - like everything else there it was the property of the vendor. We put it back where we found it in the Dodge and presumably it sold with the Lot in the auction.

Am I not right in thinking everything passed through your hands twice (Christies 1988, Brooks 1993)? Perhaps Thomas Bscher has some of the associated paraphernalia?

#44 nicanary

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 11:51

Don't know - like everything else there it was the property of the vendor. We put it back where we found it in the Dodge and presumably it sold with the Lot in the auction. As you know, there's little clue what became of half of that stuff...but we had no control over it at all once the purchaser took delivery.

Modern owners with the humility to recognise any responsibility to posterity, since they will be merely transient custodians of such artefacts, tend to be few and far between... Humans flare and die. Their works can far outlive them. Dog philosophy, but true... :rolleyes:

DCN


re your second paragraph - I can see Jenks nodding quietly in the background....


#45 P.Dron

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 12:45

Or any traveler who hires one. our driver was not too impressed when we passed the comment that we only want to ride in the thing not purchase it.


...as the bishop said to the actress.

I drove an FX4 taxi in the early 1990s and wrote a piece about it for The Daily Telegraph and a few other outlets. It was fairly unpleasant to drive (especially for someone of my height), though the famous turning circle remains an advantage not shared by rivals. More interesting than the driving experience was a visit to the factory. The roof section was then (and perhaps of all time) the largest single pressing in the British motor industry. Seeing those huge panels being stamped was very, er, impressive.

I had that Max Mosley in the back of the cab once. Very clever man.

#46 PhilG

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 12:45

i feel its important that people understand why LTI continued to build what on the face of it appears to be an outdated vehicle in the face of modern and better alternatives...

The rules for what constitutes a hackney carriage in london were written when they were horse drawn ... two rules stand out , one which is the rules regardinging the turning circle , which is actually the kerb to kerb distance outside one of londons top hotels ( i want to say The Dorchester, but im not 100% sure) .. you cant achieve that with a front wheel drive vehicle of any type , and no other rear wheel vehicle gets close..... its a protection racket to keep money flowing .. the cab manufacturers cant move with the times and still get the vehicle licensed for use in London .. so they stay as they are .. the latest ones have modern engines and transmissions, but the rest of is it out of the ark

#47 Allan Lupton

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 13:33

the rules regardinging the turning circle , which is actually the kerb to kerb distance outside one of londons top hotels .. you cant achieve that with a front wheel drive vehicle of any type , and no other rear wheel vehicle gets close.

The ability to do a U-turn is quite important for London driving - you wouldn't want to have to do three-pointers!
Front-drive would be better in that the driving wheels would be pulling the car round the tight turn. Please don't claim that there is no universal joint that will operate through the angle required as Citroen used double Hooke joints to drive round some pretty extreme angles to get decent turning circles for their early FWD cars which were very long wheelbase.

#48 RTH

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 13:59

We much need some fresh minds to design the ultimate currently possible in taxis buses coaches and trains their present fundamentals all hark back far too far.

#49 oldclassiccar

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:24

Don't know - like everything else there it was the property of the vendor. We put it back where we found it in the Dodge and presumably it sold with the Lot in the auction. As you know, there's little clue what became of half of that stuff...but we had no control over it at all once the purchaser took delivery.
...

DCN


I don't suppose the cut-down Ford V8 cabriolet, converted into a kind of box van and originally used to pull the trailer, was in the building too was it? A long-shot I know..

RJ


#50 Doug Nye

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 09:00

We much need some fresh minds to design the ultimate currently possible in taxis...


Gordon Murray and his dynamic little company have just such a design more or less ready to go - peerlessly green... All they need is a customer to build it.

DCN