They are everywhere and we all know them. Crown Victoria cabs once filled the streets of New York. Before long, they will remain only a motif of consumer goods and the joy of car collectors.
Taxis have become an integral part of transport in big cities, and in some places their fame has even become a national heritage. For example, black Carbodies in London or yellow Checker Cab or Ford Crown Victoria in New York. They are incredibly popular among people. Their motif can be found on clothing, school and office supplies, bedding, in short, everywhere. Who would have thought at the time that the cars that littered the roads would one day become a sought-after collector’s item for car lovers.
Just as London Carbodies, especially from the eighties and early nineties, New York Checker Cabs are still in high demand, the Ford Crown Victoria may also enter this realm. In the streets of the “big apple”, the last two pieces are driving, which will be taken out of service in the future.
According to the Commission for Taxis and Limousines, the age of the cars in operation must not exceed 7 years. Due to the problematic situation related to the covid pandemic, their license was extended. Now they must come to the commission to assess their condition, which will decide their fate. If the owners do not appear, they face a fine of CZK 11,000 and license suspension.
The last surviving pieces were driven for the first time in 2011 and 2013. With the first, 64-year-old Ravinder Sharma drove a respectable 885,140 km. With him retiring in a few months, he hopes his partner will be able to stick around until then and take a well-deserved rest with him. The newer one is owned by Haroon Abdullah, who drove the car for 790,200 km. Haroon stays true to his calling and raises money for a down payment on a Toyota Sienna. Maybe a collector will buy his Crown Vic, after all, having a confirmed last scrapped piece is a rarity.
Today’s taxis driving around New York are not that interesting anymore. The fleet consists mainly of hybrid Toyotas, and by 2030 all cars should be electric. This takes the cycle back to 1897, when the Electric Carriage and Wagon Company established New York’s first taxi service with 12 electric cars.