Catching a Taxi
GREENSBORO, North Carolina—Before leaving Greensboro on Friday, we had one more stop there on the first course of our Meals on Wheels tour, but there was no food involved. When we first visited London back in the 1980s, I fell in love with the sturdy little London taxi and wanted to bring one home. Doing so wasn't feasible for a litany of reasons, not the least of which was the right-side driver seat. Yet my interest in this iconic vehicle has never diminished. Indeed, it has only grown each time we've been back to the United Kingdom. Finally when we were in Edinburgh earlier this year, Ken began to develop an affection for the hackney carriage also.
|Lucky 32's chef ferries fresh food from the market to the restaurant.|
|Larry Baker, American guru on the London Taxi|
|A North American-adapted London Taxi|
What's not to like? On top of all these admirable qualities, Larry informed us that a reasonable price for a car he restores to the equivalent of factory certified condition is about $22,000. We were poised to give him our contact information and ask him to look for a car for us when we realized we had never really seen the front seat/driver compartment of a London taxi. When we took a peek in the window of one in his shop, our excitement came to a screeching halt. The space where most vehicles have a front passenger seat is a luggage compartment! Would one of us really want to ride in the back with the other in the front? Larry said he could put a fold-down seat there with a seat belt but space is very tight since the integrated frame is steel and can't really be modified. Well, dang!
Lurching off the London Taxi roller coaster we had been on, we thanked Larry for his time and teaching, and we headed for Raleigh. On the way, we did a bit of research, hoping we could rent a London Taxi and try it to see if we could make it work. Oddly enough, the company we found that rents the cars was also in North Carolina! Now we need to make plans to visit Wilmington.