1964 Chevrolet Impala sedan by Matchbox
Maxi Taxi (Ford Capri) by Matchbox

1979 Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL by Matchbox 1987 Ford LTD by Matchbox

1987 Ford LTD ('TAXI') by Matchbox

Austin FX4R London Cab by Matchbox Austin FX4R London Cab by Corgi

Mercedes-Benz 300 SE by Zylmez

Hey, TAXI!
Taxi Service in Small Scale
by Doug Breithaupt

The taxi cab is a common sight on the streets of any city. For small-scale diecast collectors, the humble cab has been made available over the years in many forms. At any given time, most diecast manufacturers have at least one cab in their regular line-up.

The examples shown here are by no means all the cabs done in 1:64 scale. It is interesting to observe however, how the vast majority of cabs have been done in 'taxi' yellow.

The most prolific producer of tiny taxi cabs has been Matchbox. The first cab shown is a 1964 Chevrolet Sedan, #20. Other than the 'Taxi' decal on the hood and color, this could be a regular street car. As far as I know, it was always offered in taxi form. The next Matchbox Taxi is a joker in the deck. The Maxi Taxi of 1973 is one of the 'Rolomatic' cars. When it is rolled, the blown V8 moves up and down. The original casting is of the Ford Capri, certainly not a choice for taxi service, considering it's a coupe. Oh well, it's fun and could have made an interesting drag racer for an ex-taxi driver. The Mercedes Benz 450SEL, #56 is an appropriate choice for a taxi as many European cabs are Mercedes sedans. This casting was offered in stock and police form as well. The newest Taxi from Matchbox is the 1987 Ford LTD. It is shown in regular issue form and as one of the new Star Car Collection, representing the TAXI TV show. Of course the LTD was never featured in the show as al the cabs were Checkers. The last Matchbox is an Austin FX4R cab in London black.. Originally offered in 1986, it has recently been re-released with the word 'Taxi' on the doors.

Corgi also offered an Austin FX4R London Cab as a Corgi Junior. The opening doors of the Matchbox make it the better casting of the two. A very early Zylmez, #D37, represents a Mercedes-Benz 300 SE in taxi form and may well be a Matchbox copy. The decal on the hood reads "United States Auto Club", a rather curious choice for a Mercedes taxi. The crude wheels date this as an early offering from Zylmex.

Moving to the cars on the right, Tomica did a 1977 Dodge Coronet Custom, #F8 as a taxi. Hot Wheels produced a rather interesting taxi in 1982. The car is a Chevrolet Malibu sedan and was not offered in any other form or color. As a result, this is a rather rare casting and the only example of this particular Chevrolet. Maisto has recently offered a late '90's Chevrolet Caprice as a taxi and police car. Majorette has offered several taxi models over the years. The Renault 18, #266 is un-marked except for the taxi light n the roof. The '80's Chevrolet Impala taxi, #240 is also available in police and military form.

A newcomer to diecast, Golden Wheel, has recently offered four car sets of taxi, police and fire vehicles. These are of excellent quality and include two cars that are seldom represented. The Checker cab should have been done long ago. This example is a delight and looks just right. It does not seem right however in police or fire guise. The early '50's Chevrolet sedan is also a welcome addition and just as good. The modern Chevrolet Caprice cab is the third and equally well-done member of this set. The last car is the set is a mystery for several reasons. It is well-made like the rest but looks like it should be starring with Roger Rabbit in Toon Town. The cartoonish proportions make no sense, especially in comparison to the quality of the other three cars.

I am sure some readers will be able to expand on this list of cabs. I know of examples by Tomica, Siku, Corgi and others that are not in my collection. Do we need more small-scale cabs? No, now that a decent Checker has been done, the current selection is not too bad. For collectors who like to set up dioramas, any cityscape must have a selection of taxi cabs. For now, it appears that collectors can find a cab when they need one.

1977 Dodge Coronet Custom by Tomica
1982 Chevrolet Malibu by Hot Wheels

Chevrolet Caprice by Maisto

Renault 18 by Majorette

Chevrolet Caprice Classic by Majorette
Chevrolet Caprice by Golden Wheel
Checker Cab by Golden Wheel
1952 Chevrolet Sedan by Golden Wheel
'You tell me' by Golden Wheel