The LTI FX4
In 1984 London Taxis International (LTI) was formed after Manganese Bronze Holdings bought the London taxi dealers Mann & Overton. LTI replaced the 2286cc Land Rover diesel engine with the new 2495cc version. The new model was called the FX4S. New rocker switches replaced the old toggle switches on the dashboard, the wipers were controlled by a stalk on the steering column and draught proofing was added to the bottoms of the doors and black rolled steel bumpers fitted, but basically it was an updated version of the cab that had been around for almost 30 years. At this time, Carbodies were developing a replacement for the FX4, the CR6, which is why this 'stopgap' FX4S was introduced. However, the CR6 was abandoned in 1985 and MBH decided to carry on making the FX4 until such time as it could fund a new cab. The FX4S was superseded in 1987 by the FX4S-Plus, which had a rear compartment redesigned to allow five passengers, the trim changed to grey. A new grey plastic moulded dashboard was also fitted. This was received very well by the trade, as a sign that their needs were actually being listened to.
The Department of Transport was keen to see wheelchair accessible taxis and the FX4W wheelchair conversion, which was available from early 1986, enabled the FX4 to provide that facility. In this, the curb side passenger door was made capable of opening 180° and the nearside part of the partition could be moved forward to accommodate the rearward facing wheelchair in place of the nearside tip-up seat.
In February 1989 the Fairway was introduced. It was fitted with a 2,664 cc Nissan TD27 diesel engine. This made the FX4 a faster and more reliable cab. It had full wheelchair accessibility, in line with a new law that came into force in January 1989. The Fairway was the best version of the FX4 ever built, and enabled LTI to sell to overseas markets, as well as move into provincial UK markets they had not been able to tackle. Much of this increase in sales was due to local authorities insisting on wheelchair accessible cabs being used in their areas.
Between 2011 and 2012 the It's on the Meter expedition drove a heavily modified FX4 43,319.5 miles (69,716.12 km) around the world, through more than fifty countries, and set new world records for the longest journey ever by taxi and the highest altitude ever reached by taxi.
As part of a programme to develop a replacement model, AP Lockheed were commissioned to design and develop front disc brakes, and in conjunction, GKN designed a new suspension system to allow disc brakes to be fitted whilst maintaining the mandatory 7.6m turning circle. These modifications were fitted to a new model, the Fairway Driver, which was introduced in February 1992. The very final Fairway made, with registration mark R1 PFX (i.e. RIP FX), was built on 1 October 1997 and was presented to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.
Transport for London, (TfL) who had taken over control of the Public Carriage Office ruled that by 2006 all taxis licensed in London should comply with Euro 3 exhaust emission regulations. The Fairway, and for that matter its replacement, the TX1, which used the same Nissan engine only complied with Euro 2, but most proprietors were reluctant to get rid of their very reliable and economical Fairways. In the face of pressure from the trade, TfL allowed different conversions systems to be developed that could be fitted to the Nissan engine to make it comply. These were the STT Emtec Clean Cab turbocharger system and the Van Aaken exhaust gas recirculation system. Only 80 Austin- and Rover-engined cabs remained on the road, which made it uneconomical to develop conversions for them so they were granted an exemption. Although some owners of older Fairways got rid of them, many owners opted to spend almost £2000 having their cabs converted, rather than buy a new or second-hand TXII, which was considered to be very unreliable. In late 2009, only six of the earlier Rover- or Austin-engined cabs remained in service the street, most having covered more than a million miles each.
The Fairway was replaced in late 1997 by the TX1, which was subsequently replaced in 2002 by the TXII. This in turn was replaced in 2007 by the current model, the TX4.
This vehicle is the one driven by Whitey.
|Malice in Wonderland|
|Film||Malice in Wonderland (2009)|
|Characters||Alice Dodgson - Whitey - Felix Chester - Harry Hunt - Doochey - Gonzo - Hattie - Caterpillar- Hooker - Rex - Midge - Dean and Dom - Griffin - Mrs. Jones - Bag Lady - Jack/Jacqui - Mo - Mother - Louis Dodgson - Newsreader - Swede|
|Locations||Wonderland - Subway Station - Rabbit Hole - Amusement Park - Food Truck - Bus Stop - Telephone Booth - The Caterpillar's Car - Convenience Store - Doochey Mansion - Garden Maze - Hattie's - Nowhere - The Royal Motel - Hearts - Drink Me - Hulme Street|
|Music||Malice in Wonderland - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Terms/Concepts||For Your Head - Traumatic Brain Injury|
|Vehicles||Lincoln Town Car Stretched Limousine - LTI Fairway - LDV Convoy - Custom Made Clown Car - DAF 95 XF - Austin Maestro 500 - Jaguar XJ6 (XJ40)|