1936 Austin 12/4 Taxi by Strachan
Reg. no. CJJ 95
Chassis no. 79854
Engine no. 81950L
Introduced in 1921 after the failure of Austin’s 20 to carry the company as a single model, the 12/4, together with the Seven, were huge successes and rescued a seemingly doomed company, transforming Austin into a titan of the British car industry. For the 12/4, as with the Seven, dependability and affordability were the main attractions, many examples clocking up vast mileages with no major problems – an outstanding achievement in an era when frequently breaking down was considered an unavoidable part of car ownership. Naturally, this hard-wearing quality made the 12/4 ideally suited to the demanding world of taxi work, and it was demand from this market that kept the ‘Heavy’ 12 in production until the war, even after other models, including the ‘Light’ 12, had been created to try to replace it. Many 12/4s were still earning their keep battling through the London traffic well into the 1950s.
This 1936 taxi was acquired by a serviceman based in Britain during the war, who took it back to the USA with him. Repatriated in 1989, it was restored in the 1990s and has been in the current ownership since 2005. For most of this time the car has been stored in a dry building and remains solid, if in need of tidying to the body and headlining. When last run 12 years ago it was in good mechanical condition, but will of course now need recommissioning before its return to the road. It comes with a V5c.
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