Matchbox, Austin FX3 Taxi

by Peter
Categories: Austin, Budgie, Cars, Diecast models, Matchbox, Morestone, Taxi
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The Austin FX3, to me is THE classic taxi, with the single front seating position for the driver and the open nearside for the baggage, and although build as long ago as 1948 were still seen on the roads in the 1960′s when I was young.

The Matchbox Lesney Austin Metropolitan Taxi, No17 and released in 1960 with grey wheels.

This is one that, although not hard to find, is hard to find in good condition at a reasonable price, this is about my fourth upgrade for this model.

Watch out if buying a playworn version of this as the front window pillars tend to get broken or cracked or are completely missing rendering the casting useless. (see this article for damaged examples)

The two below are restored examples, one in the original red the other black with added detail.


Morestone (later to become Budgie Toys) also produced a version of the Austin Taxi, No13 and likely to of been released around 1957.

The big difference is the colour, the Matchbox is almost always maroon and the Morestone and Budgie versions black.

Here are the two together showing the size and scale difference.

Related articles Austin Taxi FX3

The real Taxi

In 1948 a new Austin, the FX3, built by Carbodies of Coventry and financed jointly by Mann and Overton, Carbodies and Austin appeared and soon dominated the market. It was first produced with a petrol engine but this proved uneconomical to run so in 1952 a conversion for a Standard diesel engine was made available.

Text and picture from London Taxi History

There has never been a law that says that London’s cabs should be black. A cab may be any colour, but when the Oxford and the FX3 were introduced, their makers supplied them in a standard colour of black. Few buyers were prepared to pay the extra money for a special colour and so for three decades, black became the norm. In the late 1970s, Carbodies offered a wide range of pleasing colours for the FX4 to the ever-growing number of owner-drivers and now cabs are found in a very wide range of colours, including special advertising liveries.

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