UK: First ever London ‘black cab’ sold into Russia – for use as a radio car
LTI's TXII taxi (the famous black cab which is ubiquitous on the streets of London) has been purchased by the BBC World Service to add some genuine British flavour to their work in Moscow.
Yuri Goligorsky, Re-broadcasting Manager for the BBC World Service, visited the Coventry factory of LTI Vehicles to order a left-hand drive version of the TXII taxi.
After completion it will be transported to Moscow and fitted with satellite transmission and recording equipment before starting work on the streets of Moscow.
The passenger compartment will become the mobile studio for interviews in and around the Russian capital. These can then be directly transmitted back to London via the rooftop satellite dish for broadcasting around the world.
As well as its instantly recognisable status as a British 'icon', the TXII was also chosen for this task for its front luggage storage space that will house most of the electrical equipment.
Matthew Cheyne, Sales & Marketing Director at LTI Vehicles, commented: "We are obviously delighted to be selling our first vehicle in Russia. This is the first TXII to have been purchased for use as a radio car, although we believe some of our older models have fulfilled this purpose in the past for the BBC in the UK".
"This is a very good example on how our vehicles can be used in a variety of different ways - we are also aware of taxis that are used as mobile offices, surgeries and even wedding cars".
"Its renowned durability and famously tight turning circle means it will cope well with the type of demanding urban road conditions it will face in Moscow and we anticipate that it will cause quite a stir among the Muscovites."
The vehicle purchased is a Gold specification model with automatic transmission and in the traditional black cab body colour - long associated with the purpose built taxi.