I bet that most people – some 99% of the ‘first-time-visitors’ as I once had been myself – have a different mental image of British taxis than the one they get pretty soon after arriving in Britain.
Because of films, postcards, English books and even toys and souvenirs, we learn that ALL British taxis MUST be painted in a shiny but austere shade of black.
Few things could be as wrong as this false image that prospective tourists have! But it’s fun to realize how wrong you were…
As a matter of fact, although most typically British taxis are black (like those in the 2nd, 3rd & 6th pics) when they come out of the factory gate, many of them are eventually covered up in advertising images.
Obviously, most are black. However, some are white – even white + turquoise as those in Brighton (9th pic) –, others are maroon, (1st pic, by my reader C.L., as well as the 6th) and some can exceptionally be… yellow (8th pic).
Many others are lively coloured, thanks to a booming (or was it just before the economic crisis?!) taxi advertising industry.
‘Consumers’ can easily switch from one TV/radio channel to another, but while they are on the street not only that they can’t avoind seeing these cars.
Looking at them can happen to be a nice experience, especially in a typically British rainy day, when there aren’t many lively colours to notice around.
Not only Irn-Bru, but almost everything else (products, services, events etc) is advertised on British black cabs, making these cars some kind of ‘tourist attraction’ in themselves.
Maybe not all British taxis are made by the national car maker Manganese Bronze – kept alive thanks to foreign capital, coming from China’s Geely – but they make surely up an ‘iconic brand’ of Britain and they are the most visible in big cities.