Blog : Carbodies FL2 spotted in the wild

Andrew Elphick asks when is a black cab not a black cab?

Carbodies FL2 (5)

Outwardly resembling a regular FX4 taxi (as would be its discreet intention) however the eagle-eyed might spot the radiator grille-mounted badge: ‘CARBODIES’. This is the only indication of being a purchase tax paid private vehicle, and not a ‘hire’ car.

This example (the property of the estate of a well known British construction dynasty), has metallic olive green coachwork complete with complimenting matching green velour upholstery. Sculptured rear high back seats and a passenger compartment feature a central console mounted radio cassette (no MP3s in 1985 just AM/FM auto reverse!) the rear facing hinged occasional seats remain.

Exterior wise the metallic coachwork with everflex roof covering is standard Taxi fare, bar the huge rectangular spot lamps. If these additional lights were for London’s fog or the leafy tree lined single track roads of its current resting place is unknown though.

Keith Adams


  1. Interesting and to be fair looks quite elegant in it’s green colour scheme.

    Did Steven Fry not have such a car? It was the ideal London city car.

  2. My Dad picked up a new C reg FX4S in 85 and it also had the carbodies logo on it. What gives this away as being an FL2 is no illuminated sign on the front saying “for hire” or “taxi”

    Also, from what I remember cabs were always sold with VAT added, if you were a limited company you claimed the VAT back. For most owner – drivers they just had to swallow it.

  3. James, the lack of a sign is a fairly big giveaway! Fancy a few paragraphs on collecting the (then) new FX4S?

  4. Interestingly enough, I had C830BYM as a promotional company vehicle briefly in London.

    beyond the astonishing turning circle, it was a thoroughly hideous thing to drive.

  5. Hi Andrew, had some info back from my Dad.

    C254 CYL was a two tone cab in red & fawn, supplied new from Mann & Overton. Shortly after getting it he could not get it started for two weeks. The alternator and the flywheel were out of line so it kept throwing fanbelts. The cab left a lot to be desired although it was an improvement on the FX4R. The new plastics in the passenger interior were not up to the job and became brittle after a very short period of time. There may have been a recall for the interior but time has blurred his memory on that one.

    The best cab he ever drove was his TX1; he bought that brand new in 1998 and drove it around until 2 years ago then sold it on.

  6. Interesting that the ‘construction dynasty’ would order such a car rather than a Jaguar or Rolls. Would this have been for cost reasons (probably not that much cheaper than a Jag) or would this have been a convenient transport for top brass to barrel between meetings in London?

  7. As the joint owner of said C254CYL with James dad I will dispute the big problems remembered by Barry(dad). We ran CYL for a few years without major problems and have fond memories of same.

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