London taxis to appear in some U.S. cities

Sept. 2, 2003 at 10:03 AM

DETROIT, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- The black roomy taxis of London will soon be making it to streets in Detroit, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles and the Washington area.

While on vacation, Larry Smith was pleased he could fit his family of four and their luggage easily in a London cab, something he found impossible to do in a limousine going to the Boston airport.

Now he's the founder, president and chief executive officer of London Taxis North America, in Sudbury, Mass., and he's importing the real London cabs at $40,000 a piece.

Three will be on the road by the end of September in Detroit for airport pickups and special occasions, the Detroit News reported.

The taxi's Ford made diesel-powered engine averages 24 miles per gallon in city driving, 28 mpg on the highway and usually racks up 300,000 miles before they're replaced.

The roomier taxis come equipped with a wheelchair fold-out ramp and have more headroom because they were "designed to accommodate men's top hats and the Queen's crown," the News said.

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