Collecting Cars

2006 LTI TXII - BESPOKE LONDON TAXI

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2020-01-24 19:09:07

This 2006 LTI TXII is a remarkably low-mileage example of one of the world’s most recognisable vehicles. Design cues of the famous ‘London taxi’ are familiar all around the globe, though this particular car is unusual in having never been used for paid fares. Purchased new by Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd, it was immediately dispatched to LTI dealer KPM Automotive, where it was given a bespoke makeover.

The original Pacific Blue coachwork was repainted in bright Forest Green to match the company’s brand palette, with twin coachlines in gold, and the interior was fully re-trimmed in green velour. A copy of the invoice in the history file confirms that the total cost of the transformation was more than £12,000. It was subsequently used by Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd as chauffeur-driven private transport for the company. The current owner is the second registered keeper from new.

Power comes from the 2.4-litre Ford Duratorq four-cylinder diesel engine, driven through the rear wheels via a four-speed Jatco automatic transmission. While it has never been used as a London black cab, it is still exempt from the city’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charge on the Gov.uk website. It also boasts the famous 25-foot (7.6-metre) turning circle, delivering supreme manoeuvrability. This taxi has covered just shy of 18,000 miles from new, which makes it one of the lowest-mileage TXIIs existent.

The exterior of the vehicle remains in superb condition. It has never been fitted with a taxi roof light, and has not received new paint since the respray in 2006. The vendor notes only small imperfections; namely a couple of patches of bubbling below the rear window, some stone chips at the front, and panel-rubbed paint where the driver’s door is hinged that reveals the original blue beneath. Being a ‘Gold’ specification model, this taxi also has the chrome grille insert and chrome door handles, as well as front fog lights.

In the driver's compartment, this TXII features a walnut-style instrument surround, one-touch electric window control, air-conditioning, and a stereo head unit with radio and CD player. There is also a period Motorola car phone in the front area. The passenger compartment also features another Motorola phone (though, like the phone in the front, the wiring is not connected), as well as air-conditioning, two-way intercom with the driver, floor lighting and a fold-down wheelchair access ramp.

When re-trimmed in 2006, the standard rear seats with their slightly meagre padding were also re-styled and re-upholstered with new cushions, transforming them into much more comfortable chairs. The folding child seat normally stowed in the bench’s backrest was converted into a plump armrest between the two rearmost passengers. The re-trim was finished off with dark green piping, and the floor was also fully carpeted.

The taxi was in use regularly for the first five years on the road, notching up an average of around 2,500 miles per year, and was subjected to yearly maintenance throughout this period. Over the next eight years it was driven much more sparingly, and by the time it was sold to its second owner in 2019, it had covered less than 16,000 miles from new.

The last scheduled maintenance was carried out in October 2019. This comprised renewal of the engine oil and oil filter, flushing and replacing the coolant and brake fluid, plus a new air filter. The taxi was given a thorough check-over for any other items needing attention, and some of the door window rubbers were renewed.

Its most recent MOT test was on 2 November 2019 at 16,565 miles, which resulted in a first-time pass with only one advisory about minor fluctuation in the front brakes. The vendor has since inspected these himself, and discussion with the MOT tester leads them to believe it was suffering from a lack of use, and is now performing smoothly. The special Dunlop SP Taxi 175 R16 tyres are original to this TXII, and remain in good order with a decent level of tread remaining - though are obviously now 13 years old.

Sir Kenneth Grange’s design for the TXI and later TXII brought the iconic ‘black cab’ silhouette into the 21st century, modernising its appearance without losing its character. These LTI-built models are becoming increasingly sought after now that the new generation of plug-in hybrid taxis are on the roads, and low-mileage examples are particularly hard to find.

This TXII is presented in very smart condition, with a terrific bespoke specification that makes it much more comfortable and appealing for passengers. It has been used by the current owner as transportation for special occasions, and would make an unusual and head-turning ‘event’ car for another enthusiast.

Summary of mileage history:

17 Oct 2006 - 8 miles (PDI)
23 Oct 2008 - 4,100 miles
14 Apr 2009 - 5,765 miles
14 Oct 2009 - 7,087 miles
4 Oct 2010 - 10,440 miles
12 Jul 2011 - 13,177 miles
6 Mar 2012 - 13,593 miles
23 Jul 2013 - 14,683 miles
22 May 2014 - 15,532 miles
18 Jul 2016 - 15,698 miles
4 Dec 2018 - 15,724 miles
2 Nov 2019 - 16,565 miles

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