Two early Rational Motor-taxis - photograph

These two early Rational motor taxis built by Heatly-Gresham Engineering of Letchworth are parked outside the Savoy Theatre in the Strand. These taxis were among the first wave of motor taxis to be seen on London streets from 1905 onwards. Their registration numbers confirm that the photo was taken after 1904. The Rational was the first taxi to afford some protection to the driver and to be fitted with doors. Unlike the contemporary Vauxhall taxi, the design took nothing from the earlier horse-drawn hansom cabs, but was created to fit the motor mechanics of the new vehicle. Although Rational went out of business in 1906 due to lack of orders, as many as 13 cars remained in service until 1909.
Production Date:
circa 1905
ID no:
Transport for London

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