Carbodies Limited, United Kingdom

Carbodies Limited, United Kingdom

Carbodies Limited U.K.

Carbodies Ltd is a British automobile manufacturer company, based at Holyhead Road, Coventry. It began business as a coachbuilder, and now, as the London Taxi Company is popularly known for its manufacturing of London taxicabs.



In 1919, the business started, when Robert 'Bobby' Jones, an earlier general manager at coachbuilder Hollick and Pratt took over the coach building process of his then employer, timber merchants Gooder hams and install business in premises gets from Thomas Pass in West Orchard, Coventry.


Standardized Coachwork

The Carbodies set out to build coachwork to a number of standardized designs for car companies that did not have their own coach building facilities. Their first major customers during the 1920s were MG and Alvis Cars. The level of a new contract to create bodies for the MG M-Type Midget meant that they required larger home and in 1928, they moved to a larger site on Holyhead Road, where they remain to this day. In the 1930s, they supplied bodies for Rover, Invicta and Railton, but by far their major and most main customer in that decade was the Rootes Group.

During Second World War the company produced bodies for military vehicles. They also get press tools through the Lend-Lease plan, which enabled them to make aircraft equipments. Carbodies also became a limited company at this time, with Bobby Jones as leading director and his son, Ernest Jones managing director.


Taxicabs, Convertibles, Daimlers and other Post War Vehicles

Carbodies talked with London taxi dealer Mann & Overton and Austin to make bodies for the Austin FX3 taxi as well as finishing and delivering the entire vehicles. They also established a system for turning modern all-steel saloon cars into convertibles. This work was carried out on the previous unit construction Hillman Minx, the Austin Somerset and Hereford, the Ford Mk1 Consul and Zephyr and, later the Mk2 Ford Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac.

Under BSA, producing facilities were extended and more plant installed. Carbodies began manufacturing the body and carrying out the assembly, finishing and delivery of the most important vehicle in their history since 1958, the Austin FX4 taxi. Carbodies also supplied models bodies and tooling, projects including the Jaguar E-type bonnet and panels for Triumph, Ariel and BSA motorcycles and scooters.

Additional contracts undertaken during the 1960s and early 1970s were the change of Humber Hawk and Super Snipe, Singer Vogue and Triumph 2000 saloons and estate cars, but steadily, as contract work on private cars and commercial vehicles fall down, the FX4 taxi would become more important for the company.



Manganese Bronze Holdings Plc and London Taxis International

Carbodies purchased the FX4 chassis assembly line from British Leyland's Adderley Park since 1971, Birmingham factory and moved it to Coventry, making them entire manufacturers of the FX4, in reality if not in name. After 2 years, Carbodies was bought, along with parent company BSA by Manganese Bronze Holdings.

A new model of taxicab, the TX1 was appeared since 1997. This was updated as the TXII in 2002 and in 2007 as the present model, the TX4. This series developed LTI Vehicles as an international level supplier of London-type taxis. The name Carbodies Limited was fallen in 1998 and the company was changed its name LTI Limited and re-branded to The London Taxi Company in Nov 2010, the name Mann & Overton was dropped and the dealership now also trades as The London Taxi Company in 2010.


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