About Me

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Aug 16: Taxi!

What do you see here? Take a really good look. No I mean, a really good look. If you still haven't got it, I'll tell you, its a power window switch with a roll up window crank below it. Go figure! More about this later.

Picture any taxi in your home town, assuming you live somewhere in North America. I live in Toronto and when I picture a taxi, the image of a huge Crown Vic is rapidly fading, being replaced by a Camry. A Camry for Pete's sake! Who would have thought that they would have had the stamina for the tough life of a big city taxi. Picture a taxi in many other parts of the world and this is the picture that comes to mind........


Row upon row of Mercedes Benz. Take your choice, Citan, C Class, E Class or even an S Class.......


.......and make your selection between a sedan or a wagon. Sure, there are other makes being used, but the chances are about eighty percent that when you call a taxi, some sort of a Benz will show up to ferry you to your destination. Beige? Well, some countries have regulations that say a taxi has to be a certain colour. Beige stands out (who would have thought?) and also makes them easier to sell after their working life is through.

But why a costly Mercedes? The thought process is that since they are so reliable, the extra cost would be worth it and they would last for a very long time. Wonder why they think like that overseas and not on our side of the Atlantic? No matter how one cuts it, a Benz taxi will cost more than a Camry, assuming you could buy a Camry in Europe, which you can't.

Speaking of which, if you've read my blog, you know that I recently visited Portugal. They've had a couple of colour changes of heart, going from a strking black and turquoise to beige and now back to the black and turquoise combo, as shown on this old Mercedes taxi from some time in the past.......


......and as you can see from this present day view of the outside of the train station in Porto.......


Of course, the cabs are Mercedes, but in terms of age, look at the second one in line. This older (or just plain old) C Class, I believe comes from the late '90's. We were in one that was at least twenty years old and it was a manual, as are all the old ones. Kms? Nearing eight hundred thousand. Now back to that pic at the top.......


......our driver was over the top enthusiastic about how good Mercedes were. He almost ran down a pedestrian and when they gave him the evil eye, he yelled out the window, that he was driving a Mercedes, the greatest car ever made and its brakes were wonderful, so the pedestrian was never in any danger. But not being a fool, when the power window broke, rather than make a costly repair, he simply had a window crank installed. Mercedes may be the greatest car ever made, but they ain't cheap to fix.

I wasn't surprised that so many of the taxi's were Mercedes, but I was shocked that so many were so friggin' old! Careening up and down the cobble stoned streets to meet their client's needs. Even a Mercedes will start to show its age after being subjected to this hard life year after year.

Mercedes in all shapes and sizes, including as I mentioned above, the Citan Tourer..........


......like this one seen in the Algarve with another Benz behind it, of course. Citan? Its a small van, which for the time being hasn't reached our shores, but as Mercedes expands its truck line over here, don't be surprised to see it sometime in the future.

So next time you leave our hallowed shores and have to hail a cab, take heart, as there is a very strong possibility that you will be ferried to your destination in that creme de la creme of taxi's, the Mercedes Benz, which according to that taxi driver in Lisbon is, "the greatest car ever made!"..


Until next time.........




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