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Budgie Models No.101/703 

London Taxi Cab

Issued 1977-1984       Length 106mm

 

No.101 London Taxi Cab was the first all-new model made by Modern Products for H Seener Ltd. and it was based on the Austin FX4 vehicle.

 

Designed on a straightforward body and base construction, the model was well cast but had no interior additions included with the base section. Pale-yellow tinted windows were fitted and the wheels were the standard Modern Products type with black tyres used already on the Routemaster bus.

 

In keeping with almost all London Cabs at that time, No.101 was painted gloss black with silver trim on the grille and headlights. Later a maroon or dark-red version was added. Both models had labels on the 'TAXI' roof sign (yellow), number-plate labels at the front (white) and rear (yellow), and a yellow licence-plate label at the back. The lettering on the number-plates was 'MPL 101S' which could be seen to represent 'Modern Products Ltd.' the manufacturer, '101' the number of the model, and 'S' for the UK registration suffix for 1977 and/or representing 'S' for Seener.

 

The metallic silver-coated base included both front and rear bumpers and the casting included an indication of the axle and other parts. The lettering read 'London Taxi Cab Made in England for - H. Seener Ltd' with a separate 'Budgie Models'. There was no number included.

 

The first boxes for the main issue of London Taxi Cabs followed the familiar yellow Budgie end-flap style with an illustration of the model on the picture faces with 'Made in England by Budgie Models for H Seener Ltd.' printed underneath. The number 101 appeared on the end-flaps.  Later, these were replaced by window boxes with the number 703 on the end-flaps and the manufacturer listed as 'Budgie Models'. On the reverse a large Union Jack was printed with 'This model produced with the kind permission of H.Seener Ltd' added below it.

 

In 1983 Modern Products was bought by Starcourt Ltd who continued to make the Taxi Cab for H Seener and they kept the old-style end-flap boxes with '101' as the number but changed the lettering to read 'Made in London by Starcourt Ltd for H Seener Ltd'.

 

In 1984 a special numbered Limited Edition of 1000 models was issued to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the London Vintage Taxi Association. This was a metallic silver model without trim which kept the 'TAXI' roof label but had special decals added to the sides, number-plates and rear licence plate. On the base a label with the Edition number of the model was added and this was also on the end-flaps of the box. Finally, each model had a numbered Certificate included.

 

With the increasing success of the taxi models, Starcourt began to produce new colours for the Taxi Cab including white, green, grey, metallic gold and magenta without the approval of Mr Seener who still owned the dies for the Taxi and several other models. A disagreement between the two followed and eventually Mr Seener decided to end the contract and transfer manufacture to another toymaker. Production of the FX4 model by Starcourt then ceased.

However, Mr Seener must have come to some agreement to allow Starcourt to sell the remaining stock of Taxi Cabs and they appeared in the '703' window boxes with 'London Taxi FX4' on the front and the Union flag on the reverse. 

 

Collecting No.101/703 is not difficult as many hundreds of models were sold but some colours are scarce and the silver LVTA Special Edition with the correct Certificate and numbered box is becoming scarce.

Budgie No.101 London Taxi Cab
Budgie No.101 London Taxi Cab

Variation 1: Black, '101' end-flap box

Budgie No.101/703 London Taxi Cab

Variations

 

 

1)  BLACK, SILVER base, 'Taxi' etc. labels, 'Budgie Models' box

 

2)  MAROON, SILVER base, 'Taxi' etc. labels, 'Budgie Models' box

 

3)  METALLIC SILVER Limited Edition, SILVER base with label, 'Taxi' labels, LVTA decals, Starcourt box with label

 

4)  WHITE, SILVER base, 'Taxi' etc. labels, Starcourt (101) box or Budgie (703) window box

 

5)  METALLIC GOLD, SILVER base, 'Taxi'etc labels, Starcourt (101) box or Budgie (703) window box

 

6)  GREEN (no silver trim), SILVER base, 'Taxi'etc labels, Starcourt (101) box or Budgie (703) window box

7) METALLIC MAGENTA, silver trim, SILVER base, 'Taxi' etc labels, 'Budgie Models' (703) window box

8) GREY, (no silver trim), SILVER base, 'Taxi' etc labels, 'Budgie Models' (703) window box

Budgie No.101 London Taxi Cab

Variation 2: Maroon

Budgie No.101 London Taxi Cab LVTA Edition

Variation 3: Silver, LVTA edition

Budgie No.101 London Taxi Cab

Variation 4: White

Budgie Models No.703 London Taxi

Variation 8: Grey

Budgie No.101 London Taxi Cab

Variation 5:  Metallic Gold

Budgie No.101/703 London Taxi Cab

Variation 6: Green with No.703 window box

Budgie No.101/703 London Taxi Cab
Budgie No.101/703 London Taxi Cab FX4

Variation 7: Metallic Magenta, 703 window box

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