Morestone 'Esso' Petrol Pump Series
No.13 Austin Taxi
Adding the Austin Taxi to the Esso Petrol Pump Series was an obvious choice for Morestone whose offices and factories were in London. It proved to be a successful model despite being given the number 13 and was re-issued by Budgie after the Esso Series ended.
Cast in the conventional body & base design, it was noteworthy in having the interior and driver of the model included on the base which was painted silver on both sides. To ensure a strong connection, the base was rivetted onto the body at both the front and the back. 'Austin Taxi Cab', 'Made in England' and 'No.13' were cast on the base.
All London Taxi Cabs were painted black so there was no variety in the colour. The body had good detailing and was an accurate scale model of the original vehicle . Silver trim was added to the grille, headlights, fog-light, front and rear bumpers, and the roof sign.
The unpainted metal wheels were the knobbly type and fitted onto flat-head and crimped axles.
As it was issued in 1957 not long before the Garage Offer closed, boxes for No.13 Austin Taxi were all overstamped. These were later replaced by an Esso box with a large number on the base flap. The Austin Taxi was re-issued by Budgie with a slightly re-designed base and was also included in Budgie Gift Sets. Details on the Budgie Miniatures No.13 Austin Taxi page.
Despite being easy to find, the Austin Taxi is prone to ageing and is frequently playworn so mint examples are a bit scarce.
No.13 Austin Taxi - Summary
Issued in Esso Series : 1957-59
Re-issued by Budgie : 1960-65
Length : 58mm
Value (MINT model in MINT Esso box) : c.£20-30
Esso (large font & number) Garage Offer on base flap overstamped, Garage Coupon
Esso (large font & number) Number on base flap, Tanker Coupon
BLACK body silver trim silver painted base & driver UMW
Details of later versions, boxes and packs on Budgie Miniatures pages