One of the last TX4 taxi black cabs to be made in Coventry has been transformed into a mobile ‘art car’ by Popbangcolour’s Ian Cook. The ‘Two Tone’ Taxi, a reference to the music scene that originated in the city, is the tenth ‘Art Car’ Cook has created, who paints using radio controlled cars, tyres and wheels.
Revealed as part of Coventry’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021, the LTI taxi celebrates icons, locations and stories from the city selected by residents as a community project run by BBC Coventry and Warwickshire radio. Highlights include Coventry City’s FA Cup win, the Jaguar E-Type, ‘Peeping Tom’ who famously spied on Lady Godiva and a ‘batch’, the local term for a bread roll.
“I’ve recently moved to Coventry and have set up my studio in a former car radiator factory,” says Cook. “It’s a city with a rich history and has been responsible for so many influences in all our lives. From phrases such as ‘Sent to Coventry’ or ‘Peeping Tom’ through to cultural and design icons, it has created a bigger impact than many realise. This taxi, another icon produced in the city, is a great way to celebrate that.”
The TX4 Taxi used is one of the last of the derivative to be built at the Coventry factory before it switches to producing an all-new electric version at a new facility on the outskirts of the city. Over 130,000 taxis were produced at the original Coventry site over the past 60 years.
“Despite many factories having disappeared, Coventry has remained the centre of the automotive industry and is enjoying a boom in the development of new technologies such as electrification and autonomy,” adds Cook. “Add in events such as Coventry Motofest and you can see why it is very much the UK’s Motor City.”
Brought to life by recordings from BBC Coventry & Warwickshire which will help create an immersive experience, the taxi will be available for tours for around the city for a limited period. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance.