Unlike the other day where we had a 112hp Chevy six pulling a load of big Olds V8s, here we have a husky Super Duty Ford V8 with up to 534 cubic inches hauling a load of six cylinder Ford taxis. My first truck driving job ever was a red Super Duty like this one, but a dump truck. Its engine governor was erratic, which afforded some memorable moments when it decided to disengage. I can still hear that bellowing big V8 in my ears today.
These high mileage applications make me wonder how many miles these seven covered and many people (and cars) they hauled in their lives before being put out to pasture.
“No, no, no, you fool, I definitely said ‘HAIL some cabs for us!’
Headed, no doubt, to NYC or some other big city where regulations require taxis to enter service as new cars and fleets are big enough to order half a dozen at one time that might even be drop-shipped to their yard without ever passing through a Ford dealership.
I think it’s interesting that even the wheels are painted taxi yellow, which was likely a special-order fleet color, rather than white, black or some other “neutral” color from the standard color palette to cut the cost of running special-order paint through the wheel production area.
Highly unlikely that Taxi Yellow was a true special order at the time. Yeah not on the retail sheet, but considering they had full taxi packages available, I can’t believe that Taxi Yellow wasn’t a standard option on them.
There was a period time in which cars with dog dishes received body colored wheels.
And the yellow wheels were featured in the taxi brochure from two years prior…
“The folks at the auto show were confused: This was not the truckload of Ford customs that they were expecting.”
Paul, how do you know they are 6 cylinder? It’s clear they are bare bones cars, but did the 8 have some external ID in those models? Or all taxis were 6s?
I don’t, actually. The 289 was technically optional. But I seriously doubt any taxi fleets were ordering them that way. Taxis were almost universally sixes in the sixties. Why pay for a more expensive V8 and more gas?
Also, the 289 was in such great demand because of the huge success of the Mustang that it’s quite hard to find a ’66 big Ford with the 289. All the V8s I ever saw that year were 352s. No taxi company would want to feed one of those in city traffic!
Thanks! I remember your taxi driving stories. It’s obvious they fed the cabbies with the least car they could.
I didn’t know that the 289 was uncommon. My dad has a ’66 Galaxie 2-door hardtop his dad bought new and it came with a 289.
Relatively so, because of the capacity demands for the wildly successful Mustang. Ford planned on building 200-250k per year; instead sales were over 600k. You can switch production of body parts fairly quickly, but you can’t build a new engine plant quickly.
Undoubtedly some number of big ’66 Fords did have the 289. But much fewer than if there had been plenty available.
This picture reminds me of the ads I used to see in magazines like Popular Mechanics back in the ’60’s. There would be a small ad offering ex NY Taxies of the previous 3 model years starting at $995.00 and down. In the spring of 1968 I was working part time at a Phillips 66 station when a well worn ’67 Ford Custom stopped by. The paint was some poorly done off color turquoise respray and I could see where bondo had been slapped on at the top of each front fender behind the headlights. The interior looked just as sad with metal showing through the brake pedal rubber. The poor thing looked at least 10 years old. I have often thought that someone in Indiana followed up on one of those ads.
I remember those ads. Tempting, but couldn’t swing $995.
It seems there is a market for those poor, beaten creatures.
Back in February I found an extended length Ford Crown Victoria on a (well) used car lot in Farmington, Missouri. It was still wearing its New York City taxi livery. How it ended up there is hard to imagine.
There was a bigger Ford V-8 than the Super Duty 534, but it was military in nature:
The 534 was quite an engine, basically a scaled-up MEL with a similar cylinder head and combustion chamber design. It was in production for quite a long time, 1958 to 1981. Very few were built after the early 70’s, most ended up in fire apparatus in later years.
I can remember those 534’s bellowing in 2 1/2 ton Ford dump trucks that were part of the construction for the I 71 freeway near our home in the early 60’s.
Just leaving this here https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tandem-dump-truck/164255237699?hash=item263e600643:g:mBwAAOSwLt5euIX6
That’s exactly like the one I drove, also with the Allison 6 speed automatic. The only difference is the shade of red. I should buy that; perfect for hauling brush and compost for the garden! 🙂