CC Outtake – Is This Really a New York Taxicab?

A friend of mine is visiting New York City.  Although a taxi in New York is hardly an unusual sight, my friend recognized that one like this certainly is.  My question to the CCognescenti: is this a real NYC cab?  Or something being used in a television or movie shoot?

First, the basics.  The car is a 1972 Ford.  I am guessing Galaxie 500 based on 1) the lack of the swaths of chrome that covered the rust adorned the LTD and 2) it appears to be a full four door hardtop.  The low level Custom/Custom 500 only came as a traditional four door sedan.

The whitewalls and full wheelcovers also make this car look a little nicer than the basic taxi-spec cars many of us remember from that era.

So is this a real taxi?  My friend observed someone getting into the cab and the Ford heading into Manhattan traffic – just the way a real taxi would do it.  I suppose there is a market for such things among tourists, but I would imagine that an old Checker cab would be so much more authentic.

As a counterpoint, these Fords were Olympic-level rusters and I have a hard time imagining that someone would press a vehicle like this into front-line cab duty in 2018.  And yes, this photo was taken within the last few days, as you can see the modern Toyota cab photobombing the un-cropped scene.  And there seem to be a couple of other photos of this car online.

My guess is that this is a movie car of the kind that drives people like us crazy – a whitewall/wheelcover/four door hardtop taxi.  Something that I am guessing never existed in 1972 New York.  What say you?