Vintage Snapshots: The Real Taxis of New York in 1972 – My Bias is Confirmed

I’m not sure what will have appeared in the comments in response to JPC’s Outtake of a 1972 Ford taxi in NYC, but since I previewed it ahead of time, I got the chance to answer it with some hard proof, in the form of vintage shots from NYC from 1972. And there’s not a single Ford to be seen anywhere.

And why did I spend the time Googling for these? I had a reason: Bias confirmation.


I spent six weeks in Manhattan in 1973, performing in a experimental theater troupe in the Village. That gave me all day to wander the streets of the city, and take note of the taxi rolling stock. A dwindling number of Checkers; gobs of Mopars, mostly mid-sized and some big ones.; and a fair number of big Chevys. Fords? Not one. I thought that perhaps my memory might have been tainted by my well-known…um…bias regarding the ’71-’72 Fords. But these pictures tend to confirm my bias. Not one ’71-’72 Ford to be seen.



But! things apparently changed starting in 1973.

The first indication was that my “1972 New York taxis” Google image search included this shot from the movie “Taxi Driver”, as posted by That movie was released in 1976, so probably shot in 1975 or so. And it includes this ’73 Ford. Was it a real NYC taxi? Sure looks like one.

Broadening my search to “New York taxis 1970s” brought up a couple of other shots with 1973-1975 big Fords, including this one with its hood partially open.

This looks to be a ’75.

And then there’s this shot from 1971: Lookie there! Two big Fords, from the ’69-’70MY  era.

So here’s my argument that the ’72 Ford in JPC’s post does not represent a genuine NYC taxi from its era, as New York taxi companies had apparently tumbled to the same thing I did back at the time: ’71 and ’72 big Fords suck.   Well; that’s saying it a bit harshly, but you get my drift/joke.

Now if anyone can find a vintage shot of a ’71 or ’72 NYC Ford taxi, I’ll gladly take it all back.