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Kolkata’s Heritage Ambassador Taxi now on Sydney Streets!

12 November, 2020 11:30:48
Kolkata’s Heritage Ambassador Taxi now on Sydney Streets!

For centuries, Bengali aristocrats, entrepreneurs and royalties nurtured a love for cars. And Hindustan Ambassador cars, the Kings of Indian Roads had once upon a time dominated Kolkata streets. Just like Kolkata loves its rosogollas and Rabindrasangeet, Bengalis across the globe are die-hard fans of that Yellow or Black-and-Yellow Ambassador taxis that once roamed in hundreds on city roads.

Author with the Ambassador in Sydney

For centuries, Bengali aristocrats, entrepreneurs and royalties nurtured a love for cars. And Hindustan Ambassador cars, the Kings of Indian Roads had once upon a time dominated Kolkata streets. Just like Kolkata loves its rosogollas and Rabindrasangeet, Bengalis across the globe are die-hard fans of that Yellow or Black-and-Yellow Ambassador taxis that once roamed in hundreds on city roads. 

His addition of Kolkata Taxi is a great way to celebrate the global presence of Indian heritage taxis. The Kolkata Taxi will only help people to relive Indian culture in Australia and we cannot wait for that to happen in a sustainable format!

The Ambassador car was modelled on Britain’s 1956 Morris Oxford Series III, by Hindustan Motors. It was first produced in India in 1957. For decades, Hindustan Ambassador cars ruled the subcontinent as travellers were chauffeured, auto industry jobs created, and taxis became abundant. No Ola or Uber services existed then. Though taxi services started in Kolkata as early as 1907, the iconic Ambassador Taxi became a standard model only in 1962,providing jobs to a range of drivers who came from Bihar and Punjab primarily. In 2017, Kolkata taxi service made history by welcoming the first female taxi driver too. 

The Kolkata Ambassador Taxi was comfortable, easy to maintain and sturdy. Even today some can be spotted surviving water-logged streets in monsoon or run with ease for hours with its four big windows open, in the Indian summer, or provide a comfortable journey in winter. It has become a part of Kolkata’s Heritage, living as Grand Yellow Taxi. In 1981, movies like 36 Chowringhee Lane captured everyone’s attention with a scene of stealing kisses in the back seat of a yellow Ambassador Taxi, while being driven around Victoria Memorial. With Ambassador taxis came stories and associations that every Calcuttan can share. 

In 2013, the BBC Automobile Show Top Gear declared Kolkata Ambassador taxis as the best taxis in the world, stating: “London’s black cabs are no match for India’s virtually indestructible Hindustan Ambassador.” The episode caught everyone’s attention across the globe. It also inspired James Robinson to purchase a Kolkata taxi. Such was the Kolkata taxi endorsement that James and his company Black Cab Central added‘Kolkata Taxi’ to his Sydney Heritage Taxi fleet.

James now wants to build a fleet of taxis which will include taxis not only from London, NewYork and Mexico City, but also from Kolkata! His London taxis are already a part of Sydney streets. The addition of a Kolkata Taxi for Sydney siders is a dream come true. He wants to celebrate, embrace and enjoy the rich cultural heritage of Kolkata. James has already turned many heads with the pre-launch of Kolkata taxi in Campbell town, Liverpool and Parramatta suburbs of Sydney with high density of Indians. He wants to cater to birthday parties with laced with a nostalgiaof Kolkata Cab tours or just for fun. He will be talking to Cricket Australia, Medical Associations and NSW Bengali Association to provide free trips for two in Sydney for charitable causes. His addition of Kolkata Taxi is a great way to celebrate the global presence of Indian heritage taxis. The Kolkata Taxi will only help people to relive Indian culture in Australia and we cannot wait for that to happen in a sustainable format! 

Story Tag:
  • Ambassador Taxi, Sydney

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