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Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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A British 1958 Beardmore Mark 7 Paramount Taxicab Finds New Life in the Colonies

Posted September 16, 2021 4:00 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: Beardmore

When someone mentions the words “London cab,” we typically picture the black Austin FX4 that was so ubiquitous in England’s capital city for decades. It may have been the 500-pound gorilla, but Austin wasn’t alone in the taxi market; from 1919 through 1966, Beardmore built sturdy and stylish cabs that culminated in its final, the Mark 7 Paramount. Fewer than 20 of those genuinely rare people-movers are known to have made their way across the pond, and “Hack,” a 1958 model that enjoyed a thoughtful cosmetic and mechanical systems refresh, is among the very finest.

The Mark 7 represented the ultimate generation of the Beardmore Paramount, a highly regarded line of innovative, quality-built taxicabs. The parent company originated in 1886 in Glasgow, Scotland, as William Beardmore & Co. Ltd., a steel- and iron-forging industrial concern that would eventually branch out into shipbuilding, locomotives, aircraft, automobiles, and motorcycles. Between the World Wars, Beardmore made cars for private sale, as well as commercial taxis that earned the firm its positive reputation. Upon its 1954 introduction, the body-on-frame Mark 7 was a fascinating blend of old and new: It combined wood-framed aluminum coachwork with steel hood panels and a fiberglass roof and fenders, and used off-the-shelf English Ford driveline components.

Nothing is known of our feature Paramount before it came to America in the 1960s, but it was said to have been put into service by the Arlington, Virginia, based Red Top Cab Co. in 1969. “They had one particular guy, an older man, who was the only person in the company that drove it,” explains co owner Bill Rule. “After he passed away, it was parked around 1980, and sat outside until 1985, when it supposedly just ‘disappeared.’ Red Top didn’t know what happened to it, and it was out of sight until it was bought at auction by the person we bought it from.”

Here's how it was restored.

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