New York-style taxi is hailing a big response
A DISTINCTIVE yellow New York City taxi cab has been turning heads on the streets of Harborough.
The bizarre spectacle has been leaving onlookers baffled as to why a regular fixture normally seen on Manhattan’s gridlocked streets has found a new home in rural south Leicestershire.
Thanks to social networking website Twitter, the Mail is today able to reveal the man responsible for the colourful vehicle is St Mary Place stalwart John Perry.
Mr Perry, the long-serving shopping centre superintendent, bought the Alfa Romeo 164 on eBay for the princely sum of £595. A 1995 model, the car, complete with its iconic canary-yellow livery, had 115,000 on the clock and its previous use was as a racing car in the Screwball Rally. He bought it from pub licensee’s daughter Samantha Doyle, who works as a barmaid at her father’s pub, The Red Admiral in Broughton Astley. She took to the roads last autumn with fellow drivers Denise Oakley, Paul Wallace and Andrew Campbell, in the taxi for the 2,500-mile rally, taking in Germany, Czechoslovakia and Holland.
Mr Perry was searching eBay to help find a new car for his son, also called John, but when he saw the taxi, he was smitten.
He gave his own Rover 620 to his son while Mr Perry became the proud owner of the distinctive yellow cab.
“It raises a smile whenever someone sees it,” Mr Perry said. “I haven’t had anyone trying to flag it down yet but I’m avoiding driving into town at 1am on a Saturday night for that very reason.”
Mr Perry, who lives in Harborough, is a big fan of classic American cars and has previously owned a Lincoln Continental, Chevrolet Corvette and Chevrolet Camaro.
He has never been to New York or seen the cabs in their native habitat. “My son visited last year but I have never been to New York,” he said. “I have always been fascinated with American cars ever since I was tiny and making model kits of hot rods and drag racers.”
The car was first given the yellow paintjob by Liverpool taxi owner Steve McCall and his 100-year-old father Alf in 2010 to celebrate Alfa Romeo’s 100th anniversary and his father’s centenary. Mr McCall used it as a taxi for city tours until the Screwball Rally team bought it last year.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Market Harborough
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North west