Friday 30 September 2016

Rare Morris model G taxi that nearly went like a bomb goes under the hammer

Published 07/06/2016 | 16:01

A 1928 Morris model G taxi is the last of only 840 built (Richard Edmonds Auctions/PA)
A 1928 Morris model G taxi is the last of only 840 built (Richard Edmonds Auctions/PA)

"She went like a bomb" is a phrase motoring enthusiasts occasionally use to describe their cars' fabulous performance.

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But in the case of the rare Morris model G taxi going under the hammer in Wiltshire this month the description is frightening accurate.

The unique 1928 Morris model G taxi, the last surviving example of its kind, spent many years packed with enough high explosives to bring down a substantial building.

The car's present owner bought it from a farmer on Salisbury Plain, who had been using the vehicle as an improvised tractor.

In order to increase the taxi's weight so that it could gain traction in the muddy fields, the farmer had filled it with scrap metal in the form of what he thought were empty military shell casings.

However, once the buyer got the vehicle home, he discovered the shells were still packed with high explosive, and had to make a hasty call to the bomb disposal unit.

The Morris taxi, which is the last of only 840 built, is expected to fetch in the region of £25,000 and £26,000 when it is sold at Richard Edmonds Auctions in Chippenham between June 16 and 18.

The Morris Model G taxi joins two others - a 1939 Austin 12/4 Low Loader and a rare saloon version of a 1932 Austin 12/4 High Lot - to form one of the star attractions at the sale.

One of the other taxis was used in numerous TV shows and films including Disney's 1975 film One Of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing and the 1984 Tom Selleck film Lassiter.

The sale also features 16 Austin 7s, one of the most popular cars of the 1930s. Four of the cars were found by Richard Edmonds and his team in a disused barn in Gloucestershire where they had been hidden away since the 1960s.

Auctioneer Richard Edmonds said: "This is the most cars we've ever sold at a single auction. We have over 80 cars, 20-plus motorcycles and 1,500 lots of automobilia and spare parts.

"I think the taxis could be the real stars but you never know. It's pretty rare to see 16 Austin 7s all at the same auction."

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