A MECHANIC has turned a London black cab into an American-style retro van in just seven days.
Having bought the iconic taxi for £450, 44-year-old Paul Bacon used wood, fibreglass and foam to convert it into an imitation rat-rod vehicle.
Bacon cut the back end of the taxi off and built a new body shape around a timber frame. The van looks as though it has been heavily lowered, but the suspension is, in fact, completely standard and the wheel arches have merely been lowered.
The Leicestershire-based mechanic used the rear seat from a 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow to create a retro bench seat in the cabin. He also added various aesthetic touches, such as truck-style wing mirrors and a swamp box air conditioning unit, as well as painting the whole vehicle to make it look like a rusty classic.
The vehicle uses a 2.7-litre Nissan engine that can be found in many London taxis. Bacon uses the van to transport items for work, as well as advertising his company, Cyclone Works, by having its logo painted on the side.
In the video below, Bacon said: ‘The inspiration for this project was to build something really quickly. I needed a van and wanted that cool, retro look.
‘I’ve only ever really been up to about 65mph, but I’m hoping to break that magical barrier over the next couple of weeks, probably on a nice downhill stretch of road.
‘It’s probably the most useable vehicle I’ve built. A lot of people smile, people wave, people come up and ask a lot of questions about the van. It always starts every morning, it always works, and I can carry a load of junk in the back. That’s probably all you need from a van really.’
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