As Singaporeans, we associate fan art with the youth and their likely muses, such as Korean pop culture or villagers from Animal Crossing. But some utterly gorgeous fan art has emerged out of love for an unlikely subject of adoration: Singapore’s old taxis.
Enter Jeffrey Abdullah, contributor to the Singapore Memory Project. In each of the miniature taxi models he has submitted, he confesses to having a “deep interest” in old Singapore taxis and reveals that model is hand-made by himself. He volunteers no other information.
Did you know that Comfort DelGro taxis used to be called NTUC Comfort taxis? Nowadays, we readily associate Comfort DelGro’s brand with blue but did you know their taxis used to be in cream and red?
Set up in 2011, the Singapore Memory states in its FAQ page that it aims to “collect, preserve and provide access to Singapore’s knowledge materials, so as to tell the Singapore Story”. Users of the site can submit content to the site in various mediums. The project is primarily an initiative of the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and the National Library Board.
Here is the rest of Jeffrey’s work:
According to Jeffrey, this is an Austin Cambridge A60, which was made by the Austin Motor Company in England. These cars were produced from 1961 – 1969. These classic beauties likely ferried many of your older relatives in the 1960s and 1970s, as they were en route to watch Easy Rider or the very first Godfather!
This is how a Mercedes car looked like in the 1950s. Produced in 1953, the Mercedes Benz type 180 was produced by then Daimler-Benz.
Did you know that Comfort DelGro taxis used to be called NTUC Comfort taxis? You associate Comfort DelGro’s brand with blue now but did you know their taxis used to be in cream and red? Here’s something else younger Singaporeans may not know – SBS-Transit was once in the taxi game!
This beautiful drawing was made by an artist with Glimpses of Eden which is a Singapore-based online art gallery. What sets it apart from other galleries is that it features work by differently-abled artists. It is run by jtmuses, or Joyce, as she calls herself.
In 1976, there was no cell phone you could dial a cab with. But 1976 was the year when dialling a cab became possible, with the advent of the radio taxi service. Back then, phone numbers only had six digits.
Little booths all over the island processed these calls, such as this one you see here, in Sembawang.
Before we had Hyundai i40s and Renault Latitudes taxis on our roads along with the Toyotas and Nissans, we had these.
According to Remember Singapore, yellow top taxis have been a fixture in Singapore before we were called Singapore, since the 1930s. Do you recall the last time you saw one?
This was the first London type taxi available in Singapore. Back in 1949, taxi drivers aspiring to ferry their passengers around in one of these would have to fork out $7000 Singapore dollars. In today’s money, that would be over $77000. Little wonder that few could afford to buy one.
According to statistics compiled by the Land Transport Authority in 2016, the average taxi driver makes 28.6 trips a day. Each trip averages out to 9.6km. Going by my extremely rudimentary calculations, at this rate, it would take a cab driver the better part of a year to get his money back.
Do you remember the last time you took the taxi? Can you imagine getting nostalgic over the look and smell of the taxi one day?