In an era where Ola and Uber have consumed a majority of stakes when it comes to public transportation, veteran “kaali peeli” taxis’ still remain a synonym to word taxi and a ride I would invariably take.
Popularly known as Padmini Taxis, the four-wheeler painted in black and yellow is one of the fondest memories of commuters from the 80s and the 90s. However, with their production being halted back in 2000, now only a mere 50 of them are left on roads waiting to be recalled.
The car originally debuted as Fiat 1100 Delight in 1964 with producers less aware that it would rule the roads in the decades to come. In 1974 the car donned a new name – Premier Padmini – after the legendary Indian queen.
Padmini today may not deliver comfort as restful as an Uber, however, scanning Mumbai with its windows downed is something that would forever be etched in our hearts.
“We always got a word of praise from commuters who found these cabs comfortable in terms of good leg space, suspension and also ride quality,” recalls a driver who awaits the D-day – June 2020 – of what, we believe, is the most precious metal to him.