Seven Day Build: London Taxi Transformed Into Rat Rod Van

Taxi Transformed Into Rat Rod

An eccentric mechanic has converted a London taxi into a crazy rat rod van in just seven days…

Paul Bacon from Leicestershire London
Paul Bacon from Leicestershire London

44-year-old Paul Bacon, from Leicestershire, London spent £450 ($590 US)  on a traditional black taxi cab. With a vision and some lumber, fiberglass, and expanding foam, Paul managed to construct a rusty, crusty rat rod that now serves as his shop van.

It took Paul just a week to finish the project — and he admits that he can no longer drive around his local town without receiving a few strange looks.

“A lot of people that first see the van say it looks like something from a horror movie. But really, I just needed a van real quick. Initially, I was looking at taxis to use their chassis, but then it occurred to me I could actually take one and convert it into a van. So I bought a taxi for around £450, I cut the back end off, built a timber frame and then started to construct the new shape.”

Paul did the majority of the work on the taxi inside his workshop at Cyclone Works. The entire process cost a little over £1,000 ($1,310 US) — which Paul thinks is money well spent.

“I use the van every day as my own personal transport so you know it’s pretty good. A lot of people smile, people wave, people come out and ask me a lot of questions about the van. It starts every morning, carries a lot of junk in the back – that’s all you need from a van really.”

With a rusty paint exterior, Paul added a cyclone-style cooler on the side of his front window to maintain the rat rod theme. The driver’s seat is taken from a 1974 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow that Paul predicted would fit perfectly.

The engine is a standard 2.7 Nissan diesel that comes in all London taxis and whilst the van was never built for speed, Paul has managed to reach 65mph.

“I’ve really liked cars all my life – particularly custom cars and hot rods. And this is the most usable vehicle I have built. It doesn’t have a sparkling performance, but it has bullet-proof reliability.”

Video Credits: Videographer/director: Alex Wilkinson Producer: Danny Baggott, Ruby Coote Editor: Thom Johnson