today marks the end of my nights out in Tango.. A big gold bomber I’ve been driving for 4 months.My Last Tango in Cleveleys

She’s getting a little long in the tooth… As I put a last £10 of diesel in her at Morrisons tonight, I looked at her in the incadecent glow of the petrol station… She was battered and bruised from the 10 years of abuse that not only the customers had given her, but the 100’s of drivers that had sat in the same seat I had and driven the streets of Thornton, Cleveleys and Poulton had done…

The list of things wrong does not make for light reading…

  • The front grill was fastened on with insulation tape,
  • the drivers side headlight only worked if you got out and banged it ‘Fonze style’.
  • The heater blew cold air (which wasn’t very nice on a -4°c Saturday night!).
  • If you went over a dip or a bump at anything near 30mph the front wheels took on a ‘tank slapper’ feel that only died off if you slowed down to less that 20mph
  • The passenger door handle stuck out so that when a passenger got in, if they didn’t push the outside handle back down the door wouldn’t shut
  • Sometimes you could turn the key and she would just click.. You had to give her a rock whilst in 2nd gear to and then she’d fire up
  • She had a water leak worse than an incontinent alcoholic! average about 5 litres of water for a normal Saturday night
  • The Ace Cabs radio was very temperamental. Sometimes you could be sitting there for half an hour and it would have frozen and logged you off..
  • The drivers seat padding had worn through so I was like sitting in a Victorian dining chair,
  • the radio could only get ‘96.5 Radio Wave’ and that blasted out of 1 speaker…
BUT… having said that.. It was the first taxi I’d ever driven.. and it was an ambition achieved really.. I’ve grown up on Blackpool, with lots of black cabs running round the streets.. My dad was a Private Hire driver in Blackpool and I always saw the Hackney Drivers as a kind of one better because they could pick up off the street..

At the end of the night, as I turned the key for the last time and stopped her engine after the final night shift her speedo read 517,487.7 miles…. Night Night tango… Thanks for the dances… it was fun!Tango's speedo at the end of the shift.