Across the Globe in a 1935 London Taxi

3

How far can a taxi take you? For a couple in the summer of 1955, there was no limit to where a London taxi could land them. Read the story of Alfred and Jakobine, who went on a road trip around the world in a vintage London taxi.

Alfred and Jakobine setting up a tent in Morocco during the first leg of their trip with the vintage taxi. Photos via 1935 Vintage Taxi -- Flickr Photostream by Johnathan Howell

In 1955, a young American anthropologist Alfred Hobbs and his wife, Danish artist Jakobine, had a crazy idea for a summer getaway: to travel around the world in a vintage London taxi. While living in Casablanca, Morocco, the couple chanced upon the vintage 1935 Austin taxi and was completely charmed by it. Soon, the then newly-married couple set out for a honeymoon road trip that would span nearly 5 years and be marked with countless adventures and misadventures.

Vintage newspaper articles on Alfred and Jakobine’s amazing travels, including one in Japanese and Arabic. Photos via 1935 Vintage Taxi -- Flickr Photostream by Johnathan Howell
Alfred and Jakobine in Africa and India. Photos via 1935 Vintage Taxi -- Flickr Photostream by Johnathan Howell

It was a journey that seemed straight out of an adventure novel: they crossed the Sahara desert, probed deep into the African continent, reached India and met the 15-year-old Dalai Lama, and became celebrities of some sort by the time they reached Japan. But, the amazing trip was not without some unfortunate events: they were mistaken for spies and imprisoned in a desert prison, plagued with flat tires, braved typhoons, and faced near-death several times. Their trusty 1935 black London taxi, acquired for $80, bore witness to it all.

Alfred and Jakobine back in the U.S. after their epic road trip. Photos via 1935 Vintage Taxi -- Flickr Photostream by Johnathan Howell

The couple finally returned to the United States with the vintage taxi after their nearly 5-year travel. Jakobine wanted to settle down, but Alfred’s wanderlust was still not quenched. He set out for another adventure, at the expense of their marriage and promising family life. They had a son named Niels, who never really knew his father, but grew up hearing about his parents’ amazing journey with the old London taxi for bedtime stories.

Now, it’s time for their estranged son to tell their story—and make one last trip with the aged London taxi and his father. Alfred sent his son an e-mail, proposing that they resurrect the rusting vintage beauty and drive from New Mexico to New York to find Jakobine and get her to ride their London taxi one last time.

The tale of Alfred and Jakobine’s amazing road trip around the world (and everything that followed after) will be told in an upcoming documentary film entitled Driven. I’m very well looking forward to watching this film (currently in post-production), and I bet so will you! Here’s the trailer:

Inspired by the couple’s taxi tale? Maybe you too can have an interesting taxi adventure of your own. Why not start by shooting taxis around with your Lomographic goodies and join the Lomography x DesignTAXI: Find + Shoot a Taxi Competition!

What do you think of Alfred and Jakobine’s incredible journey with their London taxi? Tell us with a comment below!

Sources and additional readings:
Driven -- The Story
Driven -- Press
Manifold Destiny -- My Life in Second Life on Blogspot
1935 Vintage Taxi -- Flickr Photostream by Johnathan Howell

written by plasticpopsicle on 2011-09-16 in #lifestyle #taxi #lomography #journey #vintage-taxi #travel #analogue-lifestyle #taxi-cab #jakobine #1955 #alfred

3 Comments

  1. realisticdreamer
    realisticdreamer ·

    I want an adventure too!

  2. plasticpopsicle
    plasticpopsicle ·

    I find their story really inspiring! How many of us can have an adventure as epic as this?

  3. ashdinosaur
    ashdinosaur ·

    Lets do it

More Interesting Articles

  • Dave Tomkins Pays Tribute to His Grandfather via 'Grandpa's Photos'

    written by chooolss on 2014-07-23 in #lifestyle
    Dave Tomkins Pays Tribute to His Grandfather via 'Grandpa's Photos'

    "Grandpa's Photos" is exactly what it says on the title - vintage photographs taken by an Australian man named Stephen Clarke who frequently went on trips around the world. But make no mistake in concluding that it's simply a showcase; Clarke's grandson, Dave Tomkins, has also taken it upon himself to honor his late grandfather as a talented photographer. In this interview, Tomkins introduces him to us and shares the idea behind his personal project.

  • LomoAmigo Interview: Alexis Coram

    written by ciaravesely on 2014-04-11 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo Interview: Alexis Coram

    Alexis Coram is an English landscape photographer who currently lives in San Francisco. She is a spontaneous and adventurous photographer who has captured the moments of her road trips across the continent this past year.

  • Behind the Scenes: Prinz Pi On the Go with the LC-A+

    written by zonderbar on 2014-07-09 in #people #lomoamigos
    Behind the Scenes: Prinz Pi On the Go with the LC-A+

    Berliner rapper Prinz Pi made it to the top of the charts with his latest album “Kompass ohne Norden” and went on the most successful tour of his career so far, where he performed in front of over 37,000 fans. With an LC-A+ at his disposal, Prinz Pi's manager, Wassif, captured the concerts for us on film- both on and backstage.

  • Shop News

    Color Your World with Colorsplash Camera

    Color Your World with Colorsplash Camera

    At 30% off you can now color your analog images with 12 different color gels. Experiment with 35mm slide film and play with the built-in color flash for the most intense colors!

  • LomoAmigos: Say Hi to the Norman Records Staff

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-08-08 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigos: Say Hi to the Norman Records Staff

    Norman Records is an online record store based in Leeds, United Kingdom that offers a diverse selection of music from all around the globe. They sell Indie, Rock, Kosmiche, IDM, EBM, Dancehall, Jazz, Library, Math Rock, Cheesecore and all the other crazy music genres your could ever imagine. We decided to give them an L-CA+ to get a backstage glimpse of life in an online record shop.

    1
  • Horse Thief and a Fisheye, a Killer Combination at CMJ

    written by antoniocastello on 2014-11-28 in #people #lomoamigos
    Horse Thief and a Fisheye, a Killer Combination at CMJ

    Horse Thief was one of the bands we worked with during CMJ Music Marathon.This Oklahoma-based band came all the way to NYC to play in tone of the world's biggest indie music festivals. We gave them a Fisheye camera too, so they could capture their trip around the Big Apple.

  • Tales from the Trip: Purple Camel Smiles

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-04-09 in #world #locations
    Tales from the Trip: Purple Camel Smiles

    As intrepid travelers, we don't only search for an adventure or a change of scenery -- we also seek to capture fascinating moments in photographs and tell the compelling stories behind them. In this wanderlust-driven series for the Locations section, we showcase some of the most fascinating travel photos by our fellow lomographers, along with their tales from the trip.

    2
  • Shop News

    Lubitel & film bundle

    Lubitel & film bundle

    This beautiful camera features such ability to let users choose and switch between 35mm or 120 formats! Shoot more, save more! Get this Lubitel camera and get 15% discounts with Lomography Films!

  • Tales from the Trip: The Axis

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-10 in #world #locations
    Tales from the Trip: The Axis

    As intrepid travelers, we don't only search for an adventure or a change of scenery -- we also seek to capture fascinating moments in photographs and tell the compelling stories behind them. In this wanderlust-driven series for the Locations section, we showcase some of the most fascinating travel photos by our fellow lomographers, along with their tales from the trip.

    1
  • Tales from the Trip: Atacama Blue

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-14 in #world #locations
    Tales from the Trip: Atacama Blue

    As intrepid travelers, we don't only search for an adventure or a change of scenery -- we also seek to capture fascinating moments in photographs and tell the compelling stories behind them. In this wanderlust-driven series for the Locations section, we showcase some of the most fascinating travel photos by our fellow lomographers, along with their tales from the trip.

  • Tales from the Trip: Gone Fishing

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-05-23 in #world #locations
    Tales from the Trip: Gone Fishing

    As intrepid travelers, we don't only search for an adventure or a change of scenery -- we also seek to capture fascinating moments in photographs and tell the compelling stories behind them. In this wanderlust-driven series for the Locations section, we showcase some of the most fascinating travel photos by our fellow lomographers, along with their tales from the trip.

  • Shop News

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Shoot wider and bigger with this new instax camera that has film format twice the size of the instax mini films!

  • Tales from the Trip: The Hideout

    written by plasticpopsicle on 2014-04-05 in #world #locations

    As intrepid travelers, we don't only search for an adventure or a change of scenery -- we also seek to capture fascinating moments in photographs and tell the compelling stories behind them. In this wanderlust-driven series for the Locations section, we showcase some of the most fascinating travel photos by our fellow lomographers, along with their tales from the trip.

  • Lomography x The Staves Competition: Winners Announcement!

    written by annoushka on 2015-04-01 in #world #competitions
    Lomography x The Staves Competition: Winners Announcement!

    The competition Lomography x The Staves ended on March 23, 2015, and there had been so many participants for the theme, "brothers and sisters." It's now time to celebrate the winners picked by Lomography and The Staves!

    1
  • Top 5 Ways to Stage Your Instant Shots

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-04-01 in #world #lifestyle
    Top 5 Ways to Stage Your Instant Shots

    Instant does not have to be run-of-the-mill.