Automobile - Auburn Taxi
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The body plan and year of manufacture suggests that this is a 1927 Auburn Straight Eight sedan. However, the presence of a four cylinder engine instead of an eight throws some doubt on this identification. It is possible that it is a Straight Eight body and chassis fitted with a more economical four cylinder engine for work as a city taxi.
Employment after WW1 was a significant issue for returned servicemen and taxi companies were among those assisted by the Repatriation Department to offer employment in Brisbane. One of the companies was the Returned Soldiers Auto Co Ltd, which, as the name suggests, was established by a group of former AIF servicemen in 1918 with assistance from the Repatriation Department. This company set up Reel Cabs in 1926, and both companies continued to hire mainly returned soldiers or diggers. By 1927 there was even a Reel Cabs Sub-branch of the RSSILA (Returned Soldiers and Sailors Imperial League of Australia, now the RSL). This Auburn car was initially part of Reel Cabs’ taxi fleet and later its hire-car fleet for most of the 1930s.