Profile of the 1958 Chevrolet Taxi
The 1958 Chevrolet Taxi featured a new design for the chassis and body, and the Economy 6 engine, which were available for the four-door Del Ray Standard, or the four-door Biscayne De Luxe Taxicab models. These vehicles were built for beauty, style, and durability with a longer, lower, stronger, wider chassis and body. The car had ample room in the interior.
Low-cost, factory-installed, special package Taxi features included heavy-duty front and rear coil springs, a heavy-duty rear axle, heavy-duty rear and front shock absorbers, heavy-duty brake linings, a lubrication fitting located on the clutch linkage lever shaft, 15-inch wheels and tires, the new Economy 6 Taxi engine with a heavy-duty 11-inch clutch and the Syncro-Mesh transmission. Also included were starter-ignition switch with an accessory position, heavy-duty rear and front floor mats, special, water-proof floor insulation, and special interior trim. All four doors had ceiling light switches, heavy-duty springs in rear and front seats, special hinges to allow wider opening rear doors, an open-door warning light, and special Tuflex Safety-Plate Glass for the side windows. Door-pull arm rests on the rear doors were available with the Del Ray model.
More interior features for 1958
The heavy-duty floor mats had a special reinforced, long-wearing foot-rest area. The floor padding was made with thick, asphalt-impregnated insulation for water-proof protection and easier cleaning.
The 1958 Taxi interior trim was made of nylon-rayon pattern vinyl cloth with new styling specifically for the Biscayne and Del Ray models. The practical color choices were silver and gunmetal. The scuff-resistant, washable, all-vinyl upholstery was available for a minor increase in cost. The Tuflex Safety Plate Glass insured extra break resistance on the Taxi side windows and increased passenger safety.
Both rear and front seat cushions and backs were made with heavy-duty reinforced springs, which were designed to uphold after carrying heavy loads and with hard usage. A clutch lever shaft pressure lubrication switch assured a free-acting clutch pedal and extra protection from linkage wear.
Lighting and door features
As an additional safety feature, at the lower edge of the instrument panel, the red open-door warning light flashed to indicate a door being open. Rear doors opened 14 inches wider with special hinges, allowing easier entry and exit. The rear doors were held at full-open position by specially-hinged door checks.
Ceiling light switches automatically illuminated the Taxi interior whenever a door was opened and was also operated by the main light switch. More Heavy-Duty Features
The 1958 Taxi featured increased stability, great durability, and a larger heavy-load capacity with the heavy-duty rear and front coil springs. The Taxi also had increased durability with the special Taxi front and rear heavy-duty shock absorbers. The special rear wheel, roller-type rear axle bearings increased durability throughout rigorous service. For tires, the 6.70 by 15 four-ply rated, tubeless rayon cord tires and 15 by 5K rims and wheels were available as an options package.
Generator choices included the standard 30-ampere generator for heavy-duty, higher output (RPO 338) and the 25-ampere heavy-duty generator was low-cut, (LPO 1000) for lower speed peak output. The 45-ampere generator (RPO 325) was extra heavy-duty for low speed, high current requirements, and the 50-ampere, alternator-type, generator (LPO 1050) had high output production at low and idle speeds, allowing special alternating current needs. Additional generators were available to meet special requirements.
A sturdy, comfortable build
The strong, sturdy X-built, X-braced chassis and Safety-Girder frame had a 30% increase in torque rigidity to assure Taxi stamina and additional durability. The new, integrated design for the chassis and body assured more rigidity and 30% more effectiveness against twisting forces with the new Safety-Girder frame.
The 1958 Taxi had friction-free full coil suspension on all four wheels with the new built-in leveling to allow smooth riding comfort. The rear axle, four-link rear suspension connected to four points on the frame. Above and below control arms transmitted braking and driving forces and increased stabilization.
The re-circulating, forward-mounted Ball-Race steering gear provided articulation of the steering column and relay linkage balance, to provide easier driving and reduced road shock at the wheel with less driver fatigue.
The 1958 Taxi was available with two engine choices. One was the new special Taxi Economy 6 engine, and the other was the Turbo-Fire V-8 engine. The Economy 6 engine was specially engineered with valve-in-head 6 cylinders for improved mileage, improved fuel economy, and ample acceleration power. Low maintenance features included hydraulic valve lifters, an economic concentric carburetor design, a positive-action, automatic choke, and controlled full-pressure lubrication.
The Turbo-Fire V-8 engine was valve-in-head, short-stroke with an 8.5:1 compression ratio. Each valve had an independent operation mechanism, full pressure lubrication, and hydraulic valve lifters. The new, three-point engine mounting on both engines was designed to absorb torque-roll and to control engine movement. The 1958 Taxi featured the fully-enclosed positive shift starter and the tube-on-center radiator for cooling efficiency with a 13-pound pressure cap and a pellet-type, positive action thermostat.
When Chevrolet built the 1958 models, rigidity was the focus. Everything was "heavy-duty" for stronger, long-lasting cars that buyers could depend on for years to come. Today, these cars are still lasting as enthusiasts strive to keep them alive.