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Dipankar De Sarkar, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 21, 2013
Long teased for its gently bovine looks, the humble Hindustan Ambassador has been named the world’s best taxi — albeit in a mad, chaotic and somewhat unscientific test. The bulky car, modelled after the British Oxford Morris, beat off impressive opposition — everything from a Russian stretch limousine to the Mexican Volkswagen Beetle, German E-class Mercedes and even the British black cab — to win the title.

BBC's Top Gear lined up the cabs in a traditional car race with a difference — drivers could show unlimited aggression to beat off rivals in a televised carnage.

At one point in the race, the limo attempted to block the New York Ford Crown Vic but was broken in half as the NY cab crashed right through it. But then the famous yellow cab too crashed into the railings.

“Oh my word,” said presenter Richard Hammond, “that is Russia taken out. In fact, America has taken itself out as well.”

Amid the willful destruction, the kaali peeli (black and yellow) Amby, driven by Scottish racer Gordon 'Flash' Shedden, gently trundled past and won the race. “London’s black cabs are no match for India’s virtually indestructible Hindustan Ambassador,” wrote a reviewer in the Daily Telegraph.