Some things I've often wondered about but not looked into but now self isolating, I have lots of time to find out. They are called london cabs, black cabs, but have been made in Coventry since 1954. Why Hackney cabs? I've found different answers to this, taken from the French haquenee, a trotting horse. The first london cabs were horse drawn. Others think Hackney in london, once famous for horses to hire, had the name pinched by the French and then nicked it back for the Hackney cabs. They have been around since 1662 and electric cabs since 1897.