Cabriolet

This two-wheeled vehicle was driven by the owner and accompanied by a groom (known as a “tiger” for the traditional black and yellow waistcoats); the tiger stood on a small platform behind the body. It’s sea-shell shape was unlike other carriages. It had an apron and head that gave coverage to the passengers.

This was a popular carriage for the man about town. It was all about wealth, sophistication, and style, and was considered perfect for bachelors for a night on the town. In Coaching, with Anecdotes of the Road, the author said, "It will scarcely be believed that, some five-and-forty years ago, almost every nobleman and gentleman used the cabriole… to convey him to dinner, balls, and parties; for example, the late Duke of Wellington rarely, except on state occasions, made use of any other vehicle, the carriages being devoted to the service of the Duchess... A well-appointed cabriolet was a comfortable and gentleman-like conveyance, and, for the bachelor, did the duty of a close carriage at half the expense. A perfect cabriolet horse, however, costs money, and the equipage must be well turned out. A seedy-looking cabriolet and horse to match are abominations not to be endured. I have said that a cabriolet should be well 'got up;' and in order to do this the owner must possess two horses—one for daylight, and another for night work; a clever 'screw' will answer for the latter purpose—one, however, that can go the pace, although he can never show until the gas is lit. No one who values a good horse would dream of allowing him to stand exposed to chilly blasts at the opera, the theatre, or his club."

Most hired “hackney” carriages were cabriolets, which is where the name “cab” came from.

  • Seats: 2 passengers + 1 groom

  • Horses: 1