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Wheels of Fortune: The Tao of Transportation

March 30, 2003|RENEE VOGEL

If your path to enlightenment leads through London, there's transportation on a higher celestial plane than one of the city's traditional black taxi cabs. These days the nirvana of car services is Karma Kars, a five-car fleet of classic Ambassador cars imported from India and individually decorated--or "karma-ized"--by Heather Allan, wife of proprietor Tobias Moss.

Each of the atmospheric automobiles, which are modeled on the 1948 British Morris Oxford, is distinct: "Purple Haze," inspired by the palaces of the Mogul emperors, has 300 flowers on its bumpers and a mirrored mosaic ceiling created in Paris. The "Abfabkab" is decked out in leopard skins, silks and velvets. The "Monsoon Wedding" is decorated with tapestries and chandeliers.

Moss, a self-described hippie whose motto is "the journey is more important than the destination," was inspired to create the company while meditating in the Himalayas. "I knew if I was going to go back into the world, I had to do something to make life fun and turn people on," he says.

An excursion in a Karma Kar is more than just a ride. The drivers, who include Moss himself, are "Karma Konsultants," offering psychic insights, tarot card readings, aromatherapy and breathing meditations. The price for being transported is epartment50 (about $80) per hour, but special rates are available for "all lost causes."

Karma Kars, telephone 011 44 208 933 7052; www.karmakabs.com.

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