Checker Cab History

The 1941 Checker Bantam BRC Jeep

If you go to The Gilmore Museum in Hickory Falls, Michigan, you may find a somewhat surprising vehicle, the Checker Jeep.  At the Gilmore the fully restored Jeep has a big sign on the windscreen declaring it to be a Checker product. Yes, the Checker Jeep, unless you... read more

The 1922 Commonwealth Goodspeed Show Car

In 1917, Alfred Barley acquired the Michigan Buggy plant in Kalamazoo and started to produce a high-end luxury sports car,  his organization: the Barley Motor Car Company. Barley’s plan, build a sports car with smart European styling, the car would sell well in... read more

After The Con Man, Part 2 in series of Checker history

  In the last installment we explored a story about a con man with many names, we’ll refer to him by his real name William Andrew Schaum.  Between 1901 and 1912 Mr. Schaum created no less than six car companies. All eventually failed, total automobile production... read more

Checker Model C, E & H 1922 through 1926

1923 Checker Model H, sole survivor at the Gilmore Museum Checker officially came off the line in June of 1922.  The first model was the Model C,  C standing for Commonwealth or Checker?  Who knows, that said between 1922 and 1926, Checker would offer several  “new”... read more

The 1926 Checker Model F

1926 is an interesting year for Checker as the small company would offer two models, The Model E and new Model F. Additionally an export version of the Model E was offered for the UK market, with right hand drive and opening  rear passenger section.   Its highly... read more

1927 Checker Model G

A new Model G was offered for 1927 along with the Model F. The Model E, a seven-year-old design was then discontinued. Although both the Model G and Model F were still utilizing the Partin-Palmer foundation, balloon tyres gave the Model G a new, lower stance.  ... read more

1930 Checker Model M

Markin took his profits from 1929 and continued to expand, purchasing Yellow Cab of Chicago and the Parmalee Transportation Company, which ensured that there would be future buyers of Checker Cabs in two major markets, Chicago and New York.  Markin’s purchase of the... read more

The 1935 to 1939 Checker Model Y

In 1934, Checker began development of a new taxicab, the Model Y. It was the third offering in the evolution of the 1928 Model K and quite striking in appearance, with many style cues reminiscent of its new corporate cousin, the Auburn, albeit an industrial version.... read more

The 1940 Checker Model A

The 1939 Checker Model A was a watershed taxi, perhaps one of the most significant taxis Checker ever produced. It served as the basis of all Checkers until the end of automobile production in 1982, with all Checkers subsequent to the Model A sharing its basic... read more

The Stillborn Model D Post War Prototype

The Checker Model A was only made for two full years; 1939 and 1940. 1941 was a shortened model run due to WWII. Over the years the rumour grew up that Morris Markin melted down all the body tools and dies for the war effort. Automobile production ceased during the... read more

The 1947 Checker Model A2

Checker rapidly developed a replacement for the Model A, combining the chassis and engine configuration of the original Model A with the Dietrich designed body of the Model D. The resulting vehicle was called the Model A2. The body passenger compartment of the A2 is... read more

1950 Checker A4

A re-engineered Checker was introduced in 1950. This was the Model A4, with its companion, the Model A5 pleasure car. Both models featured a tighter turning radius and wraparound bumpers that bore a strike resemblance to the 40s era Cadillac bumpers. The A4 and A5... read more

1953 Checker Model A3

In 1953 Checker again re-engineered the Model A to produce the Model A6 taxi and Model A7 pleasure car. The most significant change was in the rear roof passenger area. The entire roof was raised to improve rear headroom clearance, the resulting change squaring up... read more

The 1956 Checker Model A8

Two models were introduced for 1956, The Checker Model A8 Standard and the Models A8Drivermatic Special.  The special was the higher end vehicle equipped with power steering, a Borg Warner automatic transmission and power brakes. The standard was a bare bones taxi... read more

1958 Checker Model A9

In the fall of 1958 Checker introduced the Checker A9 taxicab. Based largely in the Checker A8. To the untrained eye and despite popular belief, this new Checker did not share any exterior body panels with the Model A8. Biggest change: a flatter roof and larger rear... read more

1961 Model Marathon A10

Introduced for1961 this design is essentially a A9 built for the consumer market.  It also represents a higher end version of the Checker. Differences between the A9 and Superba A10 is the chrome strip that runs from the fender thru the doors.  The Marathon offered... read more

1959-1961 Superba Model A10

Introduced in the summer of 1959 this design is essentially a A9  taxicab built for the consumer market. Differences between the A9  taxi is purely exterior paint scheme and interior trim... read more

1962 Checker Model A12

Introduced for 1962 this design is essentially an A11 built for the consumer market.  It also represents a higher end version of the Checker Superba. Differences between the A10 and Superba are the chrome strip that runs from front of the fender thru the doors. The... read more

1962 Model A11 Taxicab

Introduced for 1962 this design is essentially an A9 with some minor visual differences. Only a well trained eye can see the difference made in 1962 from the A9 first introduced in the fall of 1958: Parking lights moved to the outboard fenders The front splash pan was... read more

Model Marathon A12E Town Custom Limo

The “E” stands for extended wheelbase, Introduced for 1962 and produced for almost two decades. This limo version of the Marathon was built for the high end professional car market. Differences between the A11 Taxi, Marathon and Superba were the extended wheelbase at... read more