Checker TaxiTaxi Checker
sspan class="mw-headline" id="History">History
Checker's last taxi, the 1982 Checker model 11 in turquoise and creme with Checker's distinctive chessboard cover, on show at the Gilmore Cars Museum in Hickory Corners, MI. Check Taxi was a dominating taxi business located in Chicago, Illinois. Checkers Motors was an automobile manufacturer (formerly Markin Automobile Body).
1 ] Both undertakings were held by Morris Markin in the thirties. Checker, especially the 1959-82 Checker A-series limousines, remained the best-known taxis in the United States. Hotels, shopping malls and offices were the amenities, but often only restricted accessibility to their amenities for a sole taxi operator.
Gelbes Taxi und Checker Taxi. The Yellow Cab company was formed in 1910 by John Hertz, who in 1917 set up his own cabin-maker. Checkers Taxi did not have its own taxi firm, but mainly used Mogul Cabs made by the Commonwealth. Markin Morris, a cloth maker from Chicago, Illinois, became the owners of Markin Automobile Body, a Joliet, Illinois-based bodybuilder, after the owners failed to obtain a $15,000 private credit.
Commonswealth Motors was on the brink of insolvency, but had an order from Checker Taxi (a private taxi firm of George Hilsky in Chicago and New York City, which at the moment had no connection to Markin). Commonwealth Motors was purchased by Markin through a share exchange and Markin Automobile Body fused it with Commonwealth Motors to form Checker Cab Manufacturing to fulfill the covenant.
Joliet produced checker cabins for two years, then relocated to Kalamazoo, Michigan. Checker's rugged booths won the loyalty and loyalty of Checker taxi drivers in Chicago. In 1924 Markin began to buy the licences of the Checker taxi companies and took full ownership of the business in 1937.
In 1929, after a suspect fire in his barns had caused the death of his valuable racehorses, Hertz divested his remainder of Yellow Cab to Markin, who later purchased another third of Parmelee's stock, taking both Parmelee and Yellow Cab under his wing.
By 1940, Parmelee (including Yellow and Checker Cab) was the United States' biggest taxi operator. Before the Yellow cab sale in 1925, Hertz had divested its production of taxis, trucks and coaches to General Motors. Markin made an offering to GM to divest part of the purchased store, but Markin refused.
Instead of eliminating the Yellow Manufacture capability, General Motors went into the taxi shop in New York City as Terminal Taxi Cab. Until 1943, General Motors ran Yellow Coach as a wholly owned affiliate, when it became part of the GMC Truck Division and production moved from Chicago to Pontiac, Michigan.
Another "taxi war" erupted in which the owners of Checker Taxi Co and Terminal Taxi Co compete against each other in New York City. In order to end the controversy, New York Mayor Jimmy Walker founded the New York Taxi Cab Commission (now the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission), which exhibited a finite number of taxi operating licenses, known as taxi medallions, prescribing that taxis have seats for five back cabin occupants, which Checker and a fistful of other makers who constructed cars that satisfied this requirement preferred.
For the next three years Markin was instrumental in founding Checker Taxi or Checker Cab businesses in a number of large US towns. Sometime Markin was selling the Checker Cab Manufacturing to E.L. Cord, but in 1936 he was buying it back. Cord and Markin were good acquaintances, and after Cord purchased the interest in Checker, he kept Markin as CEO.
The large, overweight Checker Model T, launched in 1932, meanwhile had an 8-cylinder Lycoming motor, the same one that drove the classical cables at the forefront. Checkers had used Lycoming 6-cylinder motors since the launch of the Checker Model G in 1927. Previously, most checkers were driven by 4-cylinder Buda motors.
1935 Checker Modell Y had an appealing front-end design that could be affected by the Cord 810/812 or 1933-34 Ford 2.5V. Until 1938 the Y-model was put into operation. In 1939 Checker launched a completely new Checker car, the Modell A. From then on all Checker cars were labeled "A", mostly with a number.
Model A of 1939 had a lowerable sunroof in the rear part of the glasshouse, striking stylised headlamp glass and uncommon open front mudguards. From 1939 the lady was driven by the well-known continental "Red Seal" straight six-cylinder motor until the motor was adjusted in 1964. Checker began offering an option for an OHV on the Continental Six in the early fifties.
Checker, like other U.S. automobile manufacturers, moved into military manufacturing, the materials needed by the U.S. Armed Forces, during World War Two. The Checker automobiles were designed after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, although they were similar in mechanical terms to the pre-war vehicles, like many limousines of the latter part of the 19th century. Launched in 1947, the new car had a 127-inch (3,226 mm) chassis and bodywork.
1954 New York City revamped its taxis specification by removing the five-person stern space requirements and prescribing a 3,226 mm or less tirebase, virtually removing Checker from the commercialization. In December 1956, a new 120 " chassis framework named A8 was launched, and this fundamental chassis styling was maintained for the Checker manufacturing period until the end of 1982.
A8 Checkers from 1956 to 1958 had individual headlamps, 1953 Chevrolet rear lights and a thick, one-piece radiator grill. 1958 in the USA quads became lawful, and from then on Checkers presented the quads together with a new radiator grill use. Earlier versions also had a individual, independent reversing lamp fitted to the front end of the car.
A further switch between the V8 and later versions is the backlight. Initially low in the case of the B8 with a larger "C" column, the back windscreen wound itself around a slimmer line of the roofline in later versions and provided better all-round vision. In 1960, Checker launched the A9 taxi as well as, for the first ever, the A10 Superba, a personal limousine presented to the general audience.
In 1961, the Marathon limousine and the estate were presented, higher version of the Superbah. In 1965, with the 1965 annulment of the straight-line six-cylinder Continental transmission, Checker changed to Chevrolet straight six-cylinder turbocharged straight line diesel models, optionally with the small-block Chevy 283 and 327VD8s. From 1970 Checker used the omnipresent 350cc small Chevrolet VB8 pad as an upgrade that was available until the end of manufacturing.
From 1980 both Chevrolet and Checker were offering a new 229 cm3 V26 off-the-shelf motor, optionally with a small-block 305 or 350 VA. Checker's default gearbox since the 1930' was a traditional 3-speed gearbox. 1956 Checker introduced a "Driv-Er-Matic Special" with a Borg-Warner auto gearbox and a Continental 6 overload relief valves.
In 1970 GM's Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 gearbox became the benchmark for all checkers. From 1959 Checker began to produce cars for the general population. First of these cars were named "A10 Superba" and the line consisted of a saloon and a combi. In 1961 a more luxury version named "A12 Marathon" was launched and stayed in use until 1982.
Checker wagons were promoted to the general public as a spacious and robust substitute to the US model limousine. An A12W marathon estate was also on offer, but shoppers favoured styling and strength over convenience, so the lady's sale to the general audience was rather muted. By 1964, the State of New York was pursuing Markin and Checker on cartel charges, claiming that it was controlling both the taxi services and the production of cabs, thereby favouring the fulfilment of orders.
Instead of allowing Checker riders to buy different makes of car, Markin began to sell licences in New York City. With US federal security regulations becoming increasingly stringent in the sixties and seventies, the Checker kept up with the times, and although they had the same fundamental bodyshell designs, Checker fans can often easily pinpoint a Checker's year from its security features.
In 1964 the front pelvic seat belt model was launched and in 1967 energy-absorbing power steerings were added. The 1968 model was equipped with round side marking lamps on the mudguards and shoulders, and in the 1969' head restraints were added for the front seats. The 1973 and 1974 versions superseded the chrome-plated front end covers for large, beam-shaped aluminium lacquered assemblies that provided light protection in a 5 km/h collision.
In 1975 and later the cars were called "unleaded only", and in 1978 the new delta-style Chevrolet was launched. Checker shipped some special version of the A11 in the 1960' and 1970'. Medicar was launched in 1969 and was conceived as an emergency vehicle or van for wheelchair-accessible people.
It also had a heightened ceiling and equipment to attach a chair to the ground while driving. Designed specifically for the woman of the company's chief executive officer, the A-12E will remain in pristine shape with less than 50 mileage on the mileometer. Checker limousines provided vinyls with operas, electric accessory and luxury padding.
From 1958 to 1982 their style hardly ever altered during productions, so many movie makers didn't pay attention to using period-correct Checker automobiles in their work. Often a later Modell-Checker (with side marking lamps, fenders at the end of the 70s etc.) was used in the 50s or 60s. Except for the A10, A11 and Marathon there are only a few ladies before 1960.
As soon as they had left the taxi services, they were usually scrap. However, at that point there were only the later versions, the automobiles that can be found today. There are two renovated older ladies in the Gilmore in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The first is a 1923 model E, the second is a 1936 model Y. The collection also includes the very last automobile the firm built, a 1982 A11 taxi in Chicago greens and ivories.
During the early 1950s, a number of used Checker A 2s and A 4s were sent to Finland to repair an automotive defect. The 1939 Model A is also in the possession of a privately owned and fully renovated collectors. Hundreds of checkers after 1960 existed under different circumstances. The Checker A2 was renovated in Finland in 2017 and will be shown at the Lahti Classic Motorshow 2017.
It is said to be perhaps the only fully refurbished A3 A 2 car in the whole wide range. Up until recently, true to-scale models of every Checker vehicle were in extreme short supply, but after these vintage cabs vanished from the big city, several pressure casting pattern makers have released A10 and A11 Checkers licensees.
Above all, Sun Star manufactured several 1981 A11 taxis in New York paintwork as well as Chicago and Los Angeles color and marking in the standard 1:18 series. Each model has its own interior, engine, suspension and has precise logos and marks on the coach. On a smaller-scale, Matchbox created a small checker with the famous "Checker Special" label on the back door.
The Greenlight company manufactures a 1977 New York Checker precise cabin based on the 1/43rd and 1/18th scaled model of the "Friends" Phoebe Buffay. Franklin Mint made a 1963 Checker, again a New Yorker model, in its familiar, very detailled 1:24 scaling. The Sunnyside company manufactured a beautiful 1/34 licenced 1963 Checker A11 Taxi with details of the motor, cabin, chassis and Checker Special sticker on the backdoor.
Generally marketed as a memento in various towns, New York and Miami included, it has white wall tyres and small wheel caps, as well as a fully engineered Continental L-head, a gearbox with bottom derailleur and a braking servo. Probably the most uncommon Checker die casting is Brooklin's 1949 New York Checker A2, a long lost one.
Others small, cheap types may be available, but some of them are stylised checkers only and do not exactly replicate the checker in full-size. The last Checker cabin in retirement".