1966 Checker Marathon
Checker was a manufacturer of automobiles based in Kalamazoo, Michigan and was in business from 1922 - 1982. Originally a contract manufacturer called Commonwealth Motors that supplied car bodies to the Checker Cab company, Commonwealth was bought by an entrepreneur who later bought Commonwealth’s customer, the Checker Cab Company.
Checker was the dominant taxi cab service in major metropolitan cities in the United States from the 1920‘s through the 1980‘s. If a pedestrian hailed a cab in a major city, they would be riding in a Checker cab with the vehicle being a Checker automobile.
In the late 1950‘s, Checker entered the consumer market with a Checker car available as four door, station wagon or limousine. Customers ordering a Checker were ordering a rugged car with years of reliable use. Most Checker automobiles were supplied with Chevrolet engines and transmissions. Checker went out of business in 1982.
The last Checker built taxicab, a 1978 model, retired from taxicab service in New York City in 1999 with almost 1,000,000 miles on the odometer and on its third engine. This very rare wagon version came to live in our museum in 2017.