Hey @Triedaq, I was just indulging in my dangerous past time of browsing Hemmings, and I noticed a 1981 Checker Marathon. I think it may have your name on it.
@old_mopar_guy. I will have to go to Hemmings. This would be one of the last of the Checkers. Production ended in 1982.
I still like the idea of an easily serviced vehicle. The Checker had bolt-on front and rear fenders. Any fender could be replaced in 30 minutes.
By 1981, Checker used Chevrolet engines. The Checker I looked at back in the early 1960s had a Continental Red Seal flathead engine.
I would love to return.to the days where I could repair my own equipment. I could repair my television set and do a lot of my own auto repairs
I once owned a 1948 Dodge that I started to restore. I replaced a rear fender and had the engine really running well. Unfortunately, time demands with my job took too much of my time and I sold the Dodge for more than I paid for it.
Thanks for thinking about me.
Did you know that when retired GM CEO Ed Cole died, he was CEO of Checker?
I’ve seen one Checker Marathon here in town and whatever engine is in it had a nice rumble to it. You could have heard it for miles around town that night.
@old_mopar_guy. Had Ed Cole not been killed in a plane crash, I think Checker Motor Company might still be alive. Cole had plans for a new style front wheel drive cab.
When Morris Marken, the founder of Checker Motors died, his son took over as CEO until Ed Cole was hired. The son took it over again, but his heart was never in the business.
I remember riding in the Checker A2 cabs that came along about 1947. There was an A3 similar model. I remember reading s Popular Mechanics back in 1956 that had an article about the newly designed A4 model. That design, with modifications, lasted until production ceased in 1982.
In 1959, Checker marketed a non-commercial model and it was called the Superba. Later, a more deluxe trim line was added and it was called the Marathon. I think I remember reading a Consumer Reports road test of the Superba. CR wasn’t as impressed with it as I was.e
Remember driving to chicago seeing the scrap yard for brake drums for Checkers, probably at least 1,000
My uncle owned a large taxi fleet in NYC and knew Markin well.
The 47 Frazer my stepfather gad also had a flathead Continental 6 in it. As a matter of fact every full size Kaiser of Frazer used that engine. They even supercharged it in 1955. At that point he saw that small manufacturers were not going to be able to compete in the US market and moved tooling and production to sheltered markets in South America.
@oldtimer_11. I remember back in 1954, my dad was looking for a second car as my mom had gone back to work. One car he looked at was a 1951 Kaiser. It had less than 50,000 miles and was priced at $495. Dad turned it down because the Kaiser was equipped with an automatic transmission. He thought Kaiser wasn’t going to be in business much longer and he was concerned about getting parts. What he didn’t realize was that the automatic transmission was the GM Hydramatic and that the Continental engine was used in quite a few commerical vehicles.
One vehicle that used the Continental engine was the Divco step van that saw a lot of service for home milk delivery vehicles. We took a 2700 mile trip a couple of weeks ago and I think this would make a great traveling vehicle. At 78 years old, I get tired of sitting after driving a couple of hours. If I had the Divco, when I needed to stretch my legs, I could stand up and drive for a while.