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Thread: The Humble Checker Cab

  1. #41
    President Member
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    May 2005
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    Dalton, New York , USA.
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    Checker started its public sales of Superba and Marathon for the 1960 model year, along with their primary commercial taxi business. In the era of annual styling changes, the unchanging approach was promoted as an advantage, same as VW. Their reputation as rugged, purpose-built, long-lived transportation was directed to the no nonsense niche buyers who would gladly pay extra for such a car. If driven for enough years, buyers likely got the value out of the car. Rust and poor gas mileage were the main drawbacks for private ownership. Checkers in taxi operation were pretty thoroughly beat up by eight to ten years of daily operation, hence the low survival rate.

    Had the 'pleasure' to ride about sixty mile round-trip in a 8-door Checker Aero Bus while in college. Riding in it was like being jostled around hard in a 55 gallon oil drum with guys beating on it with ball-peen hammers. Whenever we'd stop, all the doors would instantly fly open, everyone would fall out stumbling from the rough, noisy ride.

    Steve
    Last edited by 56H-Y6; Yesterday at 08:09 AM. Reason: Personal recollection

  2. #42
    President Member
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    May 2005
    Location
    North Pittsburgh, ,PA .
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    1,324
    Quote Originally Posted by 56H-Y6 View Post
    Checker started its public sales of Superba and Marathon for the 1960 model year, along with their primary commercial taxi business. In the era of annual styling changes, the unchanging approach was promoted as an advantage, same as VW. Their reputation as rugged, purpose-built, long-lived transportation was directed to the no nonsense niche buyers who would gladly pay extra for such a car. If driven for enough years, buyers likely got the value out of the car. Rust and poor gas mileage were the main drawbacks for private ownership. Checkers in taxi operation were pretty thoroughly beat up by eight to ten years of daily operation, hence the low survival rate.

    Had the 'pleasure' to ride about sixty mile round-trip in a 8-door Checker Aero Bus while in college. Riding in it was like being jostled around hard in a 55 gallon oil drum with guys beating on it with ball-peen hammers. Whenever we'd stop, all the doors would instantly fly open, everyone would fall out stumbling from the rough, noisy ride.

    Steve
    I agree with your comments generally, except I don't think the gas mileage was all that bad in our car. It was funny, the car was rugged in some ways, but the wagon body had lots of noise and structural shake. But the ride was comfortable despite that. And yes, rust was definitely a problem with it here in Western Pennsylvania. The body was getting pretty bad after 6 years or so.

  3. #43
    President Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Niotre Dame, IN USA
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    2,314
    In one of the recent newspapers it was stated that Checker Cab was founded 95 years ago.

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