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A Celebration of Classic American Cars Since 2007

1982 Checker Motors Taxi

1982 Checker Motors Taxi

Vehicle Make
Checker Motors
Vehicle Model
Year Built
Colin and Debbie James

Colin and Debbie James have been car buffs for years and different cars and styles have come along through their lives.

But Debbie has always had a desire and soft spot for the famous yellow Checker cabs.

Long thought to be an offshoot Division of GM they were actually a completely stand alone company called Checker Motors, that had been building cars specifically for the Taxi industry since 1922. Various body styles had evolved over the years, but the most famous ones are the Marathon models like this, probably seen in every photo of a New York avenue. They incorporated large rear doors for easy access with shopping etc and a couple of extra fold down seats in back for extra passengers when needed.

In 1962 the contract with their engine supplier Continental, suddenly expired so the decision was made to use GM power trains of various styles. Some 6 cylinder options were available plus a 283 V8. In later years 350’s backed up with a Turbo 400 like this,were the most popular option.

The cars are a very “utilitarian” , with no frills to speak of, possibly a heater if you’re lucky.

Some may think their chubby body style may not be the most fashionable shape in a line-up of cars, but they have an enviable reputation for ruggedness and attaining some colossal mileages, before being retired .

Debbie’s model was found in Australia after a long search for a clean rust free model on the Internet across the US. Turns out, her cab is one of the very last of 50 built in the Kalamazoo, Michigan factory before Checker Motors finally closed their doors.

Number 50 is in a Museum in Michigan, with a mere 10 miles on the clock. I’m sure Colin and Debbie’s model will soon be clocking up many more than that, starting at Americarna this year.