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If Checker Motor Company Was Still Here?  
User currently online747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3652 posts, RR: 2
Posted (2 years 10 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1637 times:

When I look at today's Taxi cabs, I mostly see Chevy Impalas, Ford Crown Victoria's and may be a Toyota Camry. Back in the 80s and up, a lot of the taxi cabs, was made by the Checker Motor Company, but these taxi cabs had a 50s design. Checker went out of business in the 80s, and I wonder, if Checker did not go out of business, could they compete with Chevy, Ford and Toyota, in the taxi cab business?

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39898 posts, RR: 74
Reply 1, posted (2 years 10 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1623 times:

Marin County Checker taxi still uses them.
Would be awesome if more taxi companies had them in service.

http://web.me.com/kevin_carroll1/marincheckertaxi.com/Welcome.html


The last time I rode in one was in Chicago in 1987.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineSCCutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5537 posts, RR: 28
Reply 2, posted (2 years 10 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 1621 times:

I always though that, if they'd thought outside the box, they could still be here and thriving.

There is great efficiency in producing a durable product, and God knows the Checker Marathon was durable.

I think Checker could have built a selectively upgraded model, appropriately equipped with luxury amenities, and sold it well.

But we shall never know, shall we?



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39898 posts, RR: 74
Reply 3, posted (2 years 10 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1616 times:

Quoting SCCutler (Reply 2):

They've become en vogue among the hipsters.
I know of 3 different Checker owners in San Francisco. Two of them are in mint condition.
There is one Gothic couple that owns a black Checker. They look evil when they drive it.   
My favorite is a burgundy Checker Marathon with matching burgundy vinyl top and black interior.  
I loved seeing that driving down the hill on California Street.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinekiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7446 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (2 years 10 months 1 day ago) and read 1602 times:

Quoting SCCutler (Reply 2):
There is great efficiency in producing a durable product, and God knows the Checker Marathon was durable.

But the chassis rails rusted like a 70's Fiat, that ain't what I call durable.


User currently offlinetype-rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (2 years 10 months 22 hours ago) and read 1582 times:

We had some people down the street from us who owned a Checker Marathon in the burgundy color as Superfly described. It had a black velour interior. Not many people know that Checker also sold cars to the public as well as cab companies. Gee, those things had spacious interiors. And the private versions of the Checker were a lot more quieter inside than the cab version was.
I wonder what engines they had in them?


User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5486 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (2 years 10 months 22 hours ago) and read 1582 times:

A Checker hybrid? And I remember as a nine year old we rode in a Checker "Airport Wagon" from MIA to the Colonial Inn in North Miami Beach, Sunny Isles. It rained like cats and dogs but that Checker took it in stride. Checkers would have been great stars on Pimp My Ride. Hopefully they would have updated the chassis and gotten away from the rustolea.


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5Lz12GFlty0/TlGgtMMCnBI/AAAAAAABpuc/qTfgpZqLkHs/s1600/DSC_0026.JPG

http://www.carhunters.net/Bilder/Checker/P8180065.JPG

That company which is now defunct to the best of my knowledge was called Red Top. They were a monopoly at MIA through the 70's using the Checker Aerobus.



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39898 posts, RR: 74
Reply 7, posted (2 years 10 months 22 hours ago) and read 1579 times:

Quoting type-rated (Reply 5):
We had some people down the street from us who owned a Checker Marathon in the burgundy color as Superfly described. It had a black velour interior. Not many people know that Checker also sold cars to the public as well as cab companies. Gee, those things had spacious interiors. And the private versions of the Checker were a lot more quieter inside than the cab version was.
I wonder what engines they had in them?

They only used the 350cu" V8 and an even smaller 250cu" inline 6 cylinder.
Would be interesting to put in a Chevrolet 454cu" or even better, a International Harvester Ford 7.3 liter turbodiesel engine.

When I was in 3rd grade (1981-82), there was a kid in my class who's parents had one. Not sure if it was a Marathon or not. I only rode in it once.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 6):

That would be a cool car to use as a 'tour bus' for a rock group.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7525 posts, RR: 24
Reply 8, posted (2 years 10 months 18 hours ago) and read 1556 times:

When I was visiting my brother during the long Thanksgiving weekend, I saw a yellow '69 Checker Marathon in a used car lot in Auburn, MA. I literally had to do a 'double-take' when I saw it. My brother said that it's been there for about a month... that's how he found out what year the model was.


"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlinekiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7446 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (2 years 10 months 18 hours ago) and read 1554 times:

If Checker had offered a modern product and perhaps broadened there market to also include police vehicle they might still be here today.

User currently offlinefalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6109 posts, RR: 29
Reply 10, posted (2 years 10 months 9 hours ago) and read 1494 times:
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Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
Checker went out of business in the 80s


They actually lasted a lot longer than that. They failed in 2009 after the GM bankruptcy. They stopped making cars in 1982.

Quoting kiwiRob (Reply 4):
But the chassis rails rusted like a 70's Fiat, that ain't what I call durable.


For sure. The cars were rust buckets. Checker didn't use galvanized steel until the last couple of years of production. They were known as good cars that could rack up a lot of short term miles, but didn't last over long periods of time.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 7):
They only used the 350cu" V8 and an even smaller 250cu" inline 6 cylinder.


before 1964 they used Continental engines (a Detroit based engine maker). There were actually a variety of small block Chevy engines in the cars over the years. The 283, 307, 327 were in the car before a 350. I think some of the last ones had a 305 too. I know towards the end the cars could also have an Oldsmobile 350 diesel. I have heard that some 81 and 82 models had the GM 4.1 V-6, but I have never seen one or seen anything official that says that.

Checker built other cars besides the sedans that most of us think of when we think of Checker. Here are some.

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/201...strated-history-of-checker-motors/



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineGuitrThree From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2050 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (2 years 10 months 8 hours ago) and read 1469 times:

Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
if Checker did not go out of business, could they compete with Chevy, Ford and Toyota, in the taxi cab business?

No. But your question is flawed. Checker would never have to compete with Chevy, Ford, and Toyota as they would be competing with the governments CAFE requirements.

Checker cabs were great because they were made with strong body on frame design. Those cars could not be powered by any engine made today that meets even todays CAFE standards. Since the Checker Cab was the only car they made, they couldn't blend smaller cars into their overall CAFE number to meet the standards.

Do we all want to get into a comfortable cab, with big doors, high roof, and plenty of leg room? Yes.

Do cab operators want cars that last forever and are proven easy to work on? Yes.

But thanks to the environmentalists that, as always, they some how are able continue to destroy some of our freedoms in this country. So there is no way you can even ask the question "what if Checker still made Cabs." Because if they did, they probably would look a whole lot like Camry or Altima Hybrids to meet CAFE standards and could never compete with those companies based on volume.



As Seen On FlightRadar24! Radar ==> F-KBNA5
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8305 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (2 years 10 months 7 hours ago) and read 1460 times:

The company would not have had the funds for R&D in safety and emission advancements. That is the major problem for smaller companies these days.

I'm just glad that the UK has managed to keep their taxis in production.


User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13120 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (2 years 10 months 5 hours ago) and read 1445 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 12):
I'm just glad that the UK has managed to keep their taxis in production.


Yes, but now it is owned by a Chinese based company.

The late production Checkers were not that good. Some used in NY City, on the terrible roads/streets there, had to be reinforced or heavily rebuilt. Their initial costs went too high vs. production cars from Chrysler, then Chevrolet, then Ford. Another problem for Checker was that the market was not big enough to allow them to have the economy of scale or be able to charge a sufficient premium in price to be able to invest in updated models.


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39898 posts, RR: 74
Reply 14, posted (2 years 10 months 4 hours ago) and read 1430 times:

Quoting falstaff (Reply 10):
I know towards the end the cars could also have an Oldsmobile 350 diesel. I have heard that some 81 and 82 models had the GM 4.1 V-6,

Yikes!
Those engines were horrible!

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 11):
Do we all want to get into a comfortable cab, with big doors, high roof, and plenty of leg room? Yes.

Do cab operators want cars that last forever and are proven easy to work on? Yes.

I HATE small taxis. Getting in & out of the rear door is always a headache. I'm just and average height guy and yet I have to completely duck my head to squeeze in to the rear door of these little Toyota Altus and Chevrolet Cruze taxis. The C-pillar on these newer compacts dip very low.

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 11):
But thanks to the environmentalists that, as always, they some how are able continue to destroy some of our freedoms in this country.

Environmentalists will destroy just about anything to prove a point.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5486 posts, RR: 13
Reply 15, posted (2 years 10 months 4 hours ago) and read 1427 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 14):
Yikes!
Those engines were horrible!

  

Maybe Checker could have shrunk to a niche company the way the company that made Avanti's became.

As someone said earlier if Checker was still in business they'd look like your generic 4 door bangers of the majors. Then, Checker would have lost their uniqueness. Had some rappers and rock stars embraced Checker then the company would be alive today albeit smaller.



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlinekiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7446 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1408 times:

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 11):
Those cars could not be powered by any engine made today that meets even todays CAFE standards.

Rubbish, if Ford Australia can fit a 4 cylinder into the Falcon then Checker could fit a 4 cylinder engine into a Checker.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 14):
I'm just and average height guy and yet I have to completely duck my head to squeeze in to the rear door of these little Toyota Altus and Chevrolet Cruze taxis.

You may be average height but don't you carry around a little more than average weight? That could be the reason why getting into and out of smaller cars causes you some issues.


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39898 posts, RR: 74
Reply 17, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1405 times:

Quoting kiwiRob (Reply 16):
You may be average height but don't you carry around a little more than average weight?

Re-read my sentence.
"I have to completely duck my head", therefore it's a height issue, not a width issue.
Nice try though.

Quoting kiwiRob (Reply 16):
Rubbish, if Ford Australia can fit a 4 cylinder into the Falcon then Checker could fit a 4 cylinder engine into a Checker.

Sure it could fit but will it operate smoothly? The car is too heavy for a 4-banger. The car would do well with a brand new 5.7 liter HEMI which would still fit.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15749 posts, RR: 27
Reply 18, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1404 times:

Quoting kiwiRob (Reply 9):
If Checker had offered a modern product and perhaps broadened there market to also include police vehicle they might still be here today.

They didn't really do a good job evolving with the times. They could have become like a modern day combination of AM General and Carbon Motors.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinekiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7446 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1393 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 17):
Sure it could fit but will it operate smoothly? The car is too heavy for a 4-banger. The car would do well with a brand new 5.7 liter HEMI which would still fit.

From this review it looks like the 4 cylinder Falcon will be all right. http://www.caradvice.com.au/149806/2012-ford-falcon-ecoboost-review/

I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes the volume seller in the Falcon range.

Plus Mercedes put a 4 cylinder in the S class which is a very large car, putting a 4 cylinder in the Checker or even that old dog the Crown Vic (I'm surprised Ford didn't do this for the taxi market) should have been a doodle.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 17):
"I have to completely duck my head", therefore it's a height issue, not a width issue.
Nice try though.

You probably have to duck your head to get into a Crown Vic aswell unless you've developed some special method of getting into it, I know I do and I'm only 5 11'.


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39898 posts, RR: 74
Reply 20, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1377 times:

Quoting kiwiRob (Reply 19):
You probably have to duck your head to get into a Crown Vic aswell

Nope.

Quoting kiwiRob (Reply 19):
I know I do and I'm only 5 11'.

Me & you are the same height.

Quoting kiwiRob (Reply 19):
unless you've developed some special method of getting into it,

I'm very good at getting in & out of a tight place......



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinefalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6109 posts, RR: 29
Reply 21, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1362 times:
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Quoting ltbewr (Reply 13):
The late production Checkers were not that good

The late production models had better sheet metal though.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 14):
Yikes!
Those engines were horrible!

You could also have it powered by propane in a Checker, which makes the performance even worse.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39898 posts, RR: 74
Reply 22, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1361 times:

Quoting falstaff (Reply 21):
You could also have it powered by propane in a Checker, which makes the performance even worse.

....but makes the ecotards happy.   



Bring back the Concorde
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