Checker Classic Cars for Sale

Checker Motors Corporation was a successful motor vehicle manufacturer founded in the United States during the early 20th century. During its eight decades of existence, the company achieved special success as a commercial vehicle manufacturer, as Checker Motors was responsible for the production of the taxicabs used by the famous taxi company Checker Taxi.

Checkers Motors: Early history and development

Checker Motors was founded in 1922 in Kalamazoo, southern Michigan. The company was the result of a merger between Commonwealth Motors and Markin Automobile, a company owned by Morris Markin. Markin was a businessman of Russian origin who acquired a vehicle manufacturing company in 1921, after the owner failed to pay a loan back. A few months later, Markin came across and bought Commonwealth Motors, which was also undergoing severe financial troubles. Both companies merged in February 1922 under the name of Checker Motors Corporation, and a few months later the first Checker car was launched into the market. Prior to the Markin's intervention, Commonwealth Motors had a contract with Checker Taxi. Markin took advantage of this, and his newly founded company took over the production of taxicabs. Checker's iconic design became representative of the American taxi industry thanks to special features that made these vehicles stand out from the rest, including larger-than-average rear seats and trunks with an ample capacity for luggage.  Production was moved to a new manufacturing plant in Kalamazoo in 1923, when Markin bought the two plants previously owned by Handley Motors and Dort Motors. Production numbers kept increasing over the following three decades, as demand for Checker taxicabs grew across the United States.

Further developments

Until 1959, Checker Cars focused on the production of commercial vehicles, but towards the late 1950s the company decided to make an incursion into the consumer vehicle market. Four-door sedan models were initially marketed and sold in the New York and other East Coast cities, and in 1960 the sales of consumer automobiles were rolled out at national level. During the 1980s, Checker Motors underwent corporate restructuring and expanded its production line to include truck parts and chassis.  In the early 2000s, Checker showed signs of financial problems and was soon unable to compete with larger and more powerful manufacturers, who were able to offer bigger fleet discounts to taxi companies. Another factor that prompted the demise of Checker Motors was the increasing cost of parts and components and the rising cost of petrol. The company was declared bankrupt in January 2009.

Checker's Motors: Classic models

Checker's first automobile was the C-44, which was fitted with a powerful 4-cylinder engine and could accommodate up to 7 passengers. In subsequent years, Checker reduced the wheelbase and horsepower of its taxicabs. The H-2, E, F, and G-4 models all shared similar specifications: 22.5hp and a 117-inch wheelbase. In 1927 the Checker G-6 incorporated a 6-cylinder engine. Other representative models included the A6 (launched in 1946) and the Superba, which was produced between 1961 and 1963. Checker manufactured its last model in 1982.

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