1965 Checker Marathon Sedan in Park Avenue Cab livery
Chassis no. A12373727290
The long lived Checker Marathon Cab was the latest in a series that had been provided by the Kalamazoo company since 1922. Over the course of 60 years more than 250,000 cabs rolled off the production line, beyond this the company continued to make parts for GM before the 2008 economy nosedive finally brought this American chapter to a close. The most famous series built was the A9, which Checker matched with civilian versions badged as the Superba or later Marathon. A combination of practicality, more austere economic times and the fact that it became something of an icon, meant that in place of a regular facelift each year Checker set out to produce a cab that was easier to keep on the road with long term and interchangeable parts supply.
Its longevity was definitely helped by the fact that a Checker cab was used in New York City and that meant any movie set in that metropolis invariably put any number of these cabs on the big screen. More than ubiquitous they became an icon that was associated with the city, from Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffanys to Robert De Niro's famous Taxi Driver and even Macaulay Culkin arriving Home Alone in New York, the cab was always there.
A snapshot moment in the Audrey Hepburn film was the inspiration for this particular restoration. Taking an original low mileage Midwest supplied Checker Marathon Sedan which was never used as a cab and so was arguably in better and less used order, this car was comprehensively refurbished and upgraded to provide the ultimate New York mid Sixties Checker in Park Avenue Cab livery. In this process the car was completely repainted in late 1950s livery of yellow over dark green with the customary checker stripe along the center of its sides and all of its chrome redone. The trim has been expertly refurbished in grey cloth and vinyl to the correct pattern and includes the additional occasional seats. To improve its usability in all weathers and on the road, the Checker has been fitted with disc brakes all round and air conditioning has been added.
Reported to have cost nearly $40,000 to complete, this is almost certainly one of the best of its kind. Tired of bringing home 'I (heart) NY' T-shirts or foam Statue of Liberty Crowns, why not go for the ultimate New York Souvenir!