YES! We have  Original Classic Vintage Checker Cabs in excellent condition to serve you. They are antiques and provide all the romance and elegance of days gone by. The rear seat provides plenty of room to sit back and stretch out.  The Marathon model was built from 1955 to 1982 and the body style never changed.  You will ride in style and arrive at your destination like a Hollywood Celebrity! N.Y. Cab & Limo Co. is proud to bring back these restored classics!   We also have now in service 2 very rare Checker station wagons. We are also very proud of our  1967 Checker Aerobus... It took us over a year to fully restore this iconic piece of American history. It is the pride of the fleet! Available for special events and Weddings.

History of the Checker Cab
A symbol of New York.
1999: Last Checker Cab Retired.

 

On July 26, 1999, New York City’s last Checker Cab – a popular symbol of the city for seventy years – was removed from service. Jamaican native Earl Johnson had driven the 1978 Checker for 21 years, calling it "Janie" after a former girlfriend. The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission marked the end of an era in Times Square with a giant Checker Cab-themed cheesecake. Originally produced by the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company to meet a 1929 New York City ordinance requiring that five passengers fit behind each taxi’s partition, production  of the distinctive cabs stopped in 1982. Even though "Janie," had 994,050 miles on it, Sotheby's auctioned it off for $134,000.

 History of The
Checker Cab Company.


Morris Markin, a clothier from Chicago, Illionis became the owner of a Joliet, Illionis auto-body manufacturer when its owner defaulted on a $15,000 personal loan from Markin. The facility made bodies forCommon Wealth Motors who marketed the vehicles to cab companies under the trade name Mogul.


Concurrently, Checker Taxi — a privately-owned cab company in Chicago that had no affiliation with Markin — placed a large order for Mogul cabs with Commonwealth. Commonwealth itself was on the verge of bankruptcy, so Markin merged the two companies in order to honor the contractual commitment with the Chicago Checker Taxi. Markin named his concern the Checker Cab Company. However, there was no overlap in ownership.


John Hertz, founder of today's Hertz Car Rentals, began in the taxi business in 1910, both building Yellow Cabs and operating the livery service. Because of plant overproduction, Hertz used the excess cars by renting them to patrons through his "Yellow Drive-Ur-Self" division (the forerunner of Hertz Rental Cars). Seeing Hertz's success, Markin began buying up Checker's rolling stock in 1924, gaining full control of Checker Taxi Cab in 1937.


Markin also followed Hertz's business plan in having drivers open doors for the fares, and outfitted each driver with a uniform. Competition for fares was fierce in the 1920s, and the easily spotted drivers began ganging up on one another between fares. The fighting between the two cab companies escalated to the point where Markin's home was firebombed This prompted Markin to buy the Dort Automobile factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan and relocate Checker.

 

Under Markin, Checker became the first cab company to hire African - American drivers and the first to require that drivers pick up all fares, not just white ones. Some speculate this is why & where the B&W checker stripe originated.  


Hertz had sold his Yellow Cab to the Parmalee Transportation Company, but in 1929, after a suspicious fire at his stables killed his prized race horses, Hertz left the cab business, with Markin buying Hertz's shares and then acquiring another one-third in the company from Parmalee, thus taking control of both Parmalee and Yellow Cab.


While Hertz had sold off the cab business, the manufacturing arm went to GM, which wanted to sell it and made Markin an affordable offer. Markin refused. Rather than eliminate the capacity of Yellow Manufacturing, General Motors entered the taxicab business as Terminal Taxi Cab, and a second fare war broke out, with Checker and Terminal fighting it out in. To end this dispute, New York Mayor Jimmy Walker created the New York Taxi Cab Commission, which ruled that all cabs in New York had to be purpose-built cabs, not consumer car conversions.


Markin sold Checker Cab toE.L. Cord, but bought it back again in 1936. In 1940, Parmalee (including Yellow and Checker Cab) became the largest cab company in the United States. Eventually, the cab company revenues exceeded those of Checker's automotive building division, and the company decided to enter the consumer passenger car business in 1961.


In 1964 the State of New York pursued Markin and Checker on antitrust charges, alleging that it controlled both the taxi service and manufacture of taxis, and thus favored itself in fulfilling orders. Rather than allow Checker drivers to begin buying different brands of cars, Markin began selling licenses in New York City.


In 1977, seven years after the death of Morris Markin, retired GM President Ed Cole bought into Checker with the intent of re-energizing the company and developing a new, more modern Checker. Cole's plan was to purchase partially completed Volkswagens from VW's new factory in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania. Cole was going to ship the VWs to the Checker Motors factory in Kalamazoo, cut them in half, insert a section to lengthen the VW, raise the roof and then sell the reconfigured vehicle as a taxi. Shortly thereafter, however, Cole was killed when his plane crashed near Kalamazoo.


With the Marathon thoroughly outmoded and no longer selling in viable quantities, and lacking the resources to develop a new model, Checker decided to leave the auto manufacturing business. The Marathon design dated back to the mid 1950s which caused Checker a number of problems. There had been several minor changes to the design. First, impact absorbing bumpers were added when required by federal law and then the steering column/wheel were changed when a collapsible column was also required for safety reasons. The rear fold-down jump seats were

also removed as they failed all safety tests. The car had very poor gas mileage as the tall front end and engine compartment had been designed for a Continental engine, which required the large engine compartment. When production of that engine ceased, in 1960, Checker began offering either the Chevy 230 cu in (3.8 l) 16 Small block V-8. Checker added a 327 cu in (5.36 l) Chev in 1966. These were used until the late 1970s. When GM ceased making the straight six, Checker purchased a small V-6

also used in Chevrolet. The large, tall grill and hood made for poor aerodynamics which was part of the reason for the low gas mileage.

So a number of the V-6s were converted to use propane as fuel. Many of the body stamping dies were worn out after over 20 years of continuous use and that required manual body adjustments by body and fender mechanics1982 to make the parts fit. The fenders and doors were

the parts with the most problem fit as taxis are involved in numerous minor accidents due to their extensive, often 24 hour a day use. The last models were produced for the 1892 Model. The last Checker rolled off the assembly line on July 22, 1999.


More info can be obtained at our Friends site:

http://www.checkertaxistand.com/

Checker Mile Markers

1956 – Checker A8 Introduced with Single Headlamps, and basic body structure

that would hold in place until 1982.


1958 – Checker Updated A8 with Quad Headlights, and new grille. Now called

the A10.

 

1959 – Checker began manufacturing cars for civilian purposes, originally called

the “Superba” for the 1960 Model year. Virtually identical to the Taxi.


1961 – Dropping of name “Superba Special”, changed to “Marathon” as high-end

version of “Superba”.


1963 – Last year of the “Superba”, and last year of the turn signals housed within

the grille. All Checkers referred to as “Marathon”.

 

1964 – Last use of Continental “Red Seal” flat head, and OHV six

cylinders. First use of GM contracted 230 ci inline six, and 283 V8. Still using Borg/Warner Auto and Manual transmissions.

 

1965 – 1966 – Introduction of 327 ci V8.

 

1967 – 1968 – Introduction of side reflectors, last use of 283 V8, front windshield heightened, and drip rail atop windshield removed.

 

1968 – 1969 Last use of 327 V8. New engine choices are: 250 ci inline, 307 V8,

350 V8. 4 cylinder Perkins Diesel installed in a very few Checkers.

 

1969 – 1970 Still using Borg/Warner Auto and Manual transmissions.

Side reflectors turn into side marker lights.

 

1973 – New regulations force installation of 5 mph crash
bumpers. Now the “Park Bench” rides where a lovely bumper used to be. This is

also the last change that was made to the exterior of the car. Also, the 5 gauge

instrument panel was changed to a 2 gauge system, only a fuel gauge, and

speedometer remain. Last Checker Wagons built between late 1973 and early 1974.

First use of Turbo-Hydramatic 400 series GM transmission.


1974 – 1978 – Very few changes, if any. Additional emissions equipment strangling already sub-par power output, and economy.

 

1979 – 1982 – Last use of 250ci  inline engine. New engine is 3.8L 229 ci

“Off-Fire” Chevrolet V6.

 

1982 – Final year of production, LPG Checkers offered as optional package.


The end of an Era..... until 2007 when N.Y. Cab & Limo Co. began buying a variety

of these former NYC icons and after restoring them, put them back into service.

Like most retirees - Florida's great year round weather - no salt on the roads etc...

became their perfect home. Our Checker fleet has been put together by purchasing these Checkers all over the USA. Checker Cabs were built to go a million miles so

these cars still have quite a bit of life left.