Most people associate Checker Motors Corporation with the boxy 1950s styled Marathon, a staple of taxi cab companies for two generations, but Checker had been making cars since 1922. Some have described Checker, which stopped building cars in 1982 (but continued on as a vendor and contract assembler for the auto industry until 2009), as the longest lived independent car company, and it certainly survived many others, but Checker built cars for 60 years, and I believe that Studebaker was in the automobile business from 1902 to 1966, 64 years. In any case, Checker survived for a long time, against some long odds. In addition to the very last Checker made, a 1982 A-11 taxi (the Marathon brand was used for non-commercial versions of the car), the Gilmore Car Museum has the 1936 Y-8 taxicab pictured above, and a 1923 H-2 hack. All three have bodywork painted with the traditional checkered pattern. Gilmore is located north of Kalamazoo, Michigan and the Checkers are part of a display of cars made in Kalamazoo. A couple of hours south is the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum, which also has a Checker on display, a yellow 1933. E. L. Cord, who owned Auburn, Cord & Duesenberg, also owned Checker in the mid 1930s.
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