Checker Motors Corporation - Commercial Vehicles

Commercial Vehicles

Checker is best known for its taxicab, on which it built its business and reputation. In its early years, Markin not only produced the vehicles but also ran Checker Cab, a taxi company which was in direct competition with John D. Hertz, owner of the Yellow Cab of taxicabs.

During the 1930s, Checker built trailers for Sears-Roebuck and truck cabs for the Ford Motor Company. Checker also built four prototype jeeps that were tested by the U.S. Army. They were called the Bantam and featured four wheel drive and four wheel steering. During World War II Checker built tank retrieval trailers, tank recovery vehicles, as well as semi, petroleum and other types of trailers.

Checker designs changed infrequently; Markin held on to certain design features long after they were discontinued by major automobile manufacturers. For example, open front fenders were retained by Markin into the 1940s because it saved operators the expense of repairing minor dents. Taxicab models were designated by a letter series; significant modifications in models (new major systems, etc.) were designated by a number following the model letter.

Checker's commercial vehicles were usually given letter designations instead of model names (most notably variations of the Checker Model A). An exception to this rule was the Checker Aerobus, an extended version of its cars, built on a stretched wheelbase allowing for each row of seats to have its own doors. The Aerobus was often associated with airports and train stations, although vacation resorts also used Aerobuses for transporting guests.

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