Checker hasn't made a car since 1982. Now the name is being brought back with the production of two new cars.
When you think of Checker, you instantly think about the iconic Marathon cabs that roamed the streets of New York in the '60s and '70s. Sadly, Checker hasn't manufactured a car since 1982, before going out of business in 2010. After Checker Motor Cars' restoration projects sparked new interest, the Checker name is making a comeback, with plans to start production of two new vehicles in late 2018 with modern technology underpinning retro styling thanks to the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015.
First up is a six-door sedan with four rows of seats that will seat 12 passengers, with a design reminiscent of the Checker Aerobus V1. The more interesting reveal, however is an El-Camino-style pick-up crossover, which combines the iconic Checker taxi sedan with a sport pick-up body. Meanwhile, the company will also manufacture retrofit kits for existing Checker vehicles on the road. Design, engineering, assembly and manufacturing will be tied directly to PLM (Product Life Management) with much of the design being outsourced to suppliers, although Checker Motor Cars aims to use as many currently available parts as possible to keep costs down.
Both Checkers will "accept a V8 Flex-fuel engine" and will be equipped with four-wheel disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, LED lighting, a first-aid kit, and an on-board air compressor. If you're hoping to own one of these new Checkers, prices are expected to range from $50,000 - $70,000. "Our challenge is taking a recognized shape and using off-the-shelf components to assemble a finished automobile," said Steve Contarino, head of the new Checker company. "We may not have the legacy of the original Checker Motors Corporation, but the DNA we are building on here will form a very strong future."