Broad-shouldered 1972 Checker Marathon in 50th anniversary edition trim

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The Checker Marathon looks to be in good condition

Unleash your inner taxi driver (“You talkin’ to me?”) with the Pick of the Day, a 1972 Checker Marathon A12, the consumer version of what was once the ubiquitous New York City cab.

These big, sturdy sedans were built to last and known to rack up multiple hundreds of thousands of miles on the city’s pothole-infested mean streets.  While the vast majority of cars built by the Checker Motor Corp. of Kalamazoo, Michigan, were sold to fleets, the Marathon was the private-owner model that sold in relatively small numbers.

checker They were built for 21 years from 1961 through 1982, essentially unchanged other than mechanical and DOT-mandated modifications over the years.  Nearly everybody recognizes the iconic Checker shape, which is often noted as resembling a 1955 Chevy with quad headlights.

This Marathon, advertised on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Reno, Nevada, is apparently unrestored, although the brief description mentions nothing about its history other than saying that it has new air-conditioning, new starter, new alternator, new ball joints and tie rods.

The Gold sedan with a black vinyl roof is a 50th anniversary edition that celebrates the Kalamazoo founding of Checker in 1922.  Just 45 of the Marathon anniversary models were built for 1972 of the nearly 6,000 Checkers of all types produced.

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checker“Runs great and shows well,” the seller says in the ad, although adding that the 16,450 miles showing on the odometer are “probably not original.”

The Checker is powered by a 283cid V8 sourced from Chevrolet with a GM automatic transmission, most likely original equipment although the seller does not say as much.

While Checker collectors are few and far between, I have known a couple of them.  The taxicab versions are somewhat sought after by the movie industry since urban scenes from the ’60s through the ’90s would need to have plenty of them lumbering though.

checkerThis Checker Marathon looks to be very good condition, with a decent interior and ready for a comfortable journey, especially for those populating the spacious rear seat.  The asking price is $19,900.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

3 COMMENTS

  1. wow nice car. i drove a checker in the 1970’s in nyc at night. $1.25 for the first drop and the rest add on’s i forget. i met a lot of nice people including Graziano the boxer ,when he owned a pizza parlor. I also met a lot of BEAUTIFUL WOMEN!! The cars always had a chevy straight 6 that ran great and economical, although i did not have to pay for the gas.. It was very roomy with extra "jump seats" in front of the rear seats. the driver, ME, was protected by a plexiglass partition and my YELLOW PIGGY BANK on wheels had a little safe that had a sign "Driver does not have key to safe". The movie Taxi Driver was filmed in my place on W57th St. If you look at the movie, Deniro drives a checker but when he pulls in to gas up he was surrounded by 72 dodge coronets,(I think that was the model).. Great mistake in the production,that i caught because i worked there at that time..Great car that checker. my checker taxi place was in Long Island City,right by the 59th Street Bridge.

    • I bought that car on 10/26/2019! It is replacing my nyc ‘72 cab that I bought in 1982 and lost in an accident that I would not have survived well had it not been for my checker tank! Love this car!

  2. I enjoy your web sight. I refer to it daily.Looking at the price
    That is being asked for this MGA is amusing. In 1960,I traded my 1952 MG TD for a new 1960 MGA the total asking price was $1,000.00! This was total asking price by the dealer! I received a trade in allowance of $700.00 for the MGTD! It is needless to mention,I would love to have them now!

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