HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1982 Checker Marathon, brawny consumer version of famed...

Pick of the Day: 1982 Checker Marathon, brawny consumer version of famed taxi

Sturdy blue-and-white looks to be in very nice refreshed condition


Nothing screams New York City more than a bright yellow Checker cab. In the latter half of the twentieth century, these roomy taxis plied the Big Apple’s streets, transporting New Yorkers and starring in such iconic NYC films as Taxi Driver with Robert De Niro.

We have Russian emigrant Morris Markin to thank for these durable cabs. Markin formed the Checker Cab Manufacturing Co. in 1922 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and by the mid-1950s, his sedans were used by taxi drivers throughout major U.S cities, not just NYC.

In 1961, Checker Cab Manufacturing Co. released the Checker Marathon A12 model and marketed it as a passenger car for consumers instead of a taxi for fleet buyers.

The Pick of the Day is a 1982 Checker Marathon A12, the last production year for the civilian, non-taxi model, finished in blue with a white top – a toned-down color scheme compared with its taxicab counterparts. 

According to the Atlanta dealer advertising the Checker on, this example has been a civilian model its entire life and has been with the current owner for the past 22 years.

The body, which the seller notes was repainted about 12 years ago, wears Marathon badging, quad headlights and protruding aluminum bumpers.

In 1999, a replacement Chevy 350 V8 equipped with a 4-barrel carb was installed, paired with a GM Turbo-Hydramatic 400 automatic transmission.  

The interior houses blue-and-white pleated seats that were reupholstered in 2009, according to the dealer, with matching door panels and a black dash.

While not the most stylish cars, these boxy sedans were known for their durability, with some examples racking up more than 400,000 miles. The 5-digit odometer on this Checker shows a very low 13,287 miles, although the seller doesn’t mention if the mileage is correct, or whether it has turned over one or more times.

The asking price for the Checker Marathon is $21,000.

To view this vehicle on, see Pick of the Day.

Racheal Colbert
Racheal Colbert
An experienced writer and editor, Racheal brings her enthusiasm for collector cars to her role as the Content Manager of the Collector Car Network. Former Content Writer and Marketing Manager in the tech and publishing industry, Racheal brings a fresh perspective to the Journal and the automotive world.


  1. I used to drive Checkers around Phoenix in the ’70’s. Actually surprisingly good cars and great cabs.
    There were 2 versions – the bigger one (I just knew as a 107) had a larger back seat and 2 pull down seats facing backward). Can’t tell if this is one of those or not…but it was close to a full limo of the time.

    Don’t know why so much of this car was replaced (motor/trans and more?) – especially if not a cab it should have lasted endlessly….or been made into a tasteless “pimp” version…. These handled well, but would never be or should be confised by something performance caring.

    As a cab I would think it could pay for itself as a rental/movie, etc. Not sure what a reworked/altered never popular home use one would be used for.

  2. Way C😎😎L !!!!! I never knew there was a “civilian” model so to speak. It looks like the 60’s styling in 1982. I think it’s out of my price range, but if it drops to my budget I’d get it! 👍👍

  3. Many years ago there was a Checker dealer near our home. One afternoon, my dad gathered the family and off we went to look at a new 68 Checkers. While roomy and within the family budget my mother wanted no part of anything that looked like the stuff at the cab stand across from dad’s dairy. We left the dealership and not long later, he traded in his 60 Dodge wagon for a new 68 Dodge Dart. Equally as utilitarian.

  4. to each his own. i like the boxy style. a motor thats easy to work on and find parts for. maybe just maybe i would lower just a little.

  5. No one will ever refer to this car as “beautiful” but in it’s obvious simplicity it really is perfect!!
    The bumpers are one of the things that I really love. The don’t even try to be “stylish” like the useless plastic on todays vehicles, they scream practicality! If you are broken down in the desert, I’ll push you to the nearest garage for help! How cool is that?
    I would buy this car in a heartbeat if only I had a garage to keep in. I truly respect it’s no nonsense “… I am, If you don’t like me, I don’t give a damn!!”
    Like they say “… is in the eye of the beholder!”


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