Checker Motors Corporation
Checker Motors Corporation
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|Certificate Type||Cumulative Preferred Stock
|Date Issued||Unissued, circa mid 1900's
|Printer||Security-Columbian Bank Note Company
||12" (w) by 8" (h)|
|Product Images||Show the exact certificate you will receive
Commonwealth Motors was on the verge of bankruptcy, but had an order from Checker Taxi (a privately owned cab company in Chicago that had no affiliation with Markin at the time). Markin merged Commonwealth Motors with Markin Automobile Body to honor the contractual commitment. In 1930 Checkers came in either black, maroon, yellow or canary.
Markin would slowly acquire Checker Taxi of Chicago over the course of the 1920s. In 1929, he purchased the Yellow Cab Company from John D. Hertz.
The company entered the consumer passenger car business in 1947 on a limited basis. By late fifties, CMC would further expand in consumer automobile market. Sales were phased in regionally across the US in 1959, starting in New York and New England. Nationally, introduction of the Checker Superba took place at the Chicago Auto Show on February 8, 1960.
The dealer network continued to grow throughout the early 1960s, and throughout the decade Checker usually managed its target volume of 6000-7000 cars a year. In 1962 production topped 8,000, although most of those were taxis. Four-door sedans and station wagons (Superba and Marathon models) also were advertised to individual customers in upscale publications. The ads emphasized the durability of the Checker and the attention to quality improvements. In 1962 almost 3,000 cars were sold to individuals - 20% of production - but that percentage declined to 10% in the 1970s.
In addition to automobile production, Checker played a significant role as a third-party automotive supplier of OEM body stampings. In the late 1930s Checker produced truck bodies for Hudson in addition to manufacturing complete Ford truck cabs. Checker also produced truck bodies for the REO Motor Car Company.
During World War II Checker was one of many producers of the G518 Ben Hur trailer for the U.S. Army.
In 1964 the state of New York pursued Marking and Checker on antitrust charges, alleging that it controlled both the taxi service and manufacture of taxis, and thus favored itself in fulfilling orders. Rather than allow Checker drivers to begin buying different brands of cars, Markin began selling licenses in New York City.
The next year the company switched from the standard Continental engine, offering either Chevrolet 230 cu in (3.8 l) overhead-valve I6s or 283 cu in (4.64 l) small block V8s.
In March 1977, seven years after the death of Morris Markin, retired GM President Ed Cole and car dealer Victor Potamkin bought into Checker with the intent of re-energizing the company and developing a new, more modern Checker. With Cole as chairman and CEO of the company, the plan was to purchase partially completed Volkswagens from VW's new Westmoreland Assembly Plant in Pennsylvania. They were going to ship the Volkswagens to the Checker Motors factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan, cut them in half, insert a section to lengthen the car, raise the roof and then sell the reconfigured vehicles as taxis. Less than 90 days after joining Checker, Cole died when his plane crashed near Kalamazoo in May 1977. In August of 1977, the Checker-VW project was introduced in Road & Track magazine. The project was scrapped shortly after when it was determined that the Volkswagen was not suitable for taxi service.
In July 1982 the last Checker automobile left the Kalamazoo assembly plant. It was an A11 Taxi, painted in Chicago green and ivory livery. Checker was now out of the automobile manufacturing business. In 1989 Checker Motors and Checker Holding Company were involved in a reverse acquisition with International Controls Corporation (Great Dane Trailers), and the company later changed its name to CRA Holdings. The company was reorganized in 1995 into three wholly owned subsidiaries: Yellow Cab (owns and leases taxicabs in Chicago), Chicago Auto Works (taxicab repair and other services) and CMC Kalamazoo.
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