Wednesday, July 15, 2015





The 1928 Checker Model K, Checkers first ground up purpose built taxicab

There were major changes at Checker in 1928 with a truly new model, the Model K. An advanced, modern design for its day, it was now a purpose built taxi with luxurious town car styling cues. The body was integrated in its design bumper to bumper; no longer did it possess the Partin-Palmer front clip mated to a taxicab body first introduced in 1920 on the Commonwealth Mogul Taxi.


The Model K was Checkers first ground up design, introduced 6 years after the founding o Checker.  Consistent with previous Checkers, the Model K utilized a 127-inch wheelbase and the Buda six-cylinder was now the only engine available. Upon its introduction in October, taxicab operators fell in love with the car and orders came piling into Kalamazoo.  By month's end there were over 4,800 orders. By January 1929, 950 units had been produced and sold. At the end of January, over 8,000 Checkers were chasing fares in New York City, a city with a total population of 21,000 cabs. This made Checker one of the two dominant taxicab builders in the US, the other being Yellow Cab Manufacturing. Together, they pushed the other taxicab producers, Premier, Pennant and HCS, out of the market and these two taxicab giants would slug it out through the next decade.
 

The Model K was offered in two body styles, landaulet and limousine on a 117- or 127-inch wheelbase, although the 117-inch wheelbase was deleted in 1929. The landaulet taxi separated the driver's compartment from an enclosed rear passenger section, making it look very similar to the grand town cars that serviced the rich. After a hard day's work in the office, for a few bits of coin, a New York commuter could hop into a faux luxury car on their way to the train station and ride in splendour! Passengers loved them and so did the taxi operators.

Checker was profitable in 1929, quite an accomplishment for the year of the crash
 

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