The Checker cab is coming back. Well, at least the brand is. A Massachusetts-based car parts company has secured the rights to use the classic trademark on cars, and it sounds like it's going to do it right.
So far, all we have are sketches for two prototypes, but it's clear that the classic Checker look is in full force here. That means big, chrome bumpers, expansive grilles, and headlights that pop out of the bodywork.
But the Checker Marathon (i.e. the classic New York cab) these are not. The first model is the wild six-door, 12-passenger limo A888. It's based around the design of Checker's original Aerobus model from the ’60s and ’70s, but it's still a strange one. It might find a home with tour guide operators or truly gigantic families, though. There's also the "Sport Pick-up Crossover," which is clearly inspired by the classic Chevy El Camino — it'll only have one row of seats, but you gain a flatbed in the back for hauling whatever you need in style.
Both models will have a steel frame and body, helping them keep with that bulletproof look and feel of the original models. (It should also help ensure low fuel efficiency, just like the classic Checkers.) The company's sticking away from the classic sedan for now, instead focusing on areas with less competition.
Not quite your classic New York cab
While the new cars will be made by Checker in name only (the original Michigan-based company went out of business in 2010, and ceased vehicle production in the ’80s), the company behind the new cars has been providing parts for old Checker vehicles for years now.
The first prototypes are set to hit the road next year, and full production is planned in 2018 alongside completion of a manufacturing facility with a built-in Checker museum. According to The Daily News, the company's only planning to make roughly 100 of each model, and they'll sell for $50,000 to $70,000.