1974 Checker Marathon: Never a Cab

$_57

The Checker Marathon is one of those cars that is both universally loved and recognized for its entrenchment in American life. With predominant use as the go-to cab of choice among New York City’s taxi fleet, the Marathon earned a reputation for comfort and durability battle-tested on one of the most grueling stages. Further driving this slab-sided sedan into contemporary culture is its continued prominence in Hollywood scenes depicting classic New York, even though the last Marathon retired many years ago. Curiously, this example here on eBay for $2,500 with the reserve unmet never pounded the pavement as a people hauler, perhaps helping it remain in relatively untouched condition. The seller adds it was last driven in 2007, so some mechanical updating is needed – starting with a new set of keys. Does this Checker Marathon deserve a place in your driveway, or was this car more hype than it was worth?

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Comments

  1. Mike D

    Unless I wanted it as a novelty car, I really wouldn’t go near it, also there is misinformation, and missing info…I really believe this is a rear wheel drive, no info on engine, or miles ( I think it had a Chev 327) it looks pretty beat up , although mostly used for Taxi’s some private owners bought them It would cost way more to bring it up to even passing inspection, much less than bringing it up to par for daily driving

    • Nick G

      It is rear wheel drive but I don’t think it ever had a 327. 283, then 350? But….there’s probably room for any big block GM monster. Readily available parts.

      • Mike D

        I of course am not into Checkers, but it seems that I saw a ” new for this year” article in Motor Trend Highlighting all the new cars for the upcoming year, they mentioned the Checker. I do believe it was a small V/8 , but that may have been earlier than a 74 , and the 327 comes to mind , I know it wasn’t a 6

      • Ed P

        Standard on ’74 Checkers was a Chevy 250in I-6 with the 350in V-8 as an option. According to the Encyclopedia of American Cars.

      • jimmy

        I would guess in the 50’s a 283 by the 60’s a 327 then by the 70’s and on would have a 350. GUESSING if they put chevy small blocks in them.

  2. francisco

    If you really must have a Checker, then “check” out this web site:
    http://www.checkermotorcars.com/

    • Ed P

      Great site! I think it would be cheaper to buy from these guys. A complete restoration would put you in a hole with this one.

    • RickyM

      Fantastic Aerobus on this site for just under 20 grand. Superb value, although it would be a little tricky driving it in our smaller roads over here in the UK !!

  3. JW454

    These are like the Devco milk trucks. A great American icon. If I could afford a huge car collection I might have one of each in it.

  4. jimmy

    about 20 minutes away from me there is a Checker limo and next to a Jeep forward control sitting in the weeds with other desirable cars.

  5. pontiactivist

    I remember a pearl white one of these years ago in meadville pa. Someine put pprthole windows out of a mark iv or vjust behind the rear doors. Was an interesting look. Only ever saw it twice so dont know much else.

  6. Woodie Man

    As a young teen in 1968 and 1969 I had a friend whose parents had two Checkers. Many a time I rode in them. When other folks had LTD wagons and Chevy wagons, these folks had Checkers. I can remember thinking how weird it was that my friends cars were used as taxis in NYC………or conversely that my friends used a taxi for their family haulers. Of course gas was .32 cents a gallon. Very strange

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