BF Exclusive: 1967 Checker Marathon A12

1967 Checker Marathon A12

From Andrew W – From what I can tell, this car sports its original paint and interior. The paint is in decent shape. It was pretty oxidized when I got it, but polished up nice. I am planning to use a heavy cutting compound and carnuba wax as well in the near future. The headliner is in great shape, the dash cover is perfect, the factory jumpseats are in nice shape, but it will need the seats and carpeting replaced. It has the original Checker radio, which turns on, but I’m not sure if the antenna is connected. There isn’t very much rust on it, just the three spots that are pictured. The underside of the car is remarkably dry, as from what I’ve seen on others and what “Checker Joe” (He’s in Simi Valley and has a couple hundred of these cars) has told me. The body has some small dents and dings you would expect from a car this old. I took photos of anything that was more significant. Joe can also repair and rechrome the passenger side headlight bezel.

1967 Checker Marathon A12 (11)
It has a chevy 230 straight 6 motor in it, which is one of the stock options this car came with. I am not sure if it is original. It runs pretty well, but seems happiest when it is good and warm. I have a new divorced choke for it, which should help considerably as there isn’t one installed right now. I have a video of it running and it doesn’t smoke and has good pull to it when driving.

1967 Checker Marathon A12 (12)

At some point, someone converted the car from a standard shift “3 on the tree” to “4 on the floor”. I believe it is a saginaw 4 speed. The hole he cut in the floor boards to accommodate the shifter linkage I’ve had about $2800 worth of work done to it in the past year that I’ve owned it, including a new clutch, completely rebuilt transmission (it was apparently a rare model), new driveshaft, new exhaust manifold gasket, new Hurst shift kit. The bench seat does not hamper the shifting throw pattern. This was done at a reputable shop where Checker Joe takes his cars and I have the receipts for it. It drives (good power), shifts, steers (power steering works great) and stops pretty well (manual brakes). All options work except for the odometer, temp and fuel gauge. They are all tied into the 6v to 12v transducer that has gone bad, the repair is detailed below.

What it is missing:
The passenger side top fender trim
The rear passenger side door trim
The horn button
This was on the car when I dropped it off at the shop, but apparently it “disappeared”. I am presently bidding on a nice one on ebay

What it needs:
Engine mounts – From what Joe has told me, the best way to find replacement Checker parts (since there were so many changes during the full course of production) is to take the parts into a parts store and have them match them up.
The front driver side turn signal light doesn’t actuate. I am thinking it is something simple, as the other three turn signals work just fine. Maybe a bulb, maybe faulty grounding.
The car pulls a bit to the right when braking, I have a feeling the front passenger wheel cylinder may be stuck and was planning on attending to that soon.
The windshield has a vertical crack in it at about the driver’s 11 o’clock position. It really doesn’t hamper your vision when driving, but I have found a place that has a replacement windshield for it.
The chrome of the grille, tail light bezels and bumpers could use a good polishing and I think it would polish up well. The chrome has flaked of a bit on the top of the driver’s side bumper overrider.
Gauges – The 6v gauges will need to be replaced with a 12v set. Checker Joe has a nice factory style set for $300 and they are apparently not that difficult to install.
Reconnect factory radio antenna
Rust cleanup and some floor pan welding around shifter
Seats recovered and carpet replaced – I may be able to get this done for a very reasonable price through an upholsterer I know that owes me a favor. Depending on interest and price, I thought i could discuss this further with a potential buyer.
Repair and rechrome the passenger side headlight bezel
Battery is very weak (I was going to get a replacement soon)

That is everything I can think of for now. If anyone is interested in giving my Checker a new home, they can contact me here via email. Oh and I’m asking $6,000 but will consider offers!


  1. Howard A Member

    I never really knew what the attraction was for a “civillian” Checker. I suppose they were good cars, to take taxi punishment day in and day out. Kind of a “generic” car. I’m confused by the reference to 6 volt. Weren’t these 12 volt by ’67?

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  2. krash

    the owner of a very famous national restaurant chain is a friend of a friend….
    apparently he had built the business from nothing, yet was frustrated that his newly licensed to drive son was becoming a little too spoiled and his requests for a first car bordered on the ridiculous….wanting a new exotic…

    his father responded by purchasing a Checker…

    the kid’s protests about his Dad’s unfairness were ignored…

    Dad threatened to remove him from his expensive boarding school unless he accepted the Checker and drove it…

    The kid drove it…and actually grew to enjoy it…as did the 5 friends he piled in every time they took a road trip….

    When he graduated from high school, Dad was so impressed by the son’s changing values that he offered to buy him any car….

    The son graciously refused, and continued to drive the Checker right through college, and law school…

    Consequently, Dad sold his chain to a major corporation for mega-dough…
    gave his son a boatload of cash…..and the son still has the Checker…@ 40 yrs later..(parked with a collection of high end rides)

    I’ve always enjoyed that story…

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  3. Bobsmyuncle

    Wouldn’t the odometer be mechanical?

    For that matter are you certain the other gauges won’t work with 12V the conversion?

    On VWs it isn’t necessary to change them nor drop the voltage though some choose to do so.

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  4. tedd

    Ive ridden in a few of these before they were Taxis when I needed to go to the grocery store when my other method of transportation was on the blink they are roomy inside and comfortable ride

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  5. jim s

    you might try a post on the checker wetsite also. interesting car.

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  6. Andy W

    Hey Everyone, thanks for the comments.

    From what Checker Joe told me, the factory had already switched over to the 12v system, but being the frugal folks that they are, wanted to use up all their 6v gauges, so they kept installing them and used a voltage reducer. I found one on ebay here.

    Which might be a much cheaper solution and plus it keeps everything truly “original”.

    I will probably post on the checker website as well. Do you guys think it is worth recovering the seats and carpeting? I can probably get it all done for about $700 and it would be a quality job.


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  7. Andy W
  8. Dan Strayer

    I drove a ’65 Checker Marathon to HS from 1972-1974. Dad bought it new in 1965, driving to the factory in Kalamazoo, MI to pick it up.

    Like 0

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