The Checker Marathon is better known as the classic yellow New York taxi Cab, which first appeared in 1956 as the A8 and was offered as a passenger car for private use from 1960 to 1982. As you would expect, the car was based around rugged, rather than advanced engineering. After all, its designers knew the type of the life a car that could be used as a New York taxi cab expect once it left the production line. Power came from a long lived L head straight six unit, giving as little as 80 bhp on 1950s models and up to 155 bhp on later car with overhead valve Chevrolet derived engines. There was a Chevrolet V8 option, and by the mid 1960s automatic transmission was an almost universal fitment. Checkers could be ordered in six or eight seater forms, the latter being a special 129 in, (328 cm) wheel base limousine called Town Custom. There was even a Station Wagon version. There was a famous eight door Aerobus designed for airport and hotel use, too. It has awesome straight six 3704cc engine, with separate X frame chassis. Three speed automatic transmission with fully independent front and rear axle.
The dumpy styling of the Checker hardly changed at all over the years though, which was probably why its appeal as a commercial passenger car was fairly limited. Sales dwindled in the 1960s and 1970s as even New York cabbies abandoned the durable Checker for more conventional big saloons, and today the once familiar and distinctive car has disappeared from the streets of the Big Apple, though it will forever be linked with the city.