- MY RIDE Series: If you want headroom, get a 1975 Checker
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    1. Member
      Join Date
      Jul 22nd, 2008
      Hood River, oregon/ Seattle
      two Audis, 79 wabbit diesel, two 84 jettas/85 jetta TD
      01-14-2020 01:01 PM #1
      Kay Phillips, 70, owner with her husband, Dave, of a working farm in High Point, N.C., on her 1975 Checker Marathon, as told to A.J. Baime.

      My husband, Dave, was the one who wanted a Checker. He was inspired by Checker cabs he had seen in New York City. He was always creative; at the time, he was running his own fabric manufacturing business. [Mr. Phillips, years later, became U.S. ambassador to Estonia.]

      One day he said to me, “I am going to buy you a new car.” When he told me what he had in mind, I told him he was crazy. He took me to a taxi company in Durham, N.C., and through that taxi company we ordered a car from Checker cab in Kalamazoo, Mich. [The Checker Motors Corp. built huge fleets of taxis for much of the 20th century, ending production in 1982; the Marathon model was aimed more at consumers.] My husband asked me to pick out a color, so I said, “How about navy blue?” The whole thing was bizarre.

      Some time later, in 1976, I was mowing my lawn when this Checker Marathon pulled into my driveway. I thought, “Oh my God!” We lived in a small town. This was different. The whole thing was very humorous.

      I smoked back then. There was only one ashtray, by the driver’s seat—2 by 2 inches. I thought, this is never going to work. So the taxi dealer screwed ashtrays into the other doors. My husband called me by a nickname, Kayroe, so I painted in small letters on the driver’s side, “Kayroe’s Cab Company.”

      My children adored that car. They went to school in it. They went to horse shows in it. I changed diapers on the seats. On Halloweens, back before this was not against the rules, I could fit 14 kids in the back. The car became like a member of the family. Everyone knew everyone in High Point, and people always knew where I was because of that car. Once when I was driving through town, a friend saw me and yelled, “Taxi!”

      Recently, after some 40 years, my husband decided to have the Checker redone. Dave has a friend who works on race cars and this man stripped the car down. Back when my kids were young, the car was very plain. Now it has beautiful leather and it smells luscious. It has a movie screen that folds down from the ceiling, for the back seats. We wanted to be safety-conscious too. When our kids are home for the holidays, they love to see the car, and now our grandkids have started to ride in it.

      When my husband came up with the idea to buy a Checker back in 1975, I thought he was crazy. But it turned out to be the most fun car ever.
      Quote Originally Posted by Blackohio
      Built in boost gauge in the dash. One of my friends at the time saw that turbo was on theoretical empty and asked if we needed to stop and get more turbo. I gave it gas and he was like wait, its full now. Had to quickly explain the process.
      Quote Originally Posted by Calcvictim View Post
      so basically the OP has no clue about anything and just posts out of his ass?

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    3. I wait in line 4 hours for Pretzels on Pretzel Day Metallitubby's Avatar
      Join Date
      Aug 20th, 2001
      Atlanta, GA
      Honda, Ducati
      01-14-2020 01:15 PM #2
      Uber good story. Very uplyfting.
      * My contributions are not representative of American Honda

    4. Member
      Join Date
      Nov 15th, 2017
      1999 Escalade
      01-14-2020 04:35 PM #3
      The Phillips’s 1975 Checker was recently restored. It was plain back in the 1970s, but now it is ‘like a luxury car,’ Ms. Phillips says

    5. Member ValidUsername's Avatar
      Join Date
      Mar 29th, 2012
      Somewhere in the USA
      '15 Silverado LT, '17 Charger
      01-14-2020 08:13 PM #4
      Neat article, I think Checkers are cool as hell
      "Make it look like something."

    6. Planters (fasciitis) peanuts. Dang dogg Sold Over Sticker's Avatar
      Join Date
      Nov 29th, 2009
      LS3 Malibu, Mid Engined Camry
      01-14-2020 08:42 PM #5
      Driving While Awesome Podcast. Give it a listen. #TeamAkane. Donate to help a wonderful family kick cancers ass
      Quote Originally Posted by Phillie Phanatic
      SoS - please shoot a message when Brendan & His Retarded Sycophants has another gig. I’ll be there, front row.

    7. Geriatric Member Air and water do mix's Avatar
      Join Date
      Aug 5th, 2004
      Southern Indiana
      '66 Beetle (X2) '08 Fit
      01-14-2020 10:16 PM #6
      I love it. 🙂

      I’ve never driven one and I can’t imagine it’s a rewarding car in the manner to which I am accustomed, but I would imagine it’s a lot of fun in its own ways. 👍
      Quote Originally Posted by Boyz in da Park
      Proletariat, Bourgeoise - Everybody smellin' my potpourri...

    8. 01-14-2020 10:59 PM #7
      Back when we were in college, in the very early '70s, a student couple bought a clapped-out, 300,000-mile+ ex-taxi they brushed-painted white and drove the p¡ss out of it with no issues, including multiple, longish trips from the DelMarVa península to Ohio to visit her folks. The ridiculously-large back seat area was a hoot, you could put two huge coolers behind the front seat and still have room to put your legs straight out from the back seat. I drove it a few times as we took turns spelling them, and it was a ponderous, rattly, vague behemoth typical of the era, lucKy to get 12mpg while cruising at 65mph on the highway, maybe 8-9mpg in town (not a big deal with sub-dollar gas prices). I think they paid $500 for it. They had it the two years we went to school together, then we graduated and lost track of each other... But the damn thing was still running strong...

    9. Member
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      May 13th, 2012
      Pacific Northwest
      01-15-2020 01:16 PM #8
      Well, it's not like any of us have heard this before.

      When he told me what he had in mind, I told him he was crazy

    10. Member
      Join Date
      Apr 17th, 2012
      Perryville, Mo.
      '63 Dodge Dart
      01-15-2020 03:52 PM #9
      mmmm... leather

      We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

      Oscar Wilde

    11. Member
      Join Date
      Feb 11th, 2012
      Santa Barbara, CA
      01-15-2020 10:24 PM #10

      Quote Originally Posted by PsyberVW View Post
      Locking it up because it's going to get worse mileage than a 1 legged dog with a hang over - yet stir up more crap than a starving catfish in a landfill.

    12. Member
      Join Date
      Jul 13th, 2010
      Langley, whidbey island, Washington
      1963 Volvo 1800 S, '84 jetta
      01-16-2020 03:59 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Roberto Dimento View Post

      Really happening?

      Quote Originally Posted by cartalk
      "As near as I could tell, the car was built from compressed rust."

    13. Member
      Join Date
      May 22nd, 2010
      West Seattle, Washington
      1973 240 Z, early jetta TD
      Today 04:23 PM #12
      That is one large interior space
      Quote Originally Posted by David Votoupal
      The car sucked in every way imaginable, that it entered the annals as one of the worst cars ever built. It was shoddily built in a plant where labour relations were atrocious. It rusted like hell, and the aluminium engine had the durability of a soggy potato chip. Few cars could have been so thoroughly bad Despite the "explosion" controversy, the Ford Pinto compared favourably to the Vega, and that's saying something.

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