Reported this week in the Saint Louis Dispatch “More than 50 locals gathered on a highway overpass carrying Old Route 66 over Interstate 55 to watch the main showroom at Country Classic Cars burn. The massive fire lasted about 3 hours, mangled the roof and damaged some 150 vehicles, most of them American cars dating back as far as the 1920s. The damage is likely to be in the millions.
Owner Russ Noel, 73, stood outside the scorched property the next day and wiped his eyes with a handkerchief. “They just don’t make them like that anymore,” he said, standing in front of the crumpled building with rows of burnt vehicles.”
The ICTA extends our best wishes to Mr. Noel and his family. One can’t imagine the emotional pain of the losses caused by the fire on August 9th.
Unfortunately for Checker fans included in the loss was a least one Checker cab. Country Classic Cars had been advertising a 1970 Checker cab for sell for the last several years.
Advertised as “ Checker Marathon Cab, nice body and paint, very nostalgic, model A11 Taxicab, the Marathon was still a very attractive car. Based on the review of photo’s that cab appeared to be a traditional Checker Model A12 Marathon painted to look like a taxi.
Based on photographic evidence it appears that the cab did not fair well in the fire. The car depicted in the photos taken after the fire is indeed and Model A12 with significant fire damage.
The ICTA maintains a roster of all known Checkers, the Staunton, Illinois car has been removed appearing to be a total loss.