Our Facebook friend Mike Kornspan purchased his Checker from a gentleman from West Hampton Beach Long Island N.Y., about 25 years ago. Mike is currently the 2nd owner, to his credit, he has babied this Checker for all these years, it’s like a family member.
A garaged kept Checker, Mike has tended to all details of this fine Checker and there’s been a payoff, Mike has won countless trophies. This month of April, Michael has already won his first trophy of 2016.
One of the judges approached Mike and asked if his Checker was a Marathon, Michael’s response “no, it’s a model A11E”, the judge admitted that he was only aware of Marathons.
To the untrained eye, Mike’s Checker may look pretty much like any other Checker, but Mike actually owns a very rare Checker, it’s a Supercab! Yes a Supercab, first introduced in 1963.
In the early 60’s Checker rapidly introduced many new specialty models as the company started to explore markets beyond the taxicab trade. Some of these specialty cars included: the A12W wagon, six and eight door Aerobus and the Town Custom Limo.
In 1962 Checker introduced the A12E the “E” stands for extended wheelbase. The extended wheelbase limo version of the Marathon was built for the high end professional car market. Differences between the A11 Taxi, Marathon and Superba were the extended wheelbase at 129 inches and limo attributes such as driver divider, in seat radio, foot and arm rests. Some models were equipped with vinyl roofs and opera windows.
In 1963, Checker introduced the Super Cab, essentially the Super Cab is a bare bones taxicab version of the Town Sedan Limo. It rode on the 129 inch wheelbase Checker chassis and also offered the larger bench style jump seats. Ironically, the new Super Cab was a throwback taxi, with metrics similar to the pre 1954 New York Taxicab and Limo Authority requirements. The Super Cab would be offered right up to the end of Checker automobile production in 1982.
Back in 1964 virtually every major corporation was getting in on the New York World’s Fair bandwagon and Checker was no different. On Monday May 4th 1964 Checker ran a full page ad in the New York Daily News to introduce the “World’s Fair Taxicab”, it was actually a Super Cab.
The ad advanced the Super Cabs features: Greater earning potential for taxi operators, Larger loads for more business, bigger tips for comfort and the cabs comforts that allows drivers to stay on the street for longer time periods.
The ad also depicted a family troubled by getting into a smaller cab: a full size 1964 Dodge Coronet, the photo was captioned “how are we going to all fit in the little car”. It’s pretty amazing that a full size Dodge could be depicted as a little car.
In the 1982 CMC Checker Straight Talk Brochure, again the company was promoting the “Super Cab”. The brochure proclaimed: It’s a cab, it’s a limo, it’s a Super Cab. Again core features promoted were the long doors, the
extended custom built chassis and the ability to carry six passengers in the rear compartment.
So, if you ever see Mike Kornspan at a car show getting a trophy with his Checker just remember, it’s a Super Cab!