The Checker Motor Corporation of Kalamazoo, Michigan, first began production in 1922, as makers of taxicabs. The first private cars were offered as an option in 1948, but official production did not start until 1959.
The Checker Marathon which was one of the first private productions cars available, is still in production today with basically the same body shell. Up until 1965, the cars used Continental engines, but from then on Chevrolet motors were used.
The current car is available as either a sedan, a sedan deluxe limousine or a station wagon with a choice of straight-six or V8 engines. Also available to special order, is an 8-door, twelve seater Aerobus used mainly for hotel and airport work.
Although looking fairly antiquated, and very much a 1959 model by modern American standards, the Marathon scores very highly on durability and longevity. Some cars have totaled almost half a million miles in a lifetime.
Automatic transmission is a standard on all Marathon models. Among the options available are an oil cooler limited-slip differential, power steering (on straight-six only). Tinted glass, air conditioning, auxiliary rear seats and a vinyl roof.