This past weekend an interesting dialog was on the Internet Checker Taxicab Archive Facebook page posted by an ICTA Facebook member.  The member raised a question: how do Checker owners feel about people touching their Checkers at cars shows?

Internet Checker Taxicab Archive member Lily Joplin Noonan responded:  I’m way casual about my Checker at car shows…. I let people draw on it!


According to Lily, “it’s a lot of fun to have the Mighty Checker done up with chalkboard paint. The California sun DESTROYED the original paint job and the whole thing has rust everywhere so I figured I’d have fun with it before it rusts into oblivion….”

Lily’s 1967 Checker Marathon is surfaced with chalkboard paint and she lets people chalk it up. That right, Lily lets people draw on her Checker!   Based out of San Diego, CA. Lily, a professional artist has an interesting Checker back story. Here’s it is, in Lily’s own words…. presenting the Art-O-Mobile:

“I’ve wanted a Checker since I was 12. Yes, 12 years old. I had a friend who had one and it was an art car. The trunk was painted with a realistic tiger pattern and the rest of it was covered with all kinds of paintings and tiny plastic creatures stuck all over it. This was in Gainesville, FL. Then I worked as late-night dispatcher for Santa Fe Cab in Gainesville. Granville Howell, a very cool cat from somewhere in the Caribbean, had a Checker he used for the company. Of course, I loved him for that. Then my friend Andy – his mom bought a brand-new Checker for their family car. I believe it was an ’81. It was in mint condition and his mom would let us use it once in a while to go to concerts and stuff.

Around 2004, I was living in Beaufort, SC. I was board president of the local arts council and tried to convince the previous president to donate his car to the Arts Council – it was the 1967 Checker. He finally agreed after much negotiation. I had a custom topper made for it that said Arts Council Beaufort County. I drove it for two years as board prez then as the executive director.


Lily and her Art-O-Mobile

But in 2006, I decided to get married and move. I cried thinking I would no longer be able to drive the Mighty Checker, a dream car for me.

My charming husband-to-be came to my rescue and negotiated buying the Checker from the Arts Council for me!!


A pack of sandpaper and a quick hand-sanding then a quart of chalkboard paint and the Mighty Checker was transformed into Art-O-Mobile!! It made its debut in Marysville, California at their annual Peach Festival in the kids area.



What surprised me the most during that first foray was the huge range of people who wanted to draw on it!! I knew the kids would, but the ADULTS!!

All ages, races, and types! Even a little tiny grandma in her wheelchair stood up and went over and drew a tiny little horse on the door…. amazing!

I drive it as my daily driver (along with my 69 Caddy convertible) and it is my car that I take down to Tijuana, Mexico every week where I am working on a photography project.

It is, of course, well-known now down in TJ. Even the cops have drawn on it!


Artist Eider fancied up the hood with Scott Hoefert who is a ratfink lover!

I’ve also had an internationally known chalk artist chalk it up in San Diego – Cecelia Linayao – she did the hood.”


Chalk artist Cecelia Linayao

All we can say is, what better way to expand the minds of young children and adults while combining two great passisons: Art and Checkers

Please check out Lily’s Facebook page for the Art-O-Moble


For more Checker fun, please join our free club via our Facebook page


Lily 2

Lily Joplin Noonan behind the wheel of her 1967 Checker