The ICTA has been around on Facebook for about 13 years. In those 13 years we have tried to cover the gambit of all things Checker. Apparently there is one thing we have never discussed………….Checker rentals! We have touched on the subject, showcasing a couple of Checker operators, that said, we have never showcased the top players in the market. This blog will do just that.
Up first, lets cover the New York City Market. There appears to be three key players.
Film Cars based out of Brooklyn. According to their web site: “We were there when Harry Met Sally, we were madly vintage for Mad Men and we helped make Mrs. Maisel marvelous. Let us be a marvelous resource for your wedding or special event. We have helped make hundreds of weddings happy because our goal is for your Big Day to be perfect, especially when you depart in style, cameras clicking.
No matter your special event, email us for a personalized proposal and an introduction to any of our meticulously maintained classic cars. including everyone’s favorite yellow taxi, the iconic Checker Cab.” Here’s a link to Film Cars
Also in New York is: The Checker Cab. From their website is their pitch: “The Checker Cab was, and remains, an abiding symbol of New York City’s enduring mystique, calling out to travelers and emigres from around the globe, not unlike the Empire State Building and The Statue of Liberty, Nathan’s Famous and Katz’s Delicatessen. The film industry still portrays this iconic vehicle as an authentic New York City landmark unto itself—decades after production ceased on the Classic Checker back in 1982. So hail your own Checker Cab—take in all that New York City has to offer…in style.” Here is a link to their web site.
The final New York Checker purveyor is The Checker Guy. Operated by Victor Cairo, here’s a little information from the about section of his website: “Collecting cars has been an obsession for longer than I can remember. Growing up in Brooklyn New York, surrounded by cars from the 50s and early 60s, when US automakers were at their design peak. Great two- tone paint schemes, lots of gleaming chrome and tailfins reaching for the sky; that’s where my obsession began.
I found my first vintage car in1979 when my Dodge Demon was wrecked. I found a 1963 Corvair broken down on the side of the road whose owner had had ‘enough’ and wanted to get rid of it! $150 later it was mine, and it started there.
From that point, I have bought and sold 200+ cars over the past 25 years; buying, restoring, selling, and making a lot of great friends along the way with this hobby. Here is a link to Victor’s website.
Just outside New York City in New Jersey, ICTA member David Cohen has operated Lost Souls Picture Cars since 1999. According to David’s web site, the are primarily focused on Film and TV activity. His core mission is as follows.
Lost Soul Picture Cars is a supplier of modern and vintage prop vehicles. Our goal is to provide the film, television, and advertising industry with the best service possible. Our vehicles are made to your satisfaction (paint, decals, etc) and are delivered to your location by us any time, any place.
David has the most significant fleet of all the groups and his inventory covers a wide range of subject vehicles. He has a large fleet of taxicabs which includes two Checker A11. One looks pristine and one looks like it just came out of service!
Here is a direct link to Lost Souls web site. Lost Soul Picture Cars Picture Car Rental (lsefilmcars.com)
On the other side of the country in the great north north west, Alaska is Sitka Checker Tours. The company is operated by Jeff Budd. According to travel blogger Juliana Dever “Tour guide and probably unofficial Mayor of Sitka, Jeff Budd is a friendly guy with a deep love of the area he’s called home for over 30 years now. A certified SE Alaska Naturalist who describes trees by comparing their bark to food (“that one’s potato chips, and this one’s a bacon tree…”), above all, you will be endlessly entertained all while learning about the landscape, history, and traditions of Sitka, Alaska.
Jeff can tailor a tour to your preferences. You can either ride in his checkered cab and get familiar with the entirety of the 15 paved miles of Sitka proper. You can also head out along the coast and walk Mosquito Cove trail where he’ll teach you more about nature and snack foods.
Pro Tip: You can also have Jeff give you a tour that swings by the Fortress of the Bear and ends at the Brewery if you don’t have a car.”
Here’s a link to Jeff’s web site:
Outside the US there is clearly a limited number of Checker rental options. In Australia there is a fantastic company operating a large Checker fleet. The company is called Checker Cab Weddings.
A class operation, the company is run by John Bell. Jphn currently operates five Checkers. According to John’s web site. “For a wedding that oozes style, arrive in a famous New York Checker Cab! Our totally original New York Checker Cabs are fully restored with all the features these iconic cars are famous for – the limo-sized rear seat, checker stripes, air conditioning, roof light and flag fall meter. Against Melbourne’s sophisticated urban backdrop, it makes for an unforgettable photo session – and it’s completely unique amongst Australian bridal cars.
All hiring’s include white ribbons, red carpet entry, a refreshment pack and great old-fashioned service. Here is a link to John well developed web site.
Beyond organized operations like the above companies. Don’t forget that you can most likely find a Checker via our ICTA members Facebook page. Note the header picture, longtime ICTA member Emerson Zentz has ocasisionally supported local clients in Winsconsin.
Many of our members spread out across the world would be more than happy to support wedding or touring needs. All you need to do, is to post a request out on our Facebook page.