Again, out of the file of the Checker Motors Corp. public relations department come this highly suspect news story. Let’s just say this writer finds this item hard to believe.
Airport Limousine Fills Actor’s Need
By James T Cox, Staff Writer, Cleveland Plain Dealer 4/7/67
NEW YORK – You’re Herschel Bernardi, big Broadway, Hollywood and TV star, and you want a custom-made car. What kind do you buy? Would you believe an airport limousine?
Bernardi, the bearded star of Broadway’s long running hit, “Fiddler on the Roof,” stopped off at the International Automobile Show at New York’s Coliseum yesterday to shop for a car that would fulfill some extraordinary requirements, to wit:
An auto that would be a combination office, recording studio and rehearsal hall, plus take care of the more mundane things like taking the wife shopping and their three children to school.
AS BEFITS A BROADWAY star, the actor was accompanied by an auto show pubic relations man as he walked through the maze of 500 cars on display, inspecting Detroit’s and Europe’s largest station wagons. He settled on a manufacturer from Kalamazoo, Mich., Checker Motors Corp.
For Benardi, the choice was like a sentimental journey, back to his lean don’t call-us-we’ll-call-you acting days, when he survived by driving a Checker Cab in Manhattan. Now he’ll move to a rear seat and leave the driving to a chauffeur.
Benardi selected a 19-foot seven-inch-long, six door version of Checker’s airport limousine because he can no longer adequately keep up with his appointment book, well filled these days. Once an actor hunting hungrily for a role, he is probably the most sought-after personality in show business today, and all because of incredibly facile voice.
Inside the nine passenger car will be the following: a TV-Stereo, AM-FM radio console, television tape recorder, a desk with built-in typewriter, file cabinets, two telephones (one for the Chauffeur), and a bed.
Other custom items will be a plexiglass window, and a playpen for his youngest children and a storage space for an easel, brush and oils, in case his artist-wife, Cynthia, wants to dabble during a drive.
The custom equipment for the limousine, which normally costs $6500, will boost the price somewhere near $15000.
Ok, so given this item references public relations men escorting Mr. Bernardi at the New York Coliseum and the article itself comes from the files of Checker Motors PR dept. files, Is this story real? Could a six door Checker hold all the contents described and still carry passengers, probably not? This whole story seems concocted to promote Checker and Mr. Bernardi’s acting career. Tell us what you think in the comments section of this blog. Is this just a publicity stunt?
I think its possible, I have seen full size conversion vans with a trifold rear seat that forms a bed. The chauffeur part was probably an act as he was probably playing that role.