In the 1954 Advertisement Checker Service Goes Round the World, the copy reads “ From Norway to Tahiti, from Uruguay to Saudi Arabia – wherever taxicab operators know and rely on built in quality and economy for profitable operation, the Checker Cab is famous for its rugged dependability and low cost maintenance”. Well its 2018 and it’s safe to say that Checker still serves the world. ICTA members regularly provide taxicab and livery service to a public that knows quality and an automobile that is iconic. On all the continents Checker Cabs can be found servicing weddings goers and the film industry.
The ICTA is a global club, yes, many our of members are US based, but this blog salutes our members who represent Checkers abroad.
We have a large contingent based out of the UK. Stephen Disbrowe based out of the metropolitan London area has two Checkers in his inventory of cars. Ray Tomkinson and Peter Oliver also do their part serving London with outstanding Checkers dressed up in New York City livery.
Recently Ray Tomkinson’s Checker was used in print for a British airline opening up routes to New York. The photos posted in the Facebook group are quite striking and clearly demonstrate Checker’s roots to New York.
Armin Haag, is our man in Germany. His Checker A11 is outstanding. This writer personally loves the wheels and white walls setup. Armin regularly posts in the group and is a great one for sharing German auto show participation.
Sami Lassila is our man in Finland. A major supporter of the Finland Checker Club, Sami has deep roots to Checker. As many are aware, 500 Checkers were exported to Finland to support the Helsinki Olympics, Sami’s family owned one of those Checkers. There is strong bonds in Finland to Checker, most recently the Finland Checker Club restored a 1948 Checker A2, Sami has been one of several ICTA Finland members who kept us abreast on the restoration project. Sami owns a spectacular 1967 Checker, one of the new Checkers in Finland, he represents us well.
On the other side of the world, we have Checker friends in North Africa. Silvano Pipi based out of Algeria has a stunning Checker A12 limo. According to Silvano, his project is 98 percent complete. More importantly, much of what Silvano has done has been handcrafted. The limo is furnished with custom upholstery and cabinets, very impressive.
We all will do whatever we can to keep our Checkers on the road and enjoy the pure entertainment of driving a Checker. Well ICTA member Mario Dubuc has taken the effort to the next level. As Mario so matter-of-factly put it in a recent Facebook post, “did a crazy thing last week…..Full Body Swap………. on a BMW 750 IL V12”.
Our Canadian representative has clearly gone global, what could be more global than a Checker powered by BMW?
Perhaps the most impressive fleet of Checker outside of the US is the fleet owned by John Bell in Australia (see header photo). John runs quite a business with his Checkers. Of the five Checker cabs, four are now in service with one still under restoration. Bell has plans for more. He is looking to secure an even rarer model, a 12-seat “Aerobus,” in the near future. All cars are “painstakingly” restored and include all the features that identified the Checker: A limo-size rear seat, checker stripes, air conditioning, roof light and flag fall meter are all part of the package. American Checker fans have become aware of the Melbourne interest: “We are now starting to build a reputation”
Here’s a link to John Bell telling the story of his Checkers
Not much is known about the Checker spotted in Moscow. Found parked outside the Vegas Mall, recently posted in the ICTA Facebook page, the mysterious Checker is parked out in front for a World Cup celebrations. It appears that the Checker may be in the livery and film business, we’ll keep you posted as we uncover more information.
For your reference the 1952 Checker advertisement that inspired this blog.