Checker Motors maker of the famous Checker Taxicab, has unveiled their newest member, the Checker Superba. The kissn’ cousin of the taxicab, which has roamed New York’s streets for years, is identical in styling, engine and practically everything else to the cab.
It gives relief to those who are tired of looking at the monstrosities rolling off the Detroit production lines in the past few years. The engine is the old Continental type. A separate story by Roger Huntington, on this engine will found elsewhere in this issue.
For the more conservative driver, Checker has made an automatic transmission for the car, which is of course, optional. Features of the new Superba which is distributed in New York by Charles Kriesler, are a completely flat floor, extra wide doors for easy entry and exit and more leg room in the front and rear than you would actually need-unless you have extra-large legs and feet.
The Superba line includes standard and specials models of a four door sedan and four door station wagon. The length of the car is ten inches shorter than any of the normal sized models of Chevrolet, Ford and Chrysler. Looking from the side you get a surprise, in that the car is not as low as you have become accustomed to seeing. It does, in its own way, remind one of a tank. The basic word for the overall styling of the Superba is “simple”.
We were particularly glad to see the interior of the car. The front seats are high and springy, thereby eliminating the backache when driving. The instrument panel is easy to read and the oil pressure and amphere gauges are a relief from the ever bothersome lights found in many of the new cars.
The Superba has a manual choke as standard equipment, which many seem to prefer, instead of the automatic choke which can be obtained as optional or with the bigger engine. The heater controls are easy to reach by the driver. The steering wheel gives the driver a firm grip. Visibility from the drivers seat is as good as can be expected and better than some of the other 60 models.
We made a vain attempt to get a Superba for a road test. Unable to test the car itself, we did arrange for a Checker Taxicab road test. The cab we had was a 59 model. It had over 50,000 miles on it, and had a smashed left front fender. We spoke to the driver of the cab, to get his impression, since he had driven the car for the first 50,000 miles.
He told of his many experiences as a taxi driver in New York, but we won’t bore you with the details of his fights with the members of New York’s finest, who are otherwise known as cops.
Before his conversion to the Checker, the driver, who is in business for himself, drove a De Soto. He said he got over 100,000 miles on the De Soto, but expected to get more on the Checker.
“The car rides like a dream for the first five months,” he said “But” he continued, “now ….well, she rides like a bus”.
“Don’t get me wrong, I like this car very much. Never had one like it”.
“After all,” he went on, “I’ve been hit twice in this car.”
“The gas mileage is good, and it don’t use much oil.”
“How much is not much?” we asked.
“Well, maybe a quart every 1200 miles”
“You know,” the driver exclaimed, “my wife —-Edna, she really likes the seats in the back. You know, the fold away seats?”
The Superba makes these seats as optional equipment.
The Checker gave us a good ride. We took it to the hills of Queens and the rough roads of Long Island. It responds quickly to the drivers every command, and although not powered like a V-8, it will get you where you want to go, and may save you some money on repair bills.