The Checker Cab Manufacturing Company was born in 1922, and died in July 1982 – or, rather, the last cab was made in 1982, though Checker remained in business, supplying spares. Every so often there would be an update, mechanically or bodily since Checkers were more assembled from proprietary bits than made. The last major dramatic styling change was made in 1956, and that shape survived almost unchanged until 1982.
Checker was founded in 1922 by Morris Markin, an immigrant from Smolensk, Russia. During the 1920’s Markin and the Checker Taxi company battled John Hertz and his rival Yellow Taxi for control of Chicago’s streets. At one point Markin’s house was bombed, and drivers were being hired for their size and strength and lack of moral scruples rather than for their driving ability.