Checker Is Trying To Resurrect The Ultimate Classic Limo
Photos courtesy of Checker Motor Cars
There have been dozens of different vehicle body styles, but the Checker Aerobus is from a forgotten era, created before what we now call “limousines” and “airport shuttles”.
With news that plans are in the works to resurrect the iconic Checker cab taxi if legislation is passed in the U.S., Checker Motor Cars is currently a business that currently restores and sells the well-known workhorse, including the incredible—and often forgotten—“Aerobus” body style.
Hauling cargo is one thing, but getting people from A to B is a different challenge altogether. Unlike a limo, where the interior layout is most important, a shuttle vehicle should be able to quickly and safely pick up or drop off its passengers, so what you really want is a number or doors so that each row can hop in with ease, which is exactly what the Aerobus is.
These extended taxis are based on the Checker Marathon, a car that was cheap to make but overbuilt in just about every respect. From 1960 to 1982, major North American cities had swarms of Marathon taxis on their roads, ferrying fares around.
Introduced in 1962, two years after the Marathon’s debut, the Aerobus was powered by V8 engines, first from Chrysler, then from Chevrolet. At the very least, the Aerobus slinked from the factory with V8 engines tuned for durability, not performance. Only available with a power-sapping automatic transmission and power-sapping power steering, and power-sapping heavy duty air conditioning, in its fastest state of tune the Aerobus would top out at 160 km/h (99 mph).
Both wagon and sedan versions were made, with either three or four rows of bench seats, with access doors on either side. The whole shebang weighed at most a mighty 2,405 kg (5,302 lbs).
Just 3,568 of these were originally built in total—but with the reborn company planning on introducing them to the market after a prolonged absence, it’ll be far more likely a ride in a modernized Aerobus will be in your future. With updated powertrains, looks, and safety features, who’d honestly not drive this over a boring old shuttle bus?
And if you don’t want an enormous sedan, the new Checker will be offering a Chevrolet El Camino-esque pickup truck version. More information is available on its Facebook page or at the company’s website.