Finding this Checker wagon in the parking lot of this retirement facility was a bittersweet moment. I first encountered it in the parking lot of the neighborhood hardware store in May of 2009, and wrote it up here. While shooting it, its owners, a couple then in their eighties, came out and gave me its story. They bought it new in 1967, and it’s been their only car ever since. That’s 53 years! Truly the ultimate Car Of A Lifetime.
I’ve seen it a couple of times since on the road, but not in the recent past. Given their age, I’ve been wondering if its time with them had run out. But here it is, and it looks like it still gets driven, even with its manual steering and three-on-the-tree. It’s sort of the station wagon counterpart to my ’66 F100, except of course they’ve had it longer. I hope I’m still driving my truck when I’m in my nineties.
The owners told me that they’d driven all over the country and numerous trips to Mexico and Canada. Lots of memories were made on these seats. And that seat cushion looks to have been recovered, given all the miles that were racked up on them.
That headrest looks to be an aftermarket affair. And the rear seat legroom is very ample, befitting the Checker’s design brief as the ultimate taxi cab.
I’ve always had a major soft spot for these Marathon wagons. It really is a pickup with a wagon body, like the International Travelall. Of course someone is going to bust me for saying that. But that’s what makes it so appealing.
If it hadn’t been for COVID, I would have gone in and looked them up.