When many people think about Checker Motors Corporation, they think taxicabs, and the story behind the founding of the company is very interesting indeed. A man named Morris Markin, who was a Chicago businessman in the clothing industry and had no knowledge of automobile manufacturing, acquired a facility in Joliet that produced auto bodies. He had made a loan to the owner of the plant who was unable to come up with the payments, so Markin suddenly found himself in possession of this auto body plant, which supplied Commonwealth Motors with its bodies.
It turns out that Commonwealth had just received a large order from the Checker Taxi company, which at that time had no affiliation with Markin at all. To further this amazing chain of events, Commonwealth was struggling financially as well, so Markin was able to form a merger between his recently acquired body manufacturer and Commonwealth that he named the Checker Cab Company, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Classic Checker cars that are still popular with collectors are the Marathon, the Superbra, the Checker Aerobus, and any number of classic Checker taxicabs. Recently, the CEO of Checker Motors Corporation, David Markin, fell victim to the infamous Bernie Madoff scandal, and the company fell into bankruptcy in 2009 before closing its doors for good with its sale to the Jones Group in 2010.