As car enthusiasts we are all familiar with automotive logos.  The Ford blue oval has been around since Henry Ford created the Model T.  The Chevrolet bow tie has been around since 1913, Chevy co-founder William Durant’s version of how the logo came into existence is well-known. The long-accepted story, confirmed by Durant himself, was that it was inspired by the wallpaper design in a Parisian hotel.

Have you ever wondered what logos were used by Checker?  There are essentially three logos that Checker used on taxicabs and promotional material.

The first logo was a Checker Cab trademark written in a cursive form with two big C’s wrapping around the name.  Added to the name was the service provided such as Checker Cab Services for taxicab fleet or Checker Cab Manufacturing cab assembly.  This logo would be used in various form from 1922 until 1958 when Checker changed their corporate name to Checker Motors Corporation.


The second major logo used was the Art Deco Checker shield introduced in 1947.  The logo was first used on the 1947 Checker Model A2 taxicab place just above the grille center hood and below the hood ornament.  It was also placed on taxicab as a rear passenger door shield decal.  Many independent operators would utilize this branding as a sign of quality. The independent operator typically stenciled their respective name above the Checker logo.

For the period of 1950 till 1954 the Art Deco shield was only used as a decal for rear doors, it was removed from the hood and a new cursive Checker nameplate was added.


Big changes were in order at Checker in 1956, the new Model A8 taxicab was introduced.  The A8 was available in two packages the “Special” and the “Standard”.  The Special was the high end taxi equipped with power steering, power brakes and automatic transmission. Amazingly the Special also had a power front bench seat!  The Standard was exactly that: standard with no options: equipped with manual steering, manual transmission and non power assist brakes.


Each taxi package was equipped with its own new chrome logo, a globe with two Checker flags adorned the center hood and trunk lid. The only difference between the two nameplates was the denotation of the Special or Standard. The old cursive logo was still retained and graced the chrome plated wheel covers for both packages.

A new Corporate logo was also created a variation of the Special and Standard logo, the Checker Cab Manufacturing logo was used on advertising, brochures and manuals.

Checker Special Logo Evolution, graphic by Joseph A. Fay  Copyright 2017

In 1958 Checker changed it’s name from Checker Cab Manufacturing. to Checker Motors Corporation. At this point is time the old cursive logo was retired.  The new CMC would leverage both the logos from the Model A8 on the new Model A9 introduced in the fall of 1958. The A9 had a new nameplate logo on the hood, the two logos were only used on the doors.


Both the Special and Standard logo were used till 1960, when the Marathon was introduced along side the Superba, the standard name was eliminated.  Moving forward in a consumer car market the two separate models effectively replaced the Standard and Special concepts. That said the Checker Special logo continued being used on taxicab model’s the A9 and A11.

In 1964 the logo was used for the new 1964 World’s Fair Supercab. A slight variation of the 1956 the logo appeared in several advertisements. The Special logo would remain in service and would be placed proudly on the door of Checker taxicabs up until 1982.

We’re all proud of our Checkers and likewise the Checker logo that adorns the rear doors of many of our cars is a true sign quality.




One response to “The Checker Logo, a Sign of Quality by Joseph A. Fay”

  1. Actaully the sea color depends on the car color. The sea could be be Red, Green or Blue. It typically varied based on the operator and some time the color. For example if the Checker was two tone red and yellow, the sea was typically red, if the cab was green and yellow, then the sea was green. Most later model all yellow cabs the sea would be red.

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