By Garland Pollard
Historic Checker Cars of Kalamazoo
DETROIT – For the Obama inauguration, two Detroit News staffers, Charlie LeDuff and Max Ortiz, drove a 1973 Checker cab from Michigan to D.C. Thanks to our buddy Peter Hubbel, a native of Michigan, for pointing the article out to us. He’s a Checker Cab fan.
The article is called “Rust Belt in a Rusty Checker Cab” and it traces them from Detroit through Toledo, Cleveland, New Brighton, Pittsburgh, Bedford, Gettysburg and Baltimore. It’s got some video of the trip, and the car; particularly poignant is their reading of the Gettysburg Address.
It’s a great idea, and points up a number of facts:
- The Checker was a cool car. Very cool. Cult appeal. Pity it didn’t survive. There is still something there.
- The Checker was made in Kalamazoo. I need learn more about this.
- There is untapped industrial energy in America. Where the heck did it go? And why can’t we get it back.
- Americans need to make things again.
- This is a great country. Says LeDuff, when a car repair mechanic says it is a deathtrap and it won’t make it the whole way to Washington, “American Ends in I-Can.”
The Checker Cab appears on:
- our 100 Brands to Bring Back list.
- It is also on our Brands to Bring Back Facebook application, which lets you send your favorite dead brands to friends.