Reliable, affordable, fun and comfortable
Chevy head gasket blew at 300,000.
For general information on Checker Marathon A12.
I purchased a Marathon new in August of 72 in NYC.
It was delivered defect-less and in silver metallic paint. I moved to Florida 6 months later and after about 3 years in Florida the paint checked badly.
I had the car painted with single stage urethane in Mercedes Tobacco Brown 423 and the first sign of any wear was on the right rear fender in 2001, which I had professionally retouched. The rest of the paint job is as good as new.
The car has been a daily driver since 72 and has over 325k miles virtually all city. In late 2001 at about 300k miles the chevy 5.7 engine blew head gaskets, so I replaced it with a Chevy 5.7 crate engine and while at it, added electronic ignition from MSD. I have been delighted with the ignition and have used the same wires and plugs that were put in in 2001 with the engine.
I strongly recommend electronic ignition, it is amazing. Performance is wonderful and no-tune ups needed!
The body is as solid as new and has minor rust at 2 door tips, which will be redone.
I cannot tell you how many thousands of people have shouted 'nice car' as I drove by or how many have asked hundreds of questions over the 35 or so years, at stop lights, or in parking lots etc.
The car has been, and continues to be an absolute joy to own and drive.
You all might enjoy this little story: On the day I picked up the car from the dealer in Long Island City, N.Y.
I drove about 5 blocks from the dealership and stopped at a red light. A guy next to me shouted out "Hey man you keep that car in great condition!!!" I knew then that owning this Checker would be great fun, and it sure has been!
For general knowledge: I am on 3rd Radiator, 2nd Alternator, 3rd master cylinder, 2nd Booster, 5th battery, 2nd battery holder, 3rd starter, 3rd muffler and First front end rebuild at 20 years. Pretty good for all those years!
Happy motoring to all from the Sunshine State!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th June, 2006