Checker Marathon Review

1963 Checker Marathon 240 Cont. from North America

Model year1963
Year of manufacture1962
First year of ownership1969
Most recent year of ownership1974
Engine and transmission 240 Cont. Manual
Distance when acquired44088 miles
Most recent distance240600 miles
Previous carChevrolet Chevelle

Summary:

What a car should be

Faults:

Head gasket replaced at 122,000 miles.

Water pump replaced at 68,000 miles.

Brake job (2 front wheels) at 54,000 miles.

Complete engine overhaul at 142,277 miles, with new water pump, fuel pump, oil pump, etc.

Complete brake job at about 150,000.

Four generator rebuilds between 50,000 and 240,000 (with voltage regulators replaced).

Headlight and other bulb replacements, about 20 times altogether like any car.

Hood catch failed about 60,000 miles (common problem). I replaced it with Jeep type pull handle hood hold downs from J.C Whitney (the taxi people did this also on their Checker cabs).

Other minor things I have forgotten, such as I replaced the sun visors from a junk yard.

General Comments:

A car made as a car should be made. It even had grease fittings on the rear bearings and the clutch throw out bearing.

It had room and more room. Everything was easy to repair.

Stewart Warner gauges. Easy to work on under the dash.

The front bumper fitted the back. The back, the front. The finders bolted on and were easy to replace.

It held 8 people if you used the jump seats. The head liner was hard and never felt on your head. It just was up there for good, and looking good also.

My Checker Marathon was everything I ever wanted in a car. Highway gas mileage was 18 MPG, but gas was 18.9 a gallon, and I was driving a tank with double thick steel sheet metal.

It drove well on the highway. No complaints.

When it died at 240 thousand, I then bought a 1961 Checker Marathon to replace it and used the 1963 for parts.

You have to keep the valves adjusted, but that was a labor of love for me, and change the oil every 3,000 miles with the filter.

My finest hours were driving those two Checker Marathons. May they RIP. Thank you Checker Motors for your fine product.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th June, 2014