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Call me a Checker

If you have ever lived in a big city, one of the joys to be experienced on a stormy day is the sight of a Checker cab chugging its way toward you. The cab might not exactly win a trophy for excellence in new design. After all, it has looked basically the same since the mid-1950s. But if you've ever tried to wedge a ten-foot Christmas tree into a taxi in the midst of a snow storm, or squeeze five or six business associates (or the family) into a cab, the Checker has always come through - no matter what its appearance, or how much gas it may have guzzled to get you to where you want to go.

So when news reports from Kalamazoo, Michigan, say that Checker Motors Corporation may be closing down its production line, one cannot but hope that some step will be found to keep those commodious vehicles coming. Fortunately, the thousands of Checkers already out on the roads will probably be rolling for years. But an America without new Checkers - even at 4,000 pounds per cab and a fuel economy rating of less than 20 miles per gallon - will somehow seem like a slightly smaller America.

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