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This last-surviving 1939 Art Deco Checker marks the high point of taxi design
The late 1930s was an extraordinary time in automobile design, thanks to the Art Deco movement. In France, Figoni and Falaschi created elegant “teardrop” coupes and roadsters, while Italy’s Alfa Romeo and Czechoslovakia’s Tatra explored aerodynamic forms.
Meanwhile, America flirted with concept cars like the Chrysler Thunderbolt, Buick “Y-Job,” and Rust Heinz’s menacing Cord Phantom Corsair. Some extreme designs made it into production, like the 1938–39 Graham “Sharknose” sedans, although their striking frontal aspect fizzled out at the rear.
But the most outrageous production sedan comes from an unlikely source: Checker, the car maker from Kalamazoo, Michigan, known for indestructible taxicabs.