Autos: The Box that Tailoring Made

The roomy Checker cab, one of the few taxis left that passengers can climb into without awkward gymnastics, is a familiar sight on many U.S. streets; of the nation's 135,000 taxicabs, some 35,000 are Checkers. Less familiar to the public and the financial world is the firm that makes them: closemouthed Checker Motors Corp. of Kalamazoo, Mich.

Separated from the Detroit automotive world by choice and philosophy, Checker is the nation's smallest full-scale automaker. Last year it turned out 8,000 cars and, for the first time in a decade, showed an operating...

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