• An unusual and evocative American classic, presented in wonderful, highly original condition.
  • A 350 cubic inch (5.7-litre) Oldsmobile V8 diesel motor rests under the hood, coupled to a three-speed GM Turbo-Hydramatic heavy duty automatic transmission, which is a common pairing with big block engines.
  • Owned by the seller since 2012 and first registered in Australia in 2015, the car has subsequently been converted to New York Checker Taxi specifications.


  • Starting life as an ‘A12’ passenger version, this Checker Marathon has been converted to ‘A11’ New York Taxi specifications – the famous ‘big yellow taxi’ as seen in the likes of the US sitcom ‘Friends’ and as the star car in ‘Taxi Driver’ with Robert De Niro.
  • As such, it is now finished with yellow paintwork, accented by black and white chequerboard stripes and all of the appropriate decals.
  • Features include power steering, air conditioning and power disc brakes.
  • All four of its steel wheels are fitted with the white wall tyres and correct polished hubcaps, which present well, though there are some minor dents on the rear passenger-side item.
  • Accompanying original paperwork indicates that this Marathon was a production prototype of some sort, before being sold directly from the factory to its first private owner in 1984.


  • Being in original condition, with the exception of a colour change, the bodywork presents very well, with no evidence of any accident damage.
  • The resprayed yellow paintwork is in excellent condition, though there is a small chip beside the driver’s-side headlight, where the chequer decal is also beginning to lift slightly.
  • The exterior chrome accents are in great shape, as is the taxi sign on the roof.
  • The original interior of the cab is in place and has been refreshed. It presents very well, with the leather and cloth upholstery being in good condition and the interior trim well-preserved.
  • The vendor notes that there is a very minor oil leak, but the car is otherwise mechanical sound and is free of any electrical faults. It is reported to drive very well indeed.
  • The car is currently registered and roadworthy on non-transferable Victorian historic plates.


  • This Marathon was most recently serviced by the seller in December 2020, when the engine oil and filters were changed.
  • It was imported with various maintenance receipts, which can be provided to the new owner.


This 1981 Checker Marathon A12 is a head-turning and nostalgic classic American car, which has been repainted and customised to mimic the iconic New York taxi. Presented in excellent condition and fine mechanical health, it would make a fantastic promotional vehicle, but could just as easily be put to use as a unique and attention-grabbing daily driver.

The description of this auction lot is, to the best of the seller's knowledge, accurate and not misleading. Collecting Cars requests a range of detail about the lot from the seller, and performs a level of due diligence. However, bidders must satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of the description, and conduct any research they feel is necessary before committing to a bid. Please see our Terms and Conditions for full details.

This vehicle’s VIN has been checked against the Australian Personal Property Securities Register, and there is no security interest or other registration kind logged against the serial number. This vehicle has been checked through the Austroads NEVDIS system, and there are no markers under the written-off or stolen databases.

Car Overview

  • 41,859 km
  • automatic
  • LHD
  • Yellow
  • Black
  • 5.7L
  • VIN1CMMS4425BK000453

Lot Overview

  • Lot #05747
  • private Sale
  • Thomastown, Victoria, Australia


  • checker

Exterior  (166)

Interior  (119)

Mechanical  (32)

Documents  (3)

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