1923 Checker H2
Copyright 2015 - Checker Car Club of America
Although the exact date is not certain, the first Checker model H2 taxis started to roll off the assembly line in Kalamazoo sometime after June 15, 1923. The bodies were built at the recently acquired Dort body plant on South Pitcher Street. The rest of the car, including assembly and painting, was done at the Handley-Knight plant on North Pitcher Street. This is where Checker production continued until July 12, 1982.
The H2 was a slight variation of the Model H Checker Mogul taxi built in Joliet, Illinois in 1922. It came with a 4 cylinder Buda engine and received 12 to 15 coats of hand rubbed paint. Most came with no front passenger side door to allow the quick loading of luggage. The Taxi Meter (as depicted in one of the photos below) was made by the American Taximeter Company and had passenger and driver displays. The H2 was replaced by the Model E in 1924.
Note: Since 1923 was a transition year for Checker, some of the car bodies were produced by Millspaugh & Irish, the same company that provided the bodies for the Model H. It is also likely that the choice of taxi meters was left up to the taxi company operating the vehicles. In other words, the meters were not necessarily those of the American Taximeter Company.
A first-rate example of the Model H2 can be seen at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan. It is there that I decided (on a visit just before the CCCoA 2015 Convention) to take photos of this car inside out and even underneath. You will find these photos below.