Kalamazoo Body Co. - 1940s-present - Kalamazoo, Michigan - Kalamazoo Coaches Inc. -1930s-1940s
Known Fire Apparatus body builder
Kalamazoo's carriage and windmill industries also benefited from the area's hardwoods and rail network (five railroads and one hundred daily passenger trains in the 1880s). In 1887 the City of Kalamazoo had eighteen carriage firms, which produced 87,000 buggies.
Like many Michigan communities, Kalamazoo was struck by the automobile manufacturing boom of the early twentieth century. Two of the city's more impressive early automobiles were the Michigan, with a 22-coat finish of "Michigan, golden, auto brown" and the Roamer, an imitation of the British Rolls Royce. Movie stars Mary Pickford and Buster Keaton were two of the Roamer's most celebrated owners.
Though Kalamazoo's automobile manufacturing industry never flourished, the city became the home of the Checker Cab Manufacturing Corporation in 1923. Boasting that its cabs never wore out, Checker combined innovation and quality to become one of the nation's leading cab manufacturers in the late 1920s. Though it quit making cabs in 1982, Checker still produces automobile parts.
Kalamazoo Coaches 1930s-1940s, Kalamazoo, Michigan
On August 27, 1940, Sales obtained a franchise agreement from Kalamazoo Coaches, Inc., the manufacturer of the Pony Cruiser bus, under which Sales was given the exclusive right to sell the Pony Cruiser to bus operators in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Colorado, New
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