Excerpts from Collectorcarmarket.com

In the early 1980s a new innovation in transportation began to sweep America’s traveling families off their feet: the mini-van. While the concept of these vehicles dated to the 1950s (VW Kombi, then the Corvair and Econoline window vans), the mini-van was different in that it was designed specifically to be a family car rather than a spin-off of a commercial vehicle.

By the early 1990s, the mini-van craze was in full swing, while another American motoring icon was quickly fading from the scene without so much as a single “limited” edition, or even a ceremonial “last off the line” press release. That favorite model that has almost completely gone away is the station wagon.

Station wagons in the collector car market are just now being discovered. “Woody” wagons have long been honored, and the sporty 1955-1957 Chevrolet Nomads have been sought after for over twenty years. Now, other station wagon models are starting to catch collector’s eyes. Other than the aforementioned woodies and Nomads, these are mostly at the beginning of the appreciation curve. Although most any wagon can be collectible, our favorites for ownership enjoyment and future value appreciation are:

  • Ford Country Squires up to 1970.
  • Big, flashy 50s, 60s and even early 70s Chryslers, Mercurys, Buicks and Oldsmobiles. Especially the pillarless models.
  • Early 60s Dodge Lancers and Plymouth Valiants
  • Studebaker Wagonaires
  • Intermediate GM models with the Vista roof.
  • Special editions (or regional models) of a standard model that where produced in limited quantities.
  • Early 1970s AMC Hornets, particularly with the 360 V8.
  • Early 1970s Pinto Squires, Chevy Vegas

The Checker wagon

So is the Checker wagon collectable? Well it seems to be “the it” car among Checker collectors. Station wagon posts within the ICTA Facebook page seem to be very popular and generate a lot of dialog.  That said, Checker fans typically go nuts over any Checker.  Perhaps a better place to gauge interest is in the various station wagon groups on Facebook. Here are just a few comments regarding Checker wagons from the “Station Wagons Only” Facebook group.

Charles Holtorf Very cool. I did not know they made wagons.

Scot McKinstry 350 Chevy motor, Chrysler transmission, and a Ford rear end. I wonder how many combos there were.

Raymond Luncsford I always love the Checker…. always wanted one. never seen a wagon. so nice. love it.

Hal Bellerud Utility trumps beauty. I’d love to have a new one.

Arthur Jack Bonds one of the best made ever

Ted Grinstead I bet it’s a very comfortable ride like the cab

Thomas M Fraze Checkers were like tanks. Would go forever


The general comments always seem to be positive and support the idea that the Checker is worthy of collector interest.

As with all collector cars, rarity certainly impacts interest in any particular car. Again the Checker wagon has that covered too. The wagons were produced from 1960 through 1974. Typically approximately 500 were made a year in the early period 1960-1966. By the late 60’s sales started to dwindle, in 1969 only 108 were produced. In 1974 only a paltry 23 units were produced.

In a nut shell, there are rare and seem to be generating more interest than in the past. It seems that the Checker Wagon is a full fledge collector car worthy of interest. So if a Checker wagon crosses your past, it might make sense to pick it up.