Checker Motor Cars, the firm based out of Haverhill, Massachusetts recently posted on Facebook an update regarding the creation of a new Checker prototype. This is the company that announced in 2015 that they intended to produce a new six door Checker. In the past, Checker Motor Cars press releases indicated that 2018 was the target year of production.
Now in mid 2018 we can present some updates from a recent Facebook post. We’re also posting the identified components to be used in the production prototype. The use of Chevy body parts for a Checker replica seems somewhat questionable.
According to Checker Motor Cars poster “The body shell will be steel or reinforced carbon fiber”. It’s interesting that in three years the company appears not to have figured out what type of materials will be used to produce the prototype?
The spokesmen went on to post that the prototype would use “ a similar to first generation Checker steel frame with 4 wheel double piston calipers, power rack and pinion steering, 16 inch steel wheels and tires. Independent coil over suspension”. In the past, Checker Motor Cars has posted pictures of a Genesee chassis, a chassis application is typically used in the specialty hot rod and street rod industry.
Beyond the chassis and body the company poster described other aspects of the “Alpha” prototype. Checker Motor Cars posted that the prototype would use “Many custom ideas, plastic hoods, plastic fenders.” Its not clear to this writer that plastic fenders and hoods will create the same “built like a tank” feelings of the legacy Checker.
It appears that the prototype would also use many Chevrolet body parts “doors have the same shell as a 1972 Chevy pickup with the top frame as part of it. Rear door is from a 1972 Chevy Suburban. Door panels are all from 1972 Chevy pickup.”
Apparently the Checker prototype will utilize parts bin items from Ford Motors. According to the Checker Motor Cars post the new Checker will also utilize front and rear bumpers from the 1999 Ford Econoline Van.
Based on posts dating back to 2016, Checker Motor Cars has posted on Facebook design photos of a dashboard sourced from a Ford Mustang. The most recent posts from Checker Motor Cars indicates that the “dash is all carbon fiber custom with the same design on the left or right for right hand steering.” This statement would be consistent with the 2016 posts.
It’s very interesting that the prototype is expected to use an actual legacy Checker windshield. To date this appears to be the only major OEM part sourced from the original Checker Marathon. Again, posted on Facebook, Checker Motor Cars stated “windshields are Checker, but the roof canopy is lower so the glass actually sits into the roof shell with windshield adhesive. Black plastic trim goes around the glass edge.”
With respect to lighting, it appears that the new Checker plans on using new technology. Past posts have indicated the use of rectangular headlights. The following was posted on Facebook this week “the headlights are high intensity LED’s with amber turn signals built in and an amber LED turn signal below.” They further stated “plastic chrome plated tail light bezel with high intensity LED’s.”
From a drivetrain perspective, the new Checker will use GM components similar to the legacy Checker. According to Checker Motor Cars, “power is EPA/CARB certified GM fuel injected V8 with EPA/CARB certified 6 speed transmission. Also a CNG powered option with 6 speed transmission.”
Well there you have it, after three years of development, it appears that the new Checker may or may not have a steel or carbon fiber body. Hood and fenders will be plastic. Doors will be based on the 1972 Chevy pickup or Suburban. Bumpers will be based on the Ford van. The chassis is a typical hot rod/street rod set up mated to a GM powertrain. The replica will use a mustang dashboard and high tech lighting. The only legacy part appears to be the windshield.
According to Checker Motor Cars “we can not accept orders we can only say that prices are comparable with 2 wheel drive full size pick up trucks. We’ll post information as soon as we hear it. No dates were provided targeting Alpha prototype completion. We’ll keep waiting.