Our great Checker friend Emerson Zentz really knows how to make a Checker acquisition an adventure.  Over the years we have documented many of Emerson exploits.  The past week, Emerson out did himself with his acquisition of a Checker Aerobus.

Now acquiring a Checker is always fun, but when you can mix in a little history and a different form of transport, now you have the makings of a fun Checker adventure.  This past week Emerson took delivery of a (new to him) Checker Aerobus.

Purchased in the great state of Michigan, Emerson had to transport the Aerobus to his home state of Wisconsin. Well he did it in great style, he moved it across state lines via the S.S. Badger!

The SS Badger is a passenger and vehicle Ferry in the United States that has been in service on Lake Michigan since 1953. Currently, the ship shuttles between Ludington, MI and Manitowoc, Wi., a distance of sixty-two miles, connecting US highway 10 between those two cities. It is the last coal-fired passenger vessel operating on the Great Lakes and was designated a National Historic Landmarks on January 20, 2016.

The ship is named after the University of Wisconsin’s athletic teams, the Badgers.  The Badger runs on Michigan time (Eastern Time Zone, whereas Wisconsin is in the Central Time Zone) and riders pay Michigan taxes on their fares. It runs on a seasonal basis from May to October.

Badger was constructed as a rail car ferry in 1952 by the Christy Corporate of Sturgeon Bay,  along with its twin SS Spartan (named after the mascot of  Michigan State University) with a reinforced hull for ice-breaking. It was originally used to carry railroad cars, passengers and automobiles between the two sides of the lake.

The trip went smoothly and the Aerobus is now parked at the Midwest Bus Museum where it will join the a fleet of rare and unusual buses.  For more information about the

SS Badger, here’s a link to the official website.

Ludington MI To Manitowoc WI SS Badger People & Car Ferry

Here’s a link to the Midwest Bus Museums website.

Midwest Bus Museum – Bus Transportation History Museum