Recently another club wrote a scathing article about our club and suggested that the Internet Checker Taxicab Archive was not a true club.  It was troubling to read the article  “The More The Merrier”?.   The article effectively dismissed and rejected hundreds of former CCCofA members and CMC employees who have sought to find a friendlier club.  In one paragraph  640 Checker fans were minimalized, by telling them that their club was not a club, how arrogant.

Thanks to all the Checkerheads out there, you folks have made our club the largest and most dynamic Checker club.

Maybe that other club  doesn’t understand what a club is.

Definition of a club, source MacMillian Dictionary:

Club: An organization for people who have a common interest in a particular activity or subject.

That’s it, just fifteen words, not that many and quite frankly not enough to describe our fantastic group of fun loving Checker fans. There are so many other words, stories and pictures that even this short blog can’t do justice telling the story of this great club.  Briefly I would like to touch on four key attributes of a club: people, common interest, activity and organization.

640 People make this club great

Our club is over seven years old with 640 active members.  This is not a club of one, as  suggested.  We meet everyday,  albeit via the magic of computers: our group has one common theme Checkers.  We meet real time on Facebook, we meet via the club Newsletter and at events.

People of varying types

Through our newsletter we have been introduced to some interesting characters.  Via our members profile articles we met Miami based lawyer Jane Muir. “Driving Sunshine!”  Anyone who sees it asks, ‘What is it?’ It’s just a fun car to be in, the Checker brings happiness wherever it goes.”


Jane Muir and her childhood friend


Recently we met Checker new comer Chis Boyd. Between work, kids sports and activities and life in general, he’s making progress in restoring a 1969 Checker A12E limo with his 13 year old son, what a great way to bond with his boy.


Chris as his son’s A12E

Many of us have become reacquainted with our old French friend Chris Monier, Chris introduced us to his very interesting former taxicab that is destine to become a coffee table.

Mike Pincus and Ben Merkel created a great profile of Eric Lackmann and the only surviving Checker dealer: Turnpike Checker.  A full background and photos was presented to our members.


Michael Pincus at Eric Lachmann’s Checker dealer

In the seven published newsletters we have consistently presented profiles of one of our 640 fun loving Checker fans.  Indeed we have an active group of members and each one ask to join. With the click of the “join” each Checker fan ask if they could join our group, even the CCCofA President.

We all share a common Interest in preserving and enjoying our Checkers.

Checker help, it’s been amazing to see the help provided by our members on a daily basis.  Some of our members appear to be on 24 hour call serving Checker owners.  Andy Taylor has become the single most popular Checker mechanical genius, helping all with his vast knowledge of Checkers from Continental equipped oldsters to modern emission controlled GM engine equipped Checkers.

Andy Taylor

Checker Expert Andy Taylor picks up a free Checker donated by a generous group member

Recently Checker newcomers Kenny G. Hall had a question about his recently purchased Checker diesel.   37 response were generated to help resolve his issue by members: Matt Thomas, Arron Holdaway, Andy Tailor, Steve Davis, Nicholas Emrich, Carroll Sickle and Alex Christie all chimed in to the dialog.  The first response was posted in less than 2 minutes after Hall’s original post for help.


Kenny G. Hall brake trouble, 2 minute response time by the group

Preserving Checker History.  Our group members have helped preserve Checker History via document submission to our club archive.  Member Matt Thomas has loaded a significant number of documents regarding Checkers, Taxicabs and Yellow Cab Company.

Former Gilmore Museum archivist and educator Tim Morris has provided great photographs from the old CMC corporate office. Photos of extremely rare Checker prototypes never seen by the public at large.


Model D photo source by Tim Morris

John Logan has graciously offered to donate his complete library of Checker engineering memos. These documents will be scanned and loaded into our club archive and will be made available to the public, including CCCofA members.

Yes, our group is all about Checker history

CMC Employees, we have the most active group of Checker employee and family on Facebook.  As mention above, long time Checker employee John Logan provides the group with advice and stories.


Factory photos taken by Rick Burgen in 2009

One of the most active former CMC employees in Rick Burgen, for those who don’t know Rick, at the age of 25 Rick worked the line at CMC. Risk was the guy who finished the front end alignment on the last Checker made on July 12th 1982. Rick has done a fantastic job of photographically documenting the old CMC plant.


Rick Burken and the last Checker

Other regular posters Jack Fritz and Joe Barney, all bring great Checker insight to the group.

Families, we have been very lucky to have regular dialog with the Markin family.  Chris, John and Justin Markin regularly post and share their Checker experiences.


Justin Markin’s current ride

Dave Powers and Connie Wilson Powers regularly posted in our club and have been very supportive of the growth of our club over the last several years.  Connie’s father Steve Wilson was President of the CCCofA back in the mid 90’s, their support means a lot.  Recently posted by David  THIS IS THE CLUB! This is the only club! I don’t care what they say, publish, threaten, or do. It does not affect me or our car or what I view as the checker car club that I enjoy being a member”.


David Powers and Connie Wilson Powers still own Steve Wilson’s Checker


640 strong, we’re active

Checker shows, as noted in our mailing we’re just starting to expand beyond internet activity.  That said we have already had several mini events.

This past year we met in Chicago. Dave Elmore showed in a mint green 1965 Marathon. Dave is the father of longtime Checker fan and automotive writer Chad Elmore.  Matt and Leanne Thomas showed up with the entire young family in tow with their impressive 1965 Marathon.


The Thomas Family

Last year we had a big turnout at Das Awkscht Fescht.  Doug & Carol Klauck with their pristine 1972 A12 along with Chris Hutter and his family with his cool A11. On the second day Jim & Nicole Rogers participated with two Checker both in taxi livery style, cab one a classic NYC, cab two a multi colored GWB (George Washington Bridge) cab.


Victor Coiro, Jim Rogers and Bruce Uhrich

Charity work our members help those who need help, whenever possible our members support charitable activities and proudly display their Checkers.  Several weeks ago our UK agent Stephen Disbrowe went on a special mission with his Checker. He delivered approximately $500 worth of dog and cat food, bedding and toys for the local animal shelter. The money to buy the items was donated by staff at his office. Stephen posted a video of the event, according to Stephen “it was a pleasure to deliver the items”.


A Checker going to the dogs

Checker’s in general, all we can say is, man we have some very cool Checkers in our club. Last week in a show of support members posted photos of their Checker on one face book stream. The photos were spectacular. Rick Burgen, Andy Taylor, Will Brandum, Emerson Zentz, Gerry LaPierre and Brandon Burns post some really neat photos one on string. Our group owns, maintains and has restored some of the finest Checkers in the world.


Internet Checker Taxicab Archive group members cars

Organization, we don’t have one. No president and no board, nowhere in the definition of a club do I see a preconceived notion of what constitutes a standard club organizations governance or cadence.  We’re just a group of people who want to have fun.

I hope this article demonstrates that we are a true club .  We are a vibrant group of Checker fans.  Thanks to all who make this group the best Checker Cab club in the world.