Another Checker A2 has recently been discovered in Finland by ICTA member Elias Välkki. If you’re not familiar with the Finland Checker story, here’s a quick debrief.
Helsinki Mayor Erik von Frenckell and Minister Onni Hiltunen noticed that the 1952 Olympic Games approaching the country’s taxi fleet was in poor condition. To make it easier to get rid of the delapidated taxis, the two men executed a program to buy Checker taxi cars from the United States. The politicians coordinated with the Autoilijain Hankinta Oy, founded by the Professional Association of taxi drivers.
A sent delegation was sent to the United States to choose vehicles to be imported into Finland. The intention was initially to buy newer A4 models, but due to the low exchange rate, it came to the association purchased used Chicago Checker A2 models retired from the Chicago Checker Taxi fleet. Ultimately, the delegation bought some 500 Checker A2 taxicabs, 1946-49 model. The cars were brought to Finland in 1951-52.
Unfortunately the ship trip was a fatal event for the Checkers. The extra loads and unloadings made during the shipment and the damage caused by sea-going ruined a large part of the cars. Nevertheless, during the 1950s and 1960s, Checkeri was drove through the finals in various parts of Finland.
According to Elias Välkki “Found this Checker A2 today! It was crashed in the 60s which resulted the car retiring from service. Frame was turned into a tractor trailer and the engine went to power a saw. Engine should be still somewhere and intact. Better pics coming soon.”
Ellas will be forwarding additional photos soon, we’ll keep you posted.