Happy New Year from the Internet Checker Taxicab Archive! 2016 was a tremendous year of growth for our club. As we ring in the new year, let’s reflect on the significant progress we made expanding beyond a mere Facebook group.
As other clubs shrink, faced with the challenge of staying relevant, the Internet Checker Taxicab Archive has doubled in membership over the last year! Not only have we doubled, but our members are active and generate daily dialog via Facebook. We average ten posts a day by over 100 active Facebook posters. On weekends we have seen as many as 40 posts between Friday and Sunday. We have seen posted questions receive accurate Facebook answers within less than two minutes!
We sponsored two events this past year. We organized the ground breaking traveling Checkers at Auburn event this past August. A unique event, for two days participants met in Auburn, Indiana at the ACD Museum and the National Auto and Truck Museum. On the third day, members drove approximately one hundred miles to Kalamazoo, Michigan and enjoyed the hospitality of Chris Markin. Chris and Rick Burgen organized The Great Checker Garage Sale. CCC members had a chance to purchase a significant amount of surplus Checker parts. Over 25 Checkers were on display at the three day event.
Also in August, Internet Checker Taxicab Archive members participated at the Das Awkscht Fescht. A fantastic event introduced to Checker fans by Don Mchenry almost 30 years ago, this event has always been a fun-packed day in the great outdoors, it’s the perfect way for families to celebrate summer and see some of the finest Checkers from the east coast.
Moving into 2017 we look forward to the next Das Awkscht Fescht and planned Rocking Rockford events in August.
Securing funds to operate is always a challenge, as a free club that does not charge dues its even more challenging. A special thanks goes out to all the members that contributed to our club this year. Perhaps the most substantial contributions were the six separate donations from Chris Markin, Jack Fritz Jr., Rick Burgen, Ben Merkel, Beverly Owen and John Logan!
Perhaps the largest donation of documents comes from John Logan, former Checker Motors Plant Superintendent, John first started at Checker in 1958. John is actually responsible for the creation of the 1976 Checker 15 passenger Aerobus.
John has made three major contributions: Checker Production Reports 1966 thru 1980. Engineering Memoranda 1962 thru 1982 and Checker Illustration Manuals 1964 thru 1982. This donation has established our club as the foremost authority on Checker. The total size of the donation has yet to be tallied, but estimates place the total at 3000 individual documents representing about 10,000 pages
Thanks to former CMC employees Jack Fritz Jr. and Rick Burgen, we now have 24 copies of the CMC Checker Headlight newsletter. The inventory spans a period of 1983 thru 2008. Ben Merkel and Joe Fay have also provided access to hundred of CMC documents that span a period of 1922 through 1982.
The National Automobile and Truck Museum allowed the Internet Checker Taxicab Archive access to the complete Bob Welsh Checker library locked away in the museum archive. Special thanks goes out to Beverly Owen for recognizing the importance of the documents, all have been scanned and are awaiting loading onto the website.
A truly historic donation of almost 100 Checker blueprints were added to the Internet Checker Taxicab Archive. A special thank you goes to Chris Markin and the entire Markin family. To say the donation is earth shattering would be an understatement. The Markin’s kind gesture opens up completely new views on Checker.
Thanks you to everyone who posted on Facebook, although you may not realize it, each post is powerful in that it helps preserve Checker content or shares unique insight on Checker and Checker fans. Much of the Newsletters is generated via information found in the various Facebook posts.
The Club Web Site
Since its launch, the focus of the new website has been to create the world’s largest free Checker Archive. Additionally, the website serves as a gateway to the Facebook page, the club blog and the club Newsletter. The website is now the most widely used Checker website on the internet, currently ranked higher than any other Checker oriented club site. At 144 average hits a day, our site gets double the number of Checker World hits.
The contents of the archive is truly amazing. Within the library you’ll find Newsletters, not just our Facebook newsletter, but a number of different Checker related Newsletters: CCCofA (1984 – Present), The Big Apple, Checker Motors Corp and Midwest Newsletters.
The mother load of Checker content can be found in the Archive: Brochures and Manuals spanning the years of 1920 to 1982. We have archived virtually every Commonwealth and Checker brochure. Manuals, the archive has content covering a span of 1947 thru 1982.
Service Bulletins, we have hundreds of CCM and CMC bulletins covering a span of 1956 thru 1973. Service Manuals, Operator Manuals, Assembly Manuals covering a span of 1947 thru 1982.
This past fall we loaded all Production Reports and Engineering Memo’s donated by John Logan. We have scanned all Engineering Illustrations and have loaded 640 of these documents 1964-1969 to the website.
A special thank you goes out to Michael Pincus for the development of the most up to date Checker Roster. Listing over 640 Checkers, all website visiters have access to the online registry. Michael also set up via google a Checker Used Car Value Guide which will be updated quarterly by the club. Both the roster and guide are now menu items on the web site.
The Internet Checker Taxicab Archive Blog library continues to grow, now at 115 blogs. These blogs have been critical in terms of creating publicity and awareness of the club. Blogs range from member profiles to historical documentation of Checkers. Over the last year Hemmings Motor News picked up and publicized six of our blogs. Every time we get recognized by Hemmings, we pick up new club members. The following are the blogs picked up by Hemmings.