Over the the last two and a half years the ICTA has tracked virtually every used Checker automobile that has been listed for sale on the internet.  We have constantly kept tabs on: Ebay transactions, Letgo, Craig’s List, Hemming’s Motor News and Facebook Marketplace.  This effort have been performed by the combined effort of ICTA members.  Although we don’t typically know the ending result of a these transactions for all the transactions, we have been able to track the asking price and in some cases the actual final sale price.

The “in” Checker with a 10% survival rate

We can slice and dice this data in many ways, in this blog we will take a look at the break down of Checker model and again try to project a true Checker survival calculation.   This is a complete list of the majority of Checkers sold or advertised over the last 30 months.   Detailed analysis is very interesting as it confirm and disproves many Checker myths.  It also demonstrates Checker market trends in the selling of used Checkers.

Generally speaking we think of Checkers sold in the collector car market as standard Checker Marathon sedans sold in the retail market as being the majority of the Checker collector car market.   A photographic review of some of the older show Checker show will present a sea of retail Checker Marathons.  Based on a review of the numbers, we can see that 53% of Checker sold are indeed standard Checker Marathon A12 sedans, that said, this writer was surprised that the number was not larger.

The majority of the remaining models represents three other distinct Checker models.  15% of Checkers sold are actually Checker A11 and A11E taxicabs,  14% of Checker models sold represent Checker wagons and 12% represent Aerobus variations.

The numbers present some surprising survival rates.   At 26% for a combined total, for Aerobus variants and wagons,  these numbers present a 10% survival rate for all Checker wagons and Aerobuses produced between 1960-1974.  That’s good news for anybody looking to buy a Checker.  The Checker wagon appears to be the current “in” car among Checker fans.  They’re seems to be a larger supply out there for sale, than one would imagine.  It also demonstrates that the Checker is indeed a tough as a tank.

Between 1962 and 1982, Checker produced 86,924 Checker A11 taxicabs. Over the last two and one half years, only 40 have been listed for sale within all the monitored collector cars databases.  That represents a very low survivor rate of .004% of all A11 taxicabs produced.  That bad news for the many ICTA fans who are interested in a taxicab restoration,  they are pretty rare, less than 20 units a year pop up for sale.

Now that we have some real actual numbers, could we put this numbers to use in calculating a Checker survival count?

Extremely rare Checker A11 diesel taxicab

To put this into perspective total Checkers produced between 1958 through 1982 is 121,486 automobiles. US national scrappage rates typically are set for the first ten years at 10%, but after ten years age those rates go down to about 1%. Assuming this, we could assume that Checker survival would be 1214 units in 2019, almost 40 years after Checker production ended.

Balance that against a .004% survival rates for taxicabs, the numbers will be significantly less. The best calculation, is to adjust survival against the balance of 10% for consumer cars and a lower number for taxicabs.  The elimination of taxicabs would reduce production by 86,924 units.   Apply the 10% factor to non taxicab production yields 34,562 units of or 345 units today.   Add to another 35 units based on Taxicab survival at 004%,  will yield a total of 380 units total.

Given we have seen 300 units on the used car market since 2017, that represents 80% of the total forecast.   Add in 50 units that are in transition with the Joe Pollard estate and it would appear that the forecasted number covers all Checker on the market since the summer of 2017.  Clearly the forecast of 380 number is to low, but the at 1214 forecast is clearly to high given the low survival rates for taxicabs.

We will never be able to project a good survival rate.  Let’s double the calculated number, then we are at 760 units.  We have 1000 members in Facebook and another 200 members on our email list. Do they all own Checkers?   We’ll never really know, but as long as there is an ICTA, we’ll keep tracking.

Checker Production 1959 – 1982

Year A9 A10 A11 A11E A12 A12E A12W A12W6 A12W8 A12E8 Total
1959 2695 3744
1960 2694 1050 5683
1961 4983 860 8173
1962  6943  1230 7050
1963  5970  1080 6130
1964  5170  960 6136
1965  5206  930 5755
1966 3739 303 749 161 521 37 245 0 5755
1967 3798 291 665 270 413 39 367 0 5843
1968 3517 275 699 293 408 18 278 0 5488
1969 3734 305 493 254 286 26 436 0 5534
1970 3302 208 248 149 108 0 154 0 4169
1971 4240 243 304 113 132 0 131 0 5163
1972 4745 240 277 96 150 0 133 0 5641
1973 5181 276 347 56 177 0 260 0 6297
1974 4522 147 130 23 23 0 154 0 4999
1975 2830 189 164 36 0 0 0 0 3219
1976 4219 212 245 54 0 0 0 60 4790
1977 4266 186 227 54 0 0 0 47 4780
1978 3735 219 214 58 0 0 0 0 4226
1979 4187 198 168 68 0 0 0 0 4621
1980 3040 110 146 44 0 0 0 0 3340
1981 2685 97 129 39 0 0 0 0 2950
1982 1897 47 43 13 0 0 0 0 2000
Total 121486

Note, Total A9 production 5389 split for 59/60 evenly, 1960-1965 A11 and Aerobus numbers combined, 1981 product mix estimated based on 1980 numbers.