Here at the ICTA, we are on a quest to find compatible parts that can be used for the restoration or preservation of Checker Cabs. Every once and while a new part pops up that was not really on the radar screen.
Back in the fall of 2018, the ICTA was very active in the salvaging of Checkers dumped at a Lawrence, Mass auto crusher. A number of Checker Cab fans requested that we save headlight buckets. That said, we were really going after big ticket items, so we did not pull the buckets, we went after entire cars, front clips, frame assemblies etc.
Recently I mentioned to Ben Merkel, that a lot of folks were looking for headlight buckets, his response surprised me. According to Ben, Checker headlight buckets are from the 1958-62 Chevrolet Corvette! Guess what, he’s correct! First the good news, then the bad news.
As soon as I got home from my visit with Ben, I pulled the buckets out to the Texas hunting wagon that I am restoring. A quick search of the internet turned up plenty of sources. From the sources, photographs comparison to the OEM buckets were made, and yes everything checked out. The Checker indeed uses Corvette buckets.
Now the bad news, the Corvette buckets are very expensive. We mean really expensive! Based on a review of sources, it appears that Corvette buckets range for $250 to $500. Think about that. If you want replacement new headlight buckets, the cost for one car could be $1000! This writer just paid $800 for two restorable Checkers. So if you’re looking for low cost buckets, it looks like flea markets and junk yards may still be the most affordable approach.
Here’s a link to one source