As noted in our last blog, we have been very lucky to find in the ICTA archive, a series of notes and photos from the Checker Car Club of America founder, Don McHenry. We posted a number of the photos on our ICTA Facebook pages and as usual, the dialog generated was illuminating.
The discussion generated on the page allowed us to determine where some of the Checkers depicted in photos are located today. We’ll present some of the stories in future blogs.
If you know the whereabouts of any of the photographed cars, please share with us your stories.
First up, a Checker pickup postcard from Steve Wilson to Don McHenry. Steve was a former CMC board members and president of the Checker Car Club of American. Steve’s postcard message, dated May 12th 1992:
“ I am back from Kalamazoo for the Summer. I talked to Walton at the plant and there is not much left at the plant with any car value. We could probably tour Sales and Service and maybe the test track. More details to follow.”
Little explanation, Rod Walton was the assistant to David Markin and corporate CMC spokesman. It appears that Don was coordinating with Steve Wilson on a future Checker show. Having participated in the 2000 show at CMC, this writer can affirm that the tours of Cab Services were a ball.
The cover of the postcard depicts a Checker pickup truck. So what’s the deal with the pickup? Checker made trucks in the past, who made this odd Checker?
Well as usual, the Facebook members were able to provide more information. According to Ben Merkel
“The 67 Checkup was built by Checker dealer Hillis Motors in Portland, OR from a wrecked A12E and they used it to haul motorcycles, which they also sold. I have pics of it when I got it” He went on to post
“I sold it about 12 years ago to Claude Brami of Paris, France.”
We heard from the current owner, Frédéric Boulant. “This pick-up conversion is now localised in France. Purchased 2 years ago in pretty bad condition. Its last owner let it outside for years and elements have damaged it.”
Frédéric provided current photos, his most urgent need is bumper brackets. We hooked him up with Dan Smith, bumper brackets and other parts are on their way to France.
The second items is a Medicar, from Don’s notes: 1969 Medicar at Twillight Taxi Parts Middlefield, Ohio
Where is it today? Again from the ICTA Facebook chatter, Ben is an active ICTA Facebook member and he quickly posted:
“I bought that Medicar for $75 from a NAPA auto parts store in New Jersey. Had a blown motor. Bill Hossfield put another motor in it and I drove it home . Got stopped by the NJ State Police who wanted to check my temp plate . Then he told me to get out of New Jersey and go home to Ohio !”
He went on to tell us that he sold to the to fellow ICTA member Fred Miller. This writer is familiar with the car, and knew that Dan Smith purchased the Medicar from Fred last year where is it today?
Happily we can report that the car is now in the hands of Lenox family. Upon seeing the photos of the Checker Medicar in 1992, owner and ICTA member Lindsey Lenox posted “so cool! my hubby is geekin out!! 😅“.
Again, we are honored to have Don McHenry’s files and more importantly, happy to post what we can on our Facebook page or this website blog. If we can piece together the various photographed cars and their stories, it give all a chance to learn more history regarding their cars.