Not much is known about this car. It’s recent history goes back about five years ago when Northeast Checker collector and ICTA member Michael Pincus purchased the car in New York City. When asked how long he owned the Checker, Michael responded “Not long at all. I bought it in the Bronx from a guy who owned a parking garage. the guy had not paid the storage so he repossessed it.
In November of 2014 Michael sold the car to Haverhill, Mass based Checker Motor Cars, owned and CCCofA member and sponsor Steve Contarino. According to Michael “It might be the only Checker I made money on”. As evidenced by the 2014 header picture above, the car was in very nice shape. In 2014 the Checker showed some typical wear and tear for a twenty-five plus year old car, at the time of the sale the car was clearly a keeper and was in very restorable condition.
Prior to being sold to Checker Motor Cars the Checker had always been stored indoors. Again according to Pincus “it was indoors the whole time. I only had it outdoors for a month or so.”
From 2014 till 2018, it appears that the car sat outdoors in a storage lot in Haverhill, Mass. In 2016 Checker Motor Cars posted a picture of the A12e languishing in their back lot. Based on the photos from 2016, It does not appear that any restoration work was performed. It actually appears to have deteriorated significantly while in the hands of Contarino.
As many are aware Checker Motor Cars dumped forty plus cars with a Lawrence, Mass auto crusher in 2018, the Pincus A12e was one of them. Now when you move forty cars from one lot to another lot, across town: you can expect some damage. Unfortunately, the once nice Checker suffered significant damage when dumped in Lawrence. A fork lift was used to move the car out of the Haverhill yard, in the process the gas tank, transmission and oil pan were trashed. To add insult to injury it appears that the windshield was smashed and the hood, and front fender were clearly crushed from a fork lift prongs.
In the end, as evidenced by the severe damages and extensive deterioration from outdoor storage the once regal Checker limo was is worse condition, than it was when in the hands of Michael Pincus. Upon seeing photos, Michael Pincus commented “I keep saying it can’t be the car, But it is, it really is”.
ICTA member Travis Russ alerted ICTA leadership about the mass dumping. Hearing about the pending crushing of Checkers, ICTA Facebook admin Daniel Smith saved the day and organized a salvaging effort. Joined by several ICTA members, the ICTA was the only Checker club that put forth an effort to save the dumped Checkers.
When all was said and done, parts strips and 10 plus cars sold, Daniel purchased several dumped Checkers including the Checker A12e. This past February Daniel transported several of the salvaged Checkers to Ben Merkel’s wayward home for Checkers in Middlefield, Ohio. Ben’s place has been a clearing house for much of the salvaged Checker cars and parts from Lawrence.
Taking stock in all the cars and the required effort needed to get these cars operational again, Dan decided to sell some of the cars to other Checker collectors. The A12e was sold to a Checker collector in Northwest Ohio.
We’re happy to announce that the A12e is now running. The Checker has been in the shop for several weeks and has received servicing. Dan sourced a used transmission linkage for the Checker, as well as a new gas tank. Additionally the Lawrence auto crusher shipped a GM turbo 350 transmission casing (source from another Lawrence Checker) to Ohio. The new owner has sourced a hood and front and rear fenders to replace the fork lift damaged front clip and rust. The new owner also picked up a good windshield and rubber at the Lawrence crushing yard.
This week the engine was started and now the fine tuning will start, brake lines, fuel lines etc. All the things needed to get this survivor back on the road. There are still rust issues that will have to be address. The front driver side floor and rockers are shot. The frame is solid, and all but one mounting points are in good shape. We’ll keep you posted as progress is made.
Check out the Youtube video of the initial starting of this poor neglected beast.