Update on several cars.
“History documents were found at the Gilmore auto museum, car was delivered to a dealership in Arizona, this 1964 Checker wagon was originally white with a red top, had power windows including rear gate. The car was bought missing a few key pieces to make it all work again. It will have to be converted to manual windows as you all know how hard it is to find parts.
The green 1964 Checker wagon progress has slowed down due to this covid 19 event. Students at our campus, Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) of Murfreesboro TN were being taught mostly online for the past few months. We just started back 3 weeks ago but only in 1/3 capacity. In this throw away world of car repair revolving around electric. Students have a hard time visualizing the concepts of how something works. Bringing in a car like this Checker with parts that can be dissected becomes beneficial to straighten out a puzzled learner.
In the past update, the mechanical aspect the car had under gone a front disc brake conversion, the whole front and rear suspension was redone with new bushings and balljoints. A 400 Chevy engine was chosen to take the place of the original 283 and was in the process of being rebuilt.
The new progress the learners have made, was the engine rebuild got finished up. However we ran into a snag with hooking up the accessory’s on the front of the engine. Nothing lined up, 283 pulleys would not work on the 400 and the 400 pulleys would not work on the checker. The fan set up would have been too close to the radiator. The purchase of the smashed 1970 checker solved this dilemma as the complete set of brackets and pulleys were the exact ones needed. There are close to having this motor running on the runst and out side the car.
The update on the car body the autobody collision program at our school needed some small fill in projects for the students to learn their trade. The smashed in right front fender (inner and outer) has been reshaped by 2 students using hammer and dolly method. A little more finesse and it will be ready for final priming. Auto body class like the mechanical utilizes the car as a stand by, fill in material. As we do not have this Checker as priority 1, other things are to be taught first.
Things on the horizon for the 1964 Checker wagon, wiring, dash and interior items will be transferred over from the smashed up 1970 Checker.
The 1967 Checker wagon, went through a major renovation and ultimately was put back on the road. Dented body panels were removed and replace with rust free solid units. Floor rust was cut out and sheet metal was bolted into the floors.
The rusted tailgate was replaced with a solid used 1960 tailgate Door panels were replaced with NOS Checker Model A9 door panels. Tires and brakes were replaced and used hubcaps were purchased. A local auto shop got the car running and installed a new battery. Mr. Fay painted the car and installed vinyl flooring and kick panels. Repaired the cracked steering wheel and removed all window tinting.
In May the car was listed on Ebay. To say there was a lot of interest in the wagon would be an understatement! The Checker was pickup on the antique car blog Barnfinds. The Barnfinds blog’s seem to generate a lot of interest. The Ebay auction had over 7000 hit/views! Ultimately three bidders bid the Checker to a very nice price. Key learning here was with some promotion, Checker can be highly marketable. Here’s the link to the Barnfinds blog.
The car was purchased by a guy named Bob from Oscala, Florida. Now at its home in Florida, Bob has sent several complimentary emails. He’s very happy with his new project and expects to make the wagon his future every day car!
Fay also saved a 1979 Checker A12e formal roof Checker. It was recently sold to ICTA member Robert Ferdon. Robert is fairly new to Checkers, a little over a year ago he and his buddy restored a Checker A12. Like many others Bob caught the Checker bug and decided to buy one for himself.
Ferdon purchased a great starter Checker. This Checker had significant forklift damage, performed by its crazed former owner. It has some repairable floor rust and a very solid frame. Significant money was spent to get the car running again, and effort was invested putting in a nice used fuel tank supplied by Dan Smith.
Enough work was performed to get the car running again as demonstrated by the following short video. Along with the car, Bob purchased a front clip and other parts required to bring the A12 back.
Bob took delivery in April and trailered it home to Erie, PA. Looks like Bob has a nice project to have fun with over the summer.
At the time that Bob’s car was saved from the Lawrence crushing yard, a second sister A12 was also saved. In 2019 both cars were shipped from Lawrence to Ben Merkel’s place in Middlefield, Ohio.
Bob’s Checker was later shipped to Joe Fay in Toledo, the second car owned by Dan Smith remained at Merkel’s place. We’re happy to report that this car is now being prepared and readied for shipping to Phoenix, Arizona to Smith’s new Checker farm.
Smith has also purchased a significant amount of Checker parts from various Midwest Checker collectors, all those parts are being stuffed into the A12e for shipping. Check out the picture of Ben Merkel’s creative packing!
Once ready, Pete Talanca and Ben Merkel will travel west to deliver. Its not clear what Dan’s plans are for the Checker? When Dan purchased this car in February of 2019, Dan was not dealing with the liquidation of Joe Pollard’s Checker parts business, clearly today, Dan has more on his plate.
In the end it looks like a number of Checkers are well on their way to being saved. Some of the ICTA critics wonder why we made such a fuss? Saving Checkers is very important to our members. Christian Hutter made a observation regarding the Ebay transaction, “What a Cinderella story. Saved from the clutches of doom to finding a new home to live on in glory.” We, at the ICTA are happy to create Cinderella Checker stories.