Great save Dave!

A quick update from Lawrence.  The good news is that at least four cars have been saved.  So far two wagons and the UPS Checker Package Car have been saved.  The great news today is yet another car has been saved by an ICTA member.  Dave Kniffen and his family picked up a very nice pre 1968 Checker Marathon sedan and are on their way home back to Ohio. Dave Kniffen posted the following on Facebook today on the ICTA Facebook wall.

“So today I arrived at 495 auto salvage in northeast Massachusetts.  There,  I saw first hand the massive stockpile of Checker Cabs given to the scrap yard to face the crusher.  This was nothing less than pure sadness.  Some believe cars have some kinda of soul, I don’t know,  but they each have a story to tell of thier journey, thus nothing more sad then the end of that tale.

The famous 57 Chevy/Checker Aerobus 15 conversion! Now awaiting crushing

I saw a yellow a11, called the hangout taxi, a shuttle for the concert band in Alabama called the hangout, the stories this car could tell with its leopard print interior! Then there was the bastardized Aerobus 15 with a 57 Chevy front end clip… so many cars, so many stories, and to think this Steve guy cut out all those who love checkers… and for what?

In the end, this 1967 a12 is rescued, it came from Oregon. Another I saw from Texas, the UPS car from Cali, and so on. Steve rounded these cars up from across the nation, took parts from some, none have emblems anymore, now left for dead.  We are the few who know and love these cars, and for us this us heresy.   If you are considering saving a car, please don’t hesitate,  the clock is ticking,  I saw three were crushed already, history gone.

I thank the Bowers for helping me and my family take this once in a lifetime trip, we had a blast and in fact rescued a Checker!! 

According to Dave   “There is at least 5 more checkers that should b saved !!! Fyi, the medicar there is kinda rough, BUT i might have brought it home but someone called this salvage yard and talked it up as if this car was worth a fortune… so even with my savvy negotiating i could not swing it in my budget…. so whoever called them, (they said a checker guy had called and told them how valuable it was), that guy needs to step up n go save it, i tried.


The Checker Love God speaking with his loyal followers, just weeks before he dumped 40 Checkers at the crusher

If Dave is correct and at least 5 cars could be save that means that 9 out of 40 were salvageable. 25% of the fleet were viable Checkers that should have been offered up to the Checker fan community.

We have seen some very charitable people over the last year donate Checkers to other members of the ICTA.   The person who dumped these Checkers in Lawrence is well known for preaching “Checker Love”, well it appears the love was all talk and no action.   While ICTA members are doing the most to save these Checkers, we now find out the other Checker groups have launched an effort to increase the prices of the cars.  In the end, this further hurts the hobby

Kudus to the folks who have spend time and effort saving the cars that the Checker Love God, the Haverhill Hoarder, decided to throw away.  There are rumors that another mass dumping is pending.  This time the dumping will be of valuable parts.   We’ll keep you posted as we work with 495 Auto Salvagers.

Joe Fay saved this wagon and has some interesting plans!


495 Auto Salvager owner Sean with Dave Kniffen


The wagon in the back row is SOLD, and is scheduled for a Route 66 tour next year!

More good news, Dan Smith recently posted on Facebook ” Hey everyone I’m heading to 495 auto parts the 14th through the 20th. I will be there to help pull parts and Hopefully sell some of the good cars. I will post my contact info when I get there. Look your cars over and make a list, I will see what we can do to save as many cars and parts as well can.”

Dan further wrote  ” Getting what I can for Everyone, they have a small lot and need the space for winter. They share their lot with a towing company so these are on borrowed time. I’m also working with a new broker for shipping, a few will wind up in Arizona but still need to find homes for the rest. I will post prices when I get there for the cars and big parts. Once these are gone they are gone. They don’t have room to keep anything so get em while they are hot. Don’t wait or they will be a foot tall”.

Dan will pull the parts, but payment will be made to 495 Auto Salvagers, again Dan posted  “I will be there for five days they can ship parts. I’m pulling stuff for whoever wants stuff obviously you have to pay 495 for stuff. I will get a price list for big stuff when I get there so everyone knows what the price is. And get all the prices on the cars that are worth saving.”

So bottom line there is still a chance to save some cars.  It would be great if 10 could be save.  We’ll keep you posted.