It’s been a very busy Summer for the Internet Checker Taxicab Archive, to say it’s been exhausting would be an understatement. We just completed our first national convention, a multi city venue Checkers from all over the country met in Auburn, Indiana and wrapped up event in Kalamazoo. at the Markin family storage facility.
Earlier in the Summer we received a major donations from former Checker Motors Corporation Plant Superintendent John Logan. John donated to the club a full set of Checker Motors Corp historical documents: Engineering Change Memos, Production Reports and Graphic Illustrations. In total approximately 10,000 individual documents. During June and July we successfully scanned every Engineering Change Order and all Production Reports. Still daunting we have made a good sized dent in the scanning of graphic illustrations, all of 1964 thru 1969 have been scanned.
Just when we were starting to see the light the end of the tunnel, Chris Markin, grandson of Checker Cab Manufacturing founder and his family made a major donation to the club. On the third day of our convention Chris Markin surprised all by donating over 70 Checker historical blueprint!
To say the donation is earth shattering would be an understatement. The Markin’s kind gesture opens up completely new views on Checker. The impact is will be great for the exploration of Checker history or the restoration of our cars.
Within the donation we have found a full scale blueprint for the Medicar wheelchair ramp. One of our members is desperately looking for this information so a proper ramp can be fabricated. Consistent with the Markin family goal of helping Checker owners keep their Checkers on the road, our members will have access to these documents. Our club will do everything possible to get this content to our members.
The documents are full of new Checker history, much of it unknown to club members including this writer. Within the inventory, we have found a proposed grille that was actually different the the standard A9 taxicab starburst grille. Dated in 1957, it was probably designed for the pending consumer car.
We have found within the blueprints a proposal for a new Checker! Designed in 1965 and designated the A14, the proposed Checker would have been equipped with an entirely different front sheet metal. The full size scale blueprints depict the grille and bumper layout. Consistent with designs for all manufactures in 1965, the A14 sported a horizontal grille with vertical headlamps as seen on Ford and Plymouth of the day.
The oldest blueprint depicts a full side view in 1/18 scale of the Model C Airport limousine dated 1946! The ill-fated rear engine model C never made beyond the experimental engineering buck, but the blueprints depicts a car styled much like the Model D and Model A2. The Airport limo was specifically designed for Parmalee’s Chicago facility based on metrics indicating Chicago entrance ramps dimensions.
Within the inventory we have found a number of comparison blueprints, one in particular is very interesting. The noted blueprint compares what appears to be an Checker Model A6 to 1951 Cadillac. We always knew Morris Markin liked Cadillacs, now we can see the Cadillac was used as a benchmark for Checker.
We have only had the blueprints for one week, but we have conducted a full inventory of all blueprints. The following is a complete list of the 73 blueprints.
- 649069 Bucket Front Seat Layout 2-2-66 Scale Full Size
- SK-1382 37 Passenger Intercity Body Diagram 11-17-51
- SK-2465 Exhaust System Layout A11L and A12L 02-19-1963
- SK-2465 Exhaust System 6 & * Cyl B11, B12 & B12W 1-16-64
- SK-2330 Frame Proposal for Model X-15 2-5-61
- 651936 Wire Harness Assembly Instrument Dash 5-5-75
- 651715 Wire Harness Assembly Instrument Dash 4-23-73
- SK-2035 Outline Comparison of F6225 and F6253 engines Model A8 12-27-54
- 649457B Layout Int. Dims (NYC Taxi Bureau) 8-8-72
- 707120 Column Assembly 4-13-78
- 649479 Layout Bumper Rear 2-15-73
- 649402 Layout Roof Luggage Rack (8 door) scale fullize 6-6-71
- SK-2064 Layout Propeller Shaft and Midship Bearing 9-19-62
- 649435 Layout Instrument Panel Insert with Stewart Warner Gears 12-10-171
- Plant Survey June 22, 1962
- SK-263Sketch Grille (suspect A10) 11-1-57
- SK-2466 Exhaust System Layout 8-15-63 A11 A12 A11L & A12w
- SL-20 Engine Mounting Layout Aerobus 327 & Automatic 5-8-64
- 649021 Layout Bucket Front Seat 6-1-654
- SK1371 Seating Plan 31 Passenger Coach 12-11-50
- 649545 Carrier Asm. Roof Luggage 1-23-76
- 649055 Rail Car Sedan w/House & Ext. 10-15-65
- 649419 Layout Frt. Compt. U.S. Marshals (suspect Convoy)
- SK2168 Front Wheel Hub and Brake Assembly3-6-58
- 649122 Parking Lamp Layout 6-22-67
- SK-2027 Chassis Diagram-Preliminary (obsolete) A8 (not dated suspect 1955)
- No Number Cab Front Compartment Compared with 124’’ WB 51 Cadillac no date
- SK-2020 Steering Gear, Rad and Engine Layout (not dated suspect 1955)
- 649337 Layout Lifeguard Partition 5-1-70
- SK-2467 Exhaust System Layout A12w 2-25-63
- 649409 Stewart Warner Gauges 7-22-71
- SK-2559 Outline 283 cu in V8 not dated
- 651936 Harness Asm. Inst. Dash Wiring 8-25-75
- 649228 Layout Raise Right Rear Door Ambulance conversion 2-7-69
- 651736 Grille Assembly Complete 3-3-73
- No number A8 Frame X Member Upper Tie 12-15-54
- No number A8 Frame X Member Lower Tie 12-15-54
- No number A8 Frame X Member Reinforcement 12-14-54
- SK-2035 A8 Proposal for X Frame Member Reinforcement 12-14-54
- 649446 Layout Vent Window Travel 3-29-72
- Plant 3-1 Plating Floor Plan
- SK-1034 95 Passenger Coach (Le Roi Engine) 2-25-52
- 649000 Layout Grill & Bumper Scale Full size Model A14 1965
- SK-2325 Front Spring Geometry 5-6-1961 A10W56
- SK-2371 Exhaust System Layout 1-17-62
- 649078 Layout 170 degree Hinge for Ambulet 10-23-69
- 637574 Layout Instrument Panel Gauges 11-15-61
- 649069 Layout Bucket Front Seat Scale Full Size A11 2-2-66
- SK-1301 Seating Layout 35 Passenger with Exit Door 3-29-50
- SK1404 Seating Layout 32 Passenger E4 & E5 Coach 6-22-48
- 649242 Layout Loading Ramp Amb/Conv 3-3-69
- 649078 Frame Assembly Rear Door Upper Amb/Conv 2-28-69
- 649014 Layout Front Bucket Seat Full Size A11 no date
- 649465 Layout Packard Snap In Tail Lamp Socket 10-29-72
- 649071 Layout Right Hand Front Bucket Seat with Partition 2-21-66
- No Number Layout Rear Tail Lamp A9 No Data (2 blueprints)
- SK-2440 Propeller Shaft Layout Scale Half Size A12W8 10-31-62
- 65355 Outline Of Airport Limousine Model C 6-18-46 1/8 Scale
- 653135 Harness Assembly Instruments Dash Wiring 3-22-76
- 649461 Layout Front Bumper Splash Scale Full Size 9-11-72
- 630285 Roof Panel Model A8 Scale Full Size 8-21-54
- 649076 underbody Ambulance Conversion 4-29-66 Scale Full Size
- 703841 Steering Column and Wheel Assembly Automatic 9-11-70 Scale Full Size
- 6493489 Installation Eat Air Conditioner Scale Full Size A11 12-21-70
- 653104 Carrier Assembly Roof Luggage 1-30-76 Scale Full Size
- SK-1459 Seating Arrangement 34 Passenger Bus 12-12-51
- 649539 Layout Roof Luggage Rack Scale Full Size 10-10-75
- 649460 Layout Rear Bumper & Splash Scale Full Size 9-25-72
- 705498 Frame Assembly Complete 129’ Scale Half Size 2-5-74
- 649529 Layout Underbody 198 WB Scale Full Size 6-19-75
- 705958 Carb Assembly 305 V8 2 BBL with AC – 7-2-79
A sincere thanks go out to the entire Markin family. A special thank you to Chris and Joy Faust Markin for also hosting our members on the final day of our three day weekend.
As we have learned with the Logan donation, key to digitization is attacking the documentation in small chunks, over the next couple of weeks we’ll develop a plan to digitize the documents and upload to the website. Additionally we’ll assess documents that may merit full size color digitization in order to make available to Internet Checker Taxicab Archive members.
Thanks to Bill Beurkens and Ed Fox for supplying pictures for this blog.
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