As all Checker owners know, its getting harder and harder to procure Checker parts. Since all the major Checker parts sellers have closed shop, Checker owners have to become more flexible and more importantly resourceful.
This writer has been very blunt, if you want to keep your Checker on the road, its vital that: you have all the necessary parts interchange documents put together by Steve Wilson at Checker Motors Corp. forty years ago. Additionally, if you have the space in your yard or property, Checker owners might want to consider buying a Checker parts car.
As a collector of pre 1958 Checkers, this collector has built a large inventory stash. Back in around 2005, I was able to buy all of Ben Merkel’s A9/A8 parts inventory for fair price.
Back is 2010, Connecticut Superior Judge and Checker collector Mike Riley found a 1952 Checker Model A4 junker, Mike contact me and a deal was eventually made to secure the car. The junk Checker has been vital in the restoration of my 1950 Checker A4.
To date, the junk Checker has provided three core sub-assemblies for my Checker A4 and A3. The front bumpers were salvaged and restored by Finishing Touch Chrome in Chicago, back in 2015. This past summer, the entire taxicab driver divider was salvaged and restored for use in the A3. The driver bucket seat is currently in an upholstery shop for use in the A3.
This past week, the Checker junker provided a full rear luggage rack for the Checker A4. This is the only known surviving A4 rack produced by Checker known to exist. In addition to being added to the restored A4, it was also used to take metrics, so the Checker Boys in Finland can fabricate and new rack for the recently restored A2.
Working on a rusted junk Checker has its challenges. Perhaps the biggest challenge is rusted bolts. Virtually impossible to crank off, they typically have to be ground out using a power grinder. Additionally, many of the parts removed are substandard and have to be refurbished. The video below documents three days of effort required to salvage the rack.
Overall, the effort is a lot harder than just going down to a parts store and picking up new parts. That said, the self-satisfaction is very gratifying when the project is complete.
Thank you for this website and your devotion to restoring the pre-1958 taxis. Keep doing what you do!
Thanks Mike! This means a lot..coming from you.
Anyone know where there may be a second surviving 1939 Checker Model A taxi
There is only one known to exist in non taxi colors & whitewall tires
We’ve been tracking all pre 1958 survivors for about 15 years. Its highly doubtful that there are any others beyond the one known survivor. The Model A were virtually all used as taxicabs during an elongated WWII period. Also given Checker’s late response for post war production (January 1948), most of the in service cabs were already long overdue for the junkyard. The one survivor was a junkyard save from 1955 and the same family has owned it since pulling it out of the junkyard. Wish we could help