It was about one month ago that we alerted Checker fans that a major dumping of Checkers had happened in Lawrence, Mass. About 40 Checkers were deposited by Checker Motor Cars of Haverhill, Mass. It appears that CMC and its parent company Adamson Industries may be exiting the Checker business. The dumping was shocking, but according to Steve Contarino, spokesman for Adamson Industries “We stripped as much as we could. The frames are rotted. The floors and roofs are rotted. We have saved as many salvageable parts (possible)”. This writer took a trip to Lawrence and photographed every car in the scrap yard. It was quite clear that not only were useable parts thrown away, but useable cars were thrown away too!
The salvage yard management was very willing to help out and do what they could to help our members get parts or complete Checkers. The ICTA put a plan in place to run a salvage operation, the goal was to pull out as many salvageable cars as possible and also quickly strip cars of parts that could be distributed. Dan Smith dedicated a week to work with the yards team of strippers, Dan was joined later in the week by Bob Ferdon and Joe Fay. All of this was done, knowing that Checker would be crushed around November, to allow for freeing up space for the expected Winter wrecks of 2019.
This week the plan was completed and the crushing started. As you can see from the header photo about ten Checkers were crushed on Friday. For a better idea of what’s happening, check out this Youtube video. Word of warning you may start to cry.
Despite the crushing the week was a success. We saved six cars and our team along with the help of 495 staff has done a tremendous job of stockpiling good parts. A moving van was filled with parts on Friday and has delivered the parts in Toledo for staging. Like the pony express, ICTA member AJ Voiles will be picking up parts in Toledo and moving them further west to the Rockford area! A real Checker Parts Network.
Three cars have been moved out of the yard. Dan Smith has secured the Aerobus 15 and may be picking up an additional A11E. All the Checker wagons have been sold or crushed. One wagon will ultimately end up with ICTA member Stephen Dsibrowe who resides in the UK. Stephen will be taking delivery in the Spring of 2019 for a Route 66 excursion.
ICTA member Adam Burlett also picked up a wagon and will be shipping it shortly to Tennessee. Adam’s wagon will need some body work, it appears that the folks of Adamson went out of there way to make these cars unsalable. Clearly Checker fans will accept the challenge to fix up, what other folks consider junk is gold to Checker fans.
Joe Fay arrived home in Toledo, Ohio today with the 67 Checker Marathon hunting wagon. Dave Kniffen also from Ohio picked up a great Marathon sedan and has taken delivery. Mission accomplished. Two Lawrence survivors now in Ohio.
The crushing has started, but several of the Checkers are safe for the time being. About five more Checkers are expected to be put up on Ebay by 495 Autosalvagers over the next couple of weeks. All are restorable. The following pictures can be misleading, there is heavy damage on the hoods an right front fenders of both Winkoffs available for sale. According to 495 Autosalvagers management, these cars were received from Checker Motor Sales with damage.
Sadly the Checkers were in very good condition when depicted in a Facebook advertisement on Checker Motor Car’s Facebook page back on Sept 6th. It appears that the deliberate damage was performed to make these units unsaleable. Despite the damage on these Checkers, these Winkoff’s are in very good condition and can be restored for future Checker fun. Please review the photo’s below and contact 495 Autosalvagers in Lawrence, Mass. if you;re interested in purchasing them for restoration. These cars will be sold as salvage vehicles without titles.
There are many Checker clubs out on Facebook. This writer is very proud of how ICTA members pulled together and successfully saved Checkers and parts. While the other clubs sat on their hands, ICTA members mobilized and actually saved Checkers.
Dan Smith best summed up the week with this Saturday night Facebook post “Thanks to everyone for the support on this project. I wish I could have sold more but I will see what I can do I might still buy both the grey e models. It was interesting to say the least. Now it’s time for some cold beer and a bunch of sleep. Thanks to everyone that bought stuff to keep these cars on the road”. Its pretty clear, Daniel earned a beer for his valiant efforts
Contact 495 recyclers directly at 978-682-3777
Sold Checkers from Lawrence