Last Spring noted Checker collector Jim Garrison published an article promoting the advantages of paid membership for a competing vintage car clubs, we at the ICTA whole heartedly reject his position. Specifically he wrote “Some groups promote that they are “free”, because they have no dues structure. But, if they don’t allow their followers the freedom to engage with other Checker groups, then are they really free?”. It’s really too bad that Mr. Garrison, continues to disparages the free experience we have offered for over ten years. We feel bad for him.
To be clear, our Checker based experience is open to all. We estimate that 95% of the members of all the various Checker clubs or groups participate in the ICTA Checker experience. Be it our website, YouTube Channel, Facebook or Electronic Checker Email product offerings.
So to be clear, the following blog, will break down the old myths and showcase all the free and open services provided to Checker fans worldwide. Our club motto is “Annual Dues……….Your Friendship”
Unlike other clubs, we at the ICTA does not charge for access to the largest Checker document archive in the world. The current archive on our website contains over 10,000 documents! Via the generosity of ICTA members the motherload of Checker content can be found in the archive: brochures and manuals covering a span of 1920 to 1982. We have archived virtually every Checker brochure and manual, the archive has content covering a span of 1920 thru 1982.
Service Bulletins, we have hundreds of CCM and CMC bulletins covering a span of 1956 thru 1962. Service Manuals, Operator Manuals, Assembly Manuals covering a span of 1947 thru 1982. The majority of these manuals come from the collections of Checker authors Ben Merkel and Joe Fay.
The general public now has access to all these bulletins. We have seen many these documents show up in all the other groups and thats ok, we’re happy to spread the content.
Engineering Memoranda: The Checker A11 and A12 were introduced for 1962. John Logan has donated a complete set of engineering memos that documents every change on these two models produced from the beginning in 1962 thru end of production in 1982!
We can now see how and when every change took place. We can also see the names of those responsible for the change: whether it was from Jim Stout, who started at Checker in 1922, Sab Hori who started in 1947 or Steve Wilson who started in 1955 all the key leadership has touched the memos!
Changes can be as simple as adding a reflector to a taillight door, to the introduction of a new model, like the Super Cab of 1964. How many times has a question been raised regarding the first use of Chevrolet 350 engine? We can now present the facts: dates, models, and chassis numbers.
Production Reports: In the past visibility of Checker production data was limited to total production per model based on a serial number range production figures. The Prodction Reports in our archive, present yearly production by model and option combination. Production reports from (1966 – 1982) have been scanned and added to the archive.
Checker Illustration Manuals: The Logan donation included volumes of Checker illustration, 1964 – 1982. The manuals are big and thick, it took years to scan and load, that said we’ll tackle them all, and they are all up for viewing.
Each manual presents illustrations and parts breakdown for every Checker sub-assembly. CMC parts manuals are always a good source for illustrations, but these documents illustrate everything and each illustration includes a part bill of materials. In all John has provided fourteen 3 inch thick loose leaf binders, that’s a lot of paper.
Thanks to all the contributions from ICTA members: we have been able to build a world class website. Again access is available to all and its free.
Checker Taxi Stand Youtube Channel
Did you know we have a Youtube Channel? Over the last twelve years our channel has generated close to 125,000 views for fun loving Checker fans. Our channel has hundreds of followers who like to get a regular dose of Checkers in motion.
The videos cover the gambit: Checker history, shows and restoration projects and Checker club events. We now have a direct link from to our channel via the website.
Comparing our Youtube channel to the other Checker related Youtube channels and you’ll be surprised to learn that the other channel only has four videos! Even more surprising is that the other Checker Youtube channel only has 717 views since its creation in 2015!!!! Why there really is no comparison. Like all our products offering, access to the Youtube channel is free.
The ICTA Blog
We have the largest selection of Checker blogs on the internet. These blogs are perhaps the biggest draw to our free ICTA website. We generate on average two blogs a week. We currently have over 350 blogs written over the last four years.
So popular are the ICTA blogs, that during prime hours we typically see 50-100 views an hour. The blogs are regularly picked up by Hemmings Motor News and linked to the Hemming’s website. To date, we have had over 15 blogs pickup up by Hemming Motor News.
Additionally, our blogs are used as source material by the larger automotive press. Case in point our VW/Checker blog published last Summer. Hemmings Motor News documented the story of the VW/Checker, and the main source for the blog was the ICTA blog. That same blog was also sourced by the Stuttgart Motor Press. Clearly our free blogs are having impact.
You want to sell or buy a Checker, advertising is free on ICTA website. The site is now the most popular used Checker marketplace on the internet. A search on the key words “Checker Marathon For Sale” will yield the ICTA ahead of Classic Cars.com, Trovit, Autotrader and Hemmings Motor News. Over the last three years was have run over 250 advertisement for Checkers. Like our ICTA blog, the Checker For Sale function on the ICTA website is one of the most popular features on our website.
This free function drives significant amount of web traffic on our website. From the function we have generated a significant data base of Checker transactions. Our database can provide detailed information about all Checkers sold over the last three years. Based on this database we can provide up to date information of all Checkers listed: the number of Checkers, the variation in model years and even the model types sold. If you want to know how many wagons have been put up on the market, our database can provide the answer.
Checker Electronic Email
We now generate a bi-weekly email to close to 350 Checker fans. We estimate that, that covers about 90% of the current CCCofA membership. The email distribution appears to be the best way to get to the Checker fans who are not currently on Facebook but would like to read regular ICTA content. Every two weeks we generate an email that presents three blogs. Every quarter we send out an email to the same distribution list in order to share our electronic Newsletters. The goal is to interact with non Facebook Checker fans. Oh, BTW, Mr. Garrison requested that he be removed from our email list in 2017. We complied.
Over the last year we have transformed in a big way, we’re more than just a Facebook page now, we are now the largest club in the world devoted to Checker Cabs .
Several years ago, Jim Garrison published an article that essentially claimed that the ICTA was not a true club. So when we were challenged that we were not a true club because we did not have a national show, we launched a show!
Not just any show, we had a fun filled three day moving interstate show! Day one Auburn, Indiana and the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum. Day two the National Automobile and Truck Museum of the United States (NATMUS). Day three, we packed up our Checkers and moved them across state lines to Kalamazoo, Michigan to the Great Checker Garage Sale, we Checker folk do things in a big way. In 2017 we host the Checkers Rocking in Rockford event. For the last three years, ICTA member have organized the standard Das Awkfests event in Macungie, PA. We have never charged an entrance fee. We never will. Oh and as seen in the picture above, Mr. Garrison has participated in past events. We welcomed him.
Here’s a video of the Das Awkscht event of 2019.
On average the Internet Checker Taxicab Archive Facebook group receives about 100 posts a week. A significant amount of posting starts on Friday and carries through the weekend typically averaging 20-30 posts by Sunday. The ICTA generates more daily Facebook pages than all other Facebook groups combined. In terms of participation we see about 3000 Facebook impressions over the course of one month. We also see 64% member participation of all 990 members, over a one month period.
The Facebook page is more than a place to post and comment on Checker topics, it serves several other functions.
We manage Checker events on the page and we have exploited the “files” function, so we essentially have a second archive, beyond our website archive. Most importantly we have over 10,000 photographs and about 100 videos stored on our Facebook page. We also have about 100 member photo albums in our group. We take great care in protecting our members photos, and have established clear rules on photo management.
We accept virtually all Checker fans into our Facebook group, you just have to answer three simple questions. If you answer “yes” to the question “did you support the litigation to shut down the ICTA in 2017?” then you will not be admitted into the group for obvious reasons. Anyone who supported the 2017 litigation prosecuted against the ICTA is clearly not a friend. Facebook is for friends.
The FARES Newsletter
We have now published an electronic newsletter for over four years. We are very proud of the fact that we produce six content filled newsletters a year. We produce more Checker newsletter content than the combined effort of all other Checker groups or clubs. Additionally, the newsletter is always published on time!
We distribute via our newsletter section on our website. You are always just one click away from downloading. We also distribute via our bi-monthly emails. Once you have your newsletter, you have two options in terms of viewing: it is printable, or just open the newsletter up as a PDF. Not to beat a dead horse, but yes, its free and available to all Checker fans on demand.
We are free to all and most importantly. we are proud of the Checker experience we have created over the last 10 years. The others continue to disparage us, thats just fine. We deliver.