In August of 2017, we published a blog Massive Glut of Checker in the Classic Car Marketplace, in that blog we presented the following:
“Look out below! A massive Checker supply glut is once again sending Checker prices into a tailspin. Over the last four weeks well over 40 Checkers have come to the old car marketplace. Two weeks ago, seven Checkers passed through the auction block and were sold at an average price of $1700.00.”
For a complete review of the blog, click on the link below.
Well, just as we were thinking the Checker prices were coming down, we have another Checker transaction that breaths new hope in the idea that Checker prices are still maintaining or possibly going up in value.
In March a 1969 Checker Wagon popped up on the Bring A Trailer website. The post read in part:
“This 1969 Checker Marathon is one of 286 A12W wagons produced for the model year. It was sold new by Crain-Hillis Checker Motor Sales in Portland, Oregon, and has reportedly stayed in-state ever since. Power comes from a factory-optional GM-sourced 327ci V8 paired to a dual-range automatic transmission. Within the past four years and 7k miles, this Checker has received a full tune-up and extensive mechanical servicing as detailed below. It is now being offered by Cascadia Classic with recent service records and a clean Washington state title.
According to the seller, this vehicle was optioned with tinted glass all around and is one of just 17 Checkers ordered with bucket seats across all body styles in 1969. The Fulton Blue paint (code 62) has been touched-up in several areas. Multiple filled-in chips, light scrapes, and dings commensurate with age are present”.
The end result of the auction, the Checker sold for $29250.00, that is significant. Quite frankly, its very surprising as the Checker was not restored. Typically for a 50 year old car to bring that kind of money, you would expect showcar features, but review of the pictures indicates that the Checker is merely a nice original.
Discussed in the Facebook page ICTA member Kaelan Benjamin Bentham summed up best why the Checker delivered such a high price.
“The problem is documentation. To get 25k you need a fully documented build showing what was done and how it was done. A nice end product doesn’t cut it. You also need a desirable product, which for checkers is A) a yellow taxi or B ) a stock Marathon”
he went on to say
“The BaT wagon was a fluke – I am car club buddies with one of their founding editors, it’s called the BaT effect. If it happens 7 or 8 times in a row (see Saab 900s) it will START to impact values. BaT attracts a following of armchair car guys who actually have money – it’s the site the rich read for a curated option of the cute funny cars they can buy, while you and I scour Craigslist and eBay. I should know, I bought a 1988 Lada Signet for $800, rally crossed it, broke the roll bar, rear ended a Pathfinder, blew the distributor through the hood, and then sold it for $1400 because my buddy saw my ad and threw it up on Bring a Trailer. Some guy said “Haha! A Lada!” and sent a truck. Last year they sold a Saab 900 for almost thirty thousand dollars.
But yes, a fully restored Checker should fetch 20-30k w documentation of a proper rebuild…”
Well clearly this is all opinion, but Kaelan’s perspective rings true. In the mean time, we’ll continue to monitor Checker prices.
Full Bring A Trailer blog with pictures and description.
I collect Ramblers but I actually need a Checker, I-H TravelAll or a vintage tow vehicle. I want a original nice low milage example. Much like like AMC products one or tow brought exceptional money for some unknown reason. Naturally the reaction is every middling car comes out of the woodwork as a “Barnfind.” Dealers and hustlers are driving this market. Auctions are certainly my least favorite of buying a car. Not because of competition but the Buyers Fee. And my home state taxes me on the Buyers Fee. Finding a decent car from long term owner is harder and harder every day.