Sunday, July 26, 2015


Checker Trucks!


Yes indeed, Checker did sell trucks.  There are few survivors, typical with any Checker there seems to be a story with each Checker truck.  Some of these stories are passed on and others just fade away leaving the Checker collectors to try to piece together what bits of information exists.


This 1927 Checker Model G conversion was on sale on Ebay about ten years ago, its current whereabouts are unknown






 

For the record, Checker did start offering trucks based on the Model M in 1931.  Stanley Yost wrote back in 1974 in a three part article for Car Classics Magazine that as many as 500 trucks were produced in the early 1930s.  The truck was essentially a Checker taxi with the passenger section removed and stake body added to the chassis. Production of the unique vehicles continued into 1934 with the Model T.


A Model M conversion the tell tail signs is the rear taxcab running board just forward of the rear wheels



Mode Y Tow Truck recently sold by The Gilmore Museum
 

It’s highly likely that these trucks were actually remanufactured taxis pulled from the Checker taxi fleets operating across the country.  Minor retrofitting was probably very profitable, these taxicabs would have been fully depreciated, pulled from taxi service and prettied up to serve a new commercial purpose and second life of service. 

Production records from the early 30’s do not indicate truck production, this writer would assume that the trucks utilized the same serial numbers used when the retrofitted trucks were first produced as taxicabs

Checker Marathon truck conversion back of CMC Cab Services Showroom circa 2000
 
Beyond the official truck production many innovative individuals created Checker trucks by hacking up an old taxicabs.  Many of the modified trucks were produced by farmers looking to cheaply add the farm fleet of work vehicles.  Checker utilized Buda and Continental engines, industrial engines easily serviced on a farm along many other farm implements that also utilized Continental or Buda power.



 

Beyond farm work, Checker trucks served another life after taxicab service, several were converted serve taxi operators as tow truck.  The famous Checker Model Y tow truck depicted above served the Lake City Cab Company in Lake City, Mn.  Recently restored by Bob Welch of Indianapolis, the truck is very impressive.

The last type of Checker truck appears to be of the fun/play type. Over the years many Checker collectors have taken wrecked Checkers and salvaged for truck conversion fun.


A lot of time and attention to detail went into the Checker pickup conversion
 

All in all, just like the Checker taxicab cousins the Checker truck is equally loveable.


Often conversion are create utilizing damaged Checker Marathons, like this conversion yields a nice Checker crew-cab
 

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