Live Auctions

One Of 413: 1967 Checker Wagon

One of 413 Checker wagons produced in 1967, it appears this vintage longroof was intended to tow from the beginning. It’s listed for sale here on eBay and is located in Toledo, Ohio. Surprisingly to me, the bidding has not exceeded $3,000 as I write and there’s no reserve. I guess it’s surprising to me because I’ve wanted a Checker wagon for a long time and they don’t come up very often.

While most folks are familiar with the classic Checker cab version of the Marathon, the wagon was produced in much smaller numbers. As a matter of fact, standard wheelbase wagons (the A-12W) only made up about 7% of Checker production in 1967. This car seems to be relatively solid but the long-range pictures seem to show rust around the edges. The door fit isn’t perfect either but look at the price again.

Although the load floor seems high, there’s a lot of utility there. It’s nice to see all the glass intact and the windshield has even been newly installed. Other recent work done to the wagon includes a carburetor rebuild, new brakes and four new tires. Although there are only 52,837 miles showing on the odometer I’m sure it’s on at least it’s second time around, if not more. The car originally was purchased by a Texas Ranger; I hope it stayed away from salty roads as a result.


While the car is listed as having air conditioning and we can see the inside unit here, there’s nothing left of the unit under the hood. An optimist would look at this as a nice opportunity to convert the system from R-12 refrigerant to a more modern alternative. I think the 80s cassette player would get an upgrade as well if I were the purchaser!

Who needs a pickup truck? Okay, it’s not exactly the same, but there sure is a lot of space back here.

Assuming this is the original engine, it’s a 327 cubic inch Chevrolet-sourced V-8. With all the room under that hood, if you wanted something more modern with, say, a modern overdrive transmission, it could be installed quite easily. And yes, that’s the way I would proceed. But that’s me. What would you do with this Checker?


  1. Howard A Member

    See? This doesn’t make a lick of sense either. Jamie’s writeup doesn’t do this car justice, it’s probably the toughest car known to man or woman. Generic as they come, the style never changed, but Checkers were put through their paces for MILLIONS of city miles. Theoretically, a civilian version should be no different. The fact that only 9 people so far, and $3500 bucks, but 5 figures for some rattletrap square body GM or VW bus, tells me, people today don’t know what a good vehicle is or was. There are tons of parts, you want a car that will outlast your kids, I don’t think you could find a better deal.

    Like 45
  2. Ken Jennings

    These were good as airport taxis and such, but stylish it a’int.

    Like 6
    • Barry Traylor

      But you would not see another on the road anytime soon.

      Like 1
  3. George Louis

    What a shame that Checker Motors did not make Pick up trucks. This would make a cool Pick Up Truck!!! I would like to see some one buy it and then contact Chip Foose or Iron Resurrection and have them work their magic on this vehicle..

    Like 3
    • Barry Traylor

      Bad idea.

      Like 4
  4. John Calabro

    Having grown up in NYC during the reign of the ionic Checker Cab, this style always brings a happy feeling of nostalgia and the roundness will always remind me of 1950’s cars.

    Utilitarian and built like a tank. If it makes you happy you could always weld on a couple of ’57 Chevy tail fins, now that’s some style. lol.

    Like 4
  5. Chuck

    A beauty in the eye of the beholder, yet, utilitarian all the way through!!! THe weakest part? THe motor…of any build in these. Maybe a Cummins or a Detroit Diesel would outlast these things.

    Like 1
    • redwagon

      Checker actually did make a Marathon with a diesel engine from 1980 – 1982, but it was the Oldsmobile diesel so crap from the get go.

      Like 2
      • George

        1968 was the first diesel in a Checker in the US market. 1967 for export to Israel.

  6. David Miraglia

    Solid as a rock. My parents owned Checker cabs back in their heyday in New York city. A must have on my list.

    Like 1
  7. Maestro1 Member

    If you want absolute utility and nothing else other than transport this is it.

    Like 3
  8. George Mattar

    I am 64 years old. Our family doctor drove a Checker in the 60s. Why? He had a bad hip and it was easy to get in and out of. I was assistant service manager in 1976 at a Chevy Olds dealer. We had a taxi fleet for a customer. He had all Checkers. He brought them in for oil changes constantly. By then Checkers had 350 CID Chevys. I know there were more than 300,000 miles on those cars. Sure, the crappy tin foil camshafts wore out and rock hard valve stem seals made them smoke, but a Checker was so far superior to crappy Chevys and other American junk at the time. The bodies were like a tank. Another quality car that went out of business in 1982 because stupid Americans started buying Jap cars. Would love to own this car.

    Like 10
  9. Jim C

    The way the bidding is going on this, someone is going to get a real bargain. This looks like it’s in really good shape, in need of only minor work.

    Wish I was in a position to buy it, as I’ve always wanted a Checker!

    Like 2
  10. Jost

    Howard is 100% right on this, so much so that I won’t just like his comment. I worked on a lot of these cars in the 79,s. They are so basic and we know sbc lasts for ever, and when it does need work is easy. This wagon, you can slide a 4 by 8 panel in it v with ease. In the 60s and 70s you would see some tradesman with these wagons, but most of the wagons were airport transport. I do see restored checker cabs at car shows from time to time an d they do attract a crowd. My only thought that differs from Howard is that the gm square body drives nicer to drive imo.

    Like 1
  11. redwagon

    Sweetly simplistic. I like wagons in general so I am biased but the lines on the Checker Marathon wagon remind me of the 50s but without the garish styling angles and overwrought chrome. In my mind $3,000 is a steal but as mentioned if there is rust be prepared. It will not bring top miles per gallon, but it would be dead simple to wrench on, parts availability would be high, you could carry or tow just about anything you really needed and when you’re done with it I am certain a hipster would be willing to take it off your hands for just about what you paid for it!


    Like 1
    • joe

      No rust on this one. Solid. I know, cuz I own it. :-)

      Like 2
  12. Dave

    I would cruise that car just the way it is! Yes, they are TOUGH vehicles! One of those longer airport shuttle wagons would be awesome, too!

  13. Joe

    I am the owner of this Checker, nicely written blog. Just for clarification, its the original engine. There is a small rust hole in one passenger door. No rust around the edges. The fenders are totally solid, Rear fenders are perfect, no rust. No rust in any typical Checker problem areas. Front fenders dented and dinged but no rust in the fenders.

    Like 5
    • John

      Is this still for sale

      • redwagon

        eBay says no.

      • Joe

        It was sold on Ebay on scheduled

  14. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    This is almost the same color as my mother’s ’67 Checker. Only hers was more of an army green.

  15. Wayne

    I agree with Howard. ( nothing unusual about that) This is a cool car. Heavy, but cool. I would be very tempted to upgrade to an LS engine with a 4L60E transmission. I would do something else with the wheels, but not sure what. (they are just bland) Body colored wheels with dog dish hub caps maybe? (Anyone else?)

    Like 2
    • Lou Rugani

      3-1/4″ whitewalls would be perfect.

  16. Jack M.

    I had to deliver a civilian Checker to a customer back in the 80’s. It was silver with black interior. Built like a tank. I only was in it about 30 minutes, but very different. A rebuilt 500 cubic inch Cadillac engine would move this wagon effortlessly along the road.

    Like 2
  17. David K Sebben

    So iconic as a taxi cab in Chicago. Now, the streets are overrun with yellow Priuses pretending to be cabs. Oh my god, the insanity.

    Like 4
  18. alexanderkress Member

    There was an announcement a little over a year ago that a company in New England area purchased the rights to build a Checkers pickup truck. I kept the article somewhere and wish I knew where to show you. Do a little research and maybe you can find it. Would be a great pickup and now days you could even
    make one with an electric motor if the manufacturer wanted. I would purchase one. Better yet I would want to become a dealer for them.

    • Joe

      That turned out to be a total hoax, never got off the ground.

  19. Mitch Ross Member

    I had a red 1970 Checker wagon just like this one. I was in college and at Stony Brook University and saw it on a lawn for sale. The owner said it hadn’t been used for a few years. I started it but it knocked so I offered $100 and he accepted. This was 1981, but cars got old faster back to hen. An oil and filter change cured the knock and I am was off. The car had an amazingly small turning circle, the springs were so stiff you could feel the paint on crosswalks . One day it started cutting off, now I know it was a fuel pump, but a mechanic told me it was the timing chain and I didn’t have money to fix it, so I gave him the car for $200. The next week I saw it driving car service in Brooklyn, for sure got destroyed. I really wished I still had it. If I didn’t have 4 AMC projects, I am woul bid on this.

  20. Dan Thompson

    Oh yes. Back in the day, I remember one of the icons of Chicago philanthropy being driven weekly from her Lake Geneva estate into the City for her appointments or to pick up the weekend guests. Powder Blue.

  21. Nathan Swanson

    I once owned a Checker wagon. It was a 1969, 327 Chevy, 3 speed. I didn’t mind that it drove like a truck. It was tough. The problem was the fit and finish. It was screwed or bolted together. It rattled and was very noisy–especially echoing in the large station wagon area. The trim had sharp edges, and things didn’t fit together well. It was feared the hood might fly open accidentally. The holding mechanics for the hood weren’t worn, they just didn’t line up great. The rear window was difficult to roll down. You couldn’t open the tailgate until the window was down. It was an impressive car–I think they could have sold a lot more if they had paid attention to tolerances, fit and finish. I sold mine after a couple months, and had no problem selling it. I don’t miss it.

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