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Alaskan Sightseeing In A Checker

Copyright 2018 - Jeff Budd. Used with permission.

When I got out of the Army in 1970, I went to Chicago to visit a friend who got out earlier than I.

Jeff Budd with his 1973 A-12E Marathon

Once there, I found out that he had three Checkers in his alley. Wow! Unfortunately, they didn’t quite fit in the space he had. His solution: saw off the top of one of them and turn the now topless one on its side and shove it in with the other two.

Fast-forward 47 years.

I spent 25 years working in social services in drug and alcohol education, prevention, and treatment programs. I lived in Ohio, Oregon and for the past 33 years in Ketchikan and Sitka, Alaska.

While in Alaska I became a tour operator: kayaking, biking, hiking, birding and photography. A friend in Ketchikan runs a tour with a 1955 Chevy. Why couldn’t I do one in Sitka with a Checker car?

As an aside, it turns out that in the late 1950’s and early 60’s there was a cab company in Sitka (Anchor Cab) with 5 Checkers. I got on line, found the Checker Car Club, joined, and the next day got a notice for a 73 Checker for sale in San Jose. I flew down and purchased the car.

It had always been in private ownership in California, starting in Weed, to Grass Valley, to San Jose and now Sitka, Alaska.

Showing Visitors the Sites in Sitka, Alaska

I started my tour business, Sitka Checkered Tours, midsummer 2017 and am looking forward to a full 2018 season and beyond. I have been kindly received by the Checker Car Club, Larry Moore who sold me the car after 25 years of ownership, and Joe Pollard who has helped with parts.

My website is Sitka Checkered Tours. If you happen to end up in Sitka on a cruise ship or fishing trip, please let me take you for a ride in our beautiful island community.

Jeff Budd owner/operator

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