Checker A11E Review

1981 Checker A11E Limo 305 from North America

Model year1981
Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 305 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired108000 miles
Most recent distance142000 miles
Previous carBMW 7 Series


I will drive it until I am dead


The usual Checker rust areas needed repair when I got it - had it painted in 1998 (it was Mary Kay pink and primer - now dark blue) and a few bubbles showing 11 years later - minor frame rust to be repaired next week. Car was originally from Oklahoma and is not driven much during our Canadian winters (but it ALWAYS starts).

NORMAL maintenance done - can do most work myself - currently needs valve cover gaskets but does not burn oil.

Replaced two starters, one alternator, front disc rotors, rear brake shoes, ball joints.

Original 267 - Chevy V8 was replaced by a 305 by a previous owner - MUCH more power for this 9 passenger beast than that anemic 267.

Many parts are GM 1500 series truck but some are unique to checker and need MUCH searching on eBay or fellow owners.

General Comments:

The interior has been redone - with the jump seats folded, there is some serious stretch room in the rear - once put 2 mopeds and a drum set back there.

Performance is decent considering the 2.72 axle - cornering is not up to par with my Caprice SS (love those big cars) but I do not push it - need to beef up the front end - sway bars?

Great ride on the highway - the long wheelbase (129") soaks up the bumps - although lots of wind noise from the vent windows.

It has the aerodynamics of a big box store so high speed runs are not its forte - decent gas mileage if not pushed (22 mpg?)

Although the car is not concours quality, it turns heads.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th May, 2009

14th May 2009, 12:43

I don't understand why the 267 had to come with the Checker limo, you were definitely wise to replace the 267 with the 305.

15th May 2009, 10:13

Thanks, the 305 provides adequate power but the beast may have a 350 in its near future. Decent 350s are plentiful and are an easy install. (will sacrifice some gas mileage though).

17th May 2009, 09:12

The Caprice is an LS (an poor SS wannabe)!

Mea culpa!

Average review marks: 6.8 / 10, based on 1 review