The Project Goal.
To restore an iconic ’67 Checker Cab for Miss Direction's Ride Service. Since 2005, the complimentary Ride Service has offered its gift of Everyday Magic to Seattle -- a place that is changing so rapidly that people often feel a loss of connection and have a sense that the city is losing its soul and becoming less unique. The Checker Cab will bring the Ride Service to a new level of visibility and impact and remind people that indeed Seattle is a place where the unexpected happens.
UPDATE: PLEASE HELP THE CHECKER ROLL FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD!
Miss Direction (and I) are so grateful for the overwhelming interest in our project. We feel so fortunate to have reached our minimum funding goal so quickly — hurrah! I knew that friends of Miss Direction and me would be excited about the project — but I didn’t anticipate a universe of new friends and supporters, for whom the goals and spirit of the Checker Cab Ride Service would strongly resonate. People LOVE this project! You guys get it! THANK YOU.
We have only 2 days left in our Kickstarter. You can still donate and be a part of this! With the help of John and Adam Locatelli (the former owners and current Checker mechanics) I’ve identified several improvements to the Checker so that it will really “go the distance” as a random act of kindness community performance art piece. When you make a contribution beyond the Checker’s initial goal, you are helping to strrrrretch its impact — and its ability to bring Everyday Magic to Seattle. The Stretch Goals are detailed in the Budget section below.
Giving Back is a priority for me, and rewards are a way to thank you for supporting this campaign and participating in the project. To commemorate the Stretch Goals, I have added some Stretch Rewards! Delicious, locally handcrafted chocolates. Sparkly dichroic glass earrings in the Checker Cab Ride Service’s signature blue. A glowing Miss Direction Prayer Candle. A glass class for 4, taught in my Ballard studio. In addition, I have slightly upped my production of the limited edition Wileyware cocktail glasses. I can only add 20 individual glasses - and these will go fast! See pictures below and sidebar for details on the newly added goodies.
Please watch my video above and read the Checker Cab story below. Pick your reward. Then, help us reach the new Stretch Goals to get the Ride Service rolling in style.
Scroll down for more information about Miss Direction, the Ride Service and the restoration of the Checker. But first...
Here are pictures of the newly added "Stretch Rewards" commemorating my stretch goals and the final week of the Kickstarter!
One never knows when they might need directional assistance. For a reward of $55 a Miss Direction candle can be yours to light in times of need.
And still available are the original rewards! Learn more on the sidebar to your right.
"For me, a good part of the value has been the example set by Marcia herself. I've never known anyone who better personifies the creative life, embracing and celebrating the many wonders of daily life, and allowing herself to respond to those wonders without inhibition or doubt."
- Lana, former Marcia Wiley creativity student
About Miss Direction and her Ride Service.
Please meet my alter ego, Miss Direction.
Miss Direction transforms the mundane with her complimentary Ride Service. She offers rides as a gift to strangers waiting at the bus stop in exchange for hearing their life stories. She has given rides to people ages 15-89 and created many moments of unexpected delight and connection.
Miss Direction's Ride Service exists now as my gift to Seattle residents, bringing Everyday Magic to their mundane errands and commutes. But with your support, the restored Checker Cab will usher in a new era of community impact for the Ride Service, and a new level of comfort, visibility and pizzazz for its passengers.
In addition to your rewards, as donors at any level you'll receive updates about the Checker Cab's progress as it journeys to completion to its new home in Ballard.
I'm committed to having Miss Direction’s ’67 Marathon Checker Cab on the road by November 11, 2018.
The cab will be mechanically sound with a visually pleasing exterior and clean, comfortable interior, offering passengers an unforgettable, one-of-a- kind experience. It will be an iconic Seattle car, recognizable to many as it travels throughout the neighborhoods of the Emerald City with passengers in tow.
As Miss Direction, I will conduct the Checker Cab Ride Service an average of once a week.
Note: the goal is not to restore the car to classic collector car status, which can be a quite expensive and seemingly endless endeavor.
A Storied Past.
Why this particular cab? Why not buy a car that has already been restored, or that looks and works fine as it is? I am glad you asked! This 1967 Marathon Checker Cab has a rich history--and deep roots in Seattle that make it a perfect match for Miss Direction and the Ride Service she offers to our community. Here's a video that recounts how the Checker Cab, previous owners the Locatelli Family, and Miss Direction came together through the magic of fate and happenstance.
Budget Update (Stretch Goals!)
-Replacing the manual choke with an electric one: This will insure that the checker purrs right up every time no matter the chilly, damp Seattle weather. $450
-Custom Rooftop “Miss Direction Taxi” Cab Topper: $111
-Painted Logo on Passenger Side Door: $500
-Upgraded Professional High Gloss Urethene Paint Job: Urethane paints last for a long time and are very durable; they do not easily fade or chip. The car will be painted a vintage aqua. Estimate is $6400 for a car of this size ($3339 raised, $3061 to go.)
-New dashboard: There’s a crack in the original one after 51 years of wear and tear. This is a part that is no longer available so a custom dashboard will be made (by www.justdashes.com) using the original as a template! The cost is $850.
-New ceiling: The ceiling is a bit faded and worn. New fabric can be installed by Mac’s Upholstery in Ballard at a cost of about $600.
-Maintenance Fund: In addition to my time driving folks around as Miss Direction, I will be covering the car’s insurance and gas, and regular maintenance such as oil changes. However, it’s an older car and I expect there will be occasional maintenance costs associated with its upkeep. It would be wonderful to have a maintenance fund of $3,500 to keep the Checker rolling and in tip top shape.
STRETCH GOALS TOTAL: $9,072
Together we have accomplished so much! Let’s keep rolling!
The budget for this project is $8,689
Note: The project goal is $9,444, however, Kickstarter takes a 5% servicing fee and credit card processing fees are approximately 3%. These fees total $755 of the $9,444 project, leaving an actual budget of $8,689 to work with. It would be lovely to exceed my goal!
How Your Contribution Will Be Put to Work. Following is a breakdown of the costs of restoring the Checker Cab back to a safe, functioning and iconic vehicle.
Car Engine and Body Work = $1900: (The original total of engine/body work is $5900, and I have already put $4000 into the car.)
When this work is complete, the cab will be mechanically sound and roadworthy. The work will be performed by John Locatelli, a retired University of WA physics professor, and his son Adam, a machinist. The Locatellis were the owners of the Checker for 20 years; they know the car inside and out and have the automotive skills and the shop in which to complete the job. They have already taken the Checker apart and begun body work.
- Engine: New transmission, tune up
- Brakes: Repair master cylinder leak
- Body work (the frame itself is mostly strong and solid): rust removal of rocker panels, base of trunk, passenger side floor, tightening and strengthening of any loose body connections
Car Exterior, Basic Paint Job = $3,339:
When this work is complete, the Checker Cab's exterior will be restored in an iconic fashion that will catch many an eye as it zooms about Seattle. It will instill confidence in Miss Direction's passengers that, although their ride is complimentary, they will arrive at their destination in safety and comfort.
Car Interior = $3,450:
When this work is complete, the Checker Cab will be a joy for passengers to ride in as they tell their life stories to Miss Direction. The interior work will be performed by Mac’s Upholstery of Ballard, WA.
- Front seat rebuild and upholstery, $1500
- Back seat rebuild and upholstery, $800 - $1200
- Upgraded long lasting floor coverings, $750
Stretch Goals/Wish List:
When I exceed my initial Kickstarter goal, additional funds (thank you!!) will be used for:
- Logo on passenger side door
- Rooftop taxi cab mount
- Upgrade of paint job to include high gloss urethane finish
- Electric choke
- Replace ceiling upholstery
- Eliminate slight crack in dashboard
- Insurance/Gas fund
- Ongoing maintenance
- The unexpected...
To those of you who donate to our Kickstarter, Miss Direction and I offer our everlasting thanks for your generosity and your contribution to Everyday Magic in Seattle!
To these friends and colleagues who enthusiastically helped make this project happen:
Nick Kramer of Hank Creative who made our terrific video!
Our Kickstarter team: Liz Pittinos, Kim Wade, Melissa Manzanares, Albert Kaufman, Maggie Mallon, Neave Karger, Cameron Mason, Jeremy Hoerber, and Abby Ruskey.
Further thanks to glass artist Eric Bernardi, water jet guru Jason Garrett, jack of all trades illustrator Rick Klu, and laser etchers Terreen, Inc.
Finally, a big shout out to the Locatelli family for sharing their history with the Checker and helping bring it back to life.
See you on the Streets!
-Marcia, aka Miss Direction
Risks and challenges
This is a fairly straightforward project. I am raising funds to have a 50-year-old car mechanically and cosmetically restored. Most of this work will be performed by John Locatelli, a retired University of WA physics professor, and his son Adam, a machinist. The Locatellis were the owners of the Checker for 20 years; they know the car inside and out and have the automotive skills and the shop in which to complete the job. They have already taken the Checker apart and begun body work. John and Adam are enthusiastic and committed to this work, and I have every confidence in their ability to bring the job to completion.
While there is little risk of not completing the project, this is a vintage car and a delay in its restoration could be hard to predict. There may be an unforeseen repair that takes longer than forecast, or there could be a needed part that requires extra time to find. As I will be regularly updating donors on the Checker Cab's progress, they will be informed in the event of a delay which moves the project completion date past November 11, 2018.
Once the Checker Cab is on the road and performing Miss Direction's Ride Service, all systems are go. This is NOT a commercial venture and I'm not charging for rides, therefore, registration and insurance for the Checker Cab will be the same as for any private vehicle. I will personally cover these nominal costs, as well as ongoing maintenance and repairs.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (27 days)