By on June 30, 2011


Did you know that Colorado has more hearse enthusiasts than any other region in America? Neither did I, until I checked out HearseCon 2011, which took place a few miles from Chez Murilee last weekend. Hearses, ambulances, and flower cars! Coffins, goths, rodders, and— of course— Hearse Girls!

I shot all my HearseCon photos in stereo, so those of you with any variety of 3D glasses should head over to Cars In Depth to see the icy fingers of death reaching out for you.

Most of the 50 or so hearses at the HearseCon were Cadillacs, but the Olds contingent had some seriously great machines as well.

The crowd was a weird mix of inked-up hot-rodders discussing Stromberg 97 rebuilds, hyper-mascara’d goths sweating in the 95-degree Denver heat, and single-interest hearse freaks debating the merits of various coffin-to-ice-chest conversion techniques.

Donk hearses, slammed hearses, showroom-condition restored hearses, and this hearse for funerals in Unreachable Wilderness National Park.

My favorite (well, tied with the purple Olds) was this super-patina’d ’54 Cadillac.

Check out this weathered, rat-rod-style coffin. Now that’s attention to detail!

It was nice to be at a car show that didn’t have the eleventy-billionth repetition of “Hot Rod Lincoln” playing on scratchy PA speakers, although an organist playing Chopin’s Funeral March would have been nice.


Only at HearseCon!

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23 Comments on “Bring Out Your Dead: HearseCon Decay-’N-Shine 2011...”


  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Um I think we need to have a caption contest for that first picture… :P

    FWIW it seems a shame to see the hearse in that second pic is wearing such cheap plastic Walmart hubcaps.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Oooh, ooh, I’ve got one: ‘”What was Psar’s teenagerhood like?**” for $100, Alex?’

      Except that all the goths I knew were either too broke or too nihilist to drive.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        Come on guys, no more love for real honest to god women? Least those ladies look like they actually know what a carb is.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        No love for anyone with ink. Why would they know what a carburetor is? They don’t even know that fashions change, judging by the way they made a lifetime commitment to a subculture fad.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        Carbohydrates (I’m sick of model thin women with a BMI of less than 18 being glorified by the mainstream media.) And yeah I got ink, what of it? I’m just not dumb enough to get tattooed where everyone and their dog can see it as a desperate bid for attention.

        Forgive the rant rest of the B&B.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        Come on guys, no more love for real honest to god women?

        If they’re the “enjoy the scene, the music and the fashion” type, sure. Absolutely. Sign me up, or rather, sign me up if I wasn’t at the “Got a haircut, a real job, a spouse and two kids” stage.

        If they’re the “absinthe, poetry and nihilism” set then no, not so much, no matter how good you look in velvet and lace.

    • 0 avatar
      wallstreet

      It’s official. Educator Dan has a fetish for BBW. I don’t blame you.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      “I’m dying to get in on that threesome.”

      Sure, it’s simple and predictable, but I’m still in second place behind psar in this contest.

      I’m no goth fan, and I see tattoos as vandalism of the female form, but those girls look pretty tasty to me so I can overlook a few minor details. I don’t see anything I’d call BBW. Not even close.

      Cool show.

  • avatar

    Amazing coincidence! Murilee and I picked almost identical photos at the top of the posts here and at CID. I wonder what it is about the subject matter that seemed so compelling?

    • 0 avatar

      It’s because my years at Jalopnik corrupted me to the point where the “boobs = web traffic” formula has been hardwired into my system. Also, it makes the statement “See, I’m not queer! Really! Not queer!”

      • 0 avatar
        Sinistermisterman

        Screw traffic, boobs are awesome.

      • 0 avatar
        FuzzyPlushroom

        I never would have thought that anyone high-up at Jalopnik might possibly be uncomfortable with his orientation, much less shamelessly use attractive women to draw in views!

        Sarcasm off, I actually appreciate such things when they’re displayed in an expository context by a married man who posts whatever he damn well pleases regardless. Keep posting hearses, Murilee! And, uh… other such things.

    • 0 avatar

      I should note, for intellectual interest only, that the aforementioned boobs can be seen in 3D at Cars In Depth. Cleavage ain’t really cleavage unless there’s some depth.

  • avatar
    Jerry Sutherland

    Here’s what happens when your neighbors aren’t exactly hearse fans…http://www.mystarcollectorcar.com/2-features/editorials/681-neil-young-would-be-very-unhappy-with-this-hearse-story.html

  • avatar
    newfdawg

    Og God, I just love that photo of that ’58 Olds hearse!
    “You plug ‘em-we plant em!”
    “You stab ‘em-we slab em!”

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    I totally endorse this article.

    Just remember folks, no matter what your automotive preferences are — hot hatch, pony car, sport sedan, super sports car, convertible, truck, crossover, German, Japanese, American or other — the last ride you will ever take is gonna be in a …

    Domestic Hearse.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      “You may be a king, or a lowly street sweeper, but sooner or later you gotta dance with the Reaper.” – Death, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey

  • avatar
    MarcKyle64

    I always liked Harold’s Jaguar hearse from “Harold & Maude”

  • avatar

    If I were to buy one, I’d want the Ghostbuster’s Hearse and I’d put 4 KICKER L7′s in a coffin powered by 2 Rockford Fosgate t1000bd amplifiers (since I already have em :P). 22″ rims with skulls on the center caps and a Navigation system whose Points of Interest are only funeral homes and morgues.

  • avatar
    KeithBates

    The Ghostbusters ride wasn’t a hearse, it was an ambulance…

  • avatar

    Amazing what you find out when you follow a link. Neil Young’s song, Long May You Run, is a tribute to Young’s first car, a 1948 Buick Roadmaster based hearse.

  • avatar
    mazder3

    The patina’d ’54 looks particularly creepy on a dank, wet, foggy day. Saw it in front of Pifler’s a couple years ago with a severed head for a hood ornament and leg hanging out of the back. Had a dash pad with a spider on it then though….

  • avatar
    redmondjp

    Oh shoot, I was into these “commercial” vehicles way back in 1985 when I bought a 1969 Cadillac Miller-Meteor 42″ (refers to height inside the back from floor to roof) combination (which was usually purchased by a small town where it did double-duty as an ambulance and a hearse). Mine was painted red and white, had (at one time) all of the lights on the roof, but also had curtains and blinds in all of the rear windows, and reversible panels in the floor with casket rollers on one side of them.

    It definitely wasn’t “cool” back then to drive one of these things, and I literally had to almost give it away when I sold it in 1995 because nobody wanted it. I had it advertised in Cars & Parts for a solid three months (pre-internet and Craigslist).

    Oh well, it was the most enjoyable ten years I ever had driving a car in my life thus far. That 6300 lbs of American iron on a 156″ wheelbase just soaked up the road and the torque of the high-compression 472 was something to behold. And honest truth, it would get 13-14 mpg on the highway if you stayed under 65 and kept your foot out of the secondaries (which sounded awesome with the air cleaner lid reversed) which isn’t that much worse or maybe even better than some modern-day SUVs of a similar size and power level (thinking V10-powered Expedition).

    Long live the deadmobiles! Still a great way to piss off your neighbors too (as long as it runs & drives and has current tabs, you’re golden, city can’t touch you). Right now, the LT1-powered mid-90s hearses are hitting the market, there was one locally for only $2500 on CL recently that was very tempting (wife would kill me, producing a very ironic news headline).


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