The Truth About Cars » hearse http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 04 Nov 2014 19:06:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » hearse http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1961 Cadillac Hearse http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/junkyard-find-1961-cadillac-hearse/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/junkyard-find-1961-cadillac-hearse/#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2012 14:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=469126 When I went to the Brain-Melting Colorado Junkyard to buy a ’41 Plymouth Special Deluxe sedan, for the purposes of some unholy engine swap, I did some digging around through stacks of random doors to try to find a handle to fit a friend’s elderly Ford COE truck. While navigating the high desert cacti between […]

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When I went to the Brain-Melting Colorado Junkyard to buy a ’41 Plymouth Special Deluxe sedan, for the purposes of some unholy engine swap, I did some digging around through stacks of random doors to try to find a handle to fit a friend’s elderly Ford COE truck. While navigating the high desert cacti between rich veins of ancient truck doors, I happened to glance up and catch a view of this toasted-but-still-majestic hearse silhouetted against the sunset. What a Junkyard Find!
Brush fires are always a danger on the plains east of Colorado Springs, and such a fire ate a few cars last year. Most of the burn victims have since been sent to The Crusher, but this old hearse remains.
There’s not much usable stuff left on this funeral hauler (unlike the rusty but largely complete ’48 Pontiac hearse parked a few hundred yards away), so perhaps it’s just here as a sort of sculpture.
Yes, that big mountain in the background is Pikes Peak. Mount Evans is a lot closer to where I live and it’s 154 feet taller, but the racing is far superior on this mountain.
The fire seems to have been quite specific about which areas of this car it felt like ravaging. The windshield glass melted, but some of the nearby paint survived.
It’s sad to think that this hearse will never be restored and brought to HearseCon (Colorado, for reasons someone is going to have to explain to me, is the Customized Hearse Epicenter of America), but perhaps some of its parts will live on in other Cadillacs.

29 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 24 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 25 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 26 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 27 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin 28 - 1961 Cadillac Hearse Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Man Attacks Junker Hearse In Canadian Tire Parking Lot, Is Detained, Released http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/man-attacks-junker-hearse-in-canadian-tire-parking-lot-is-detained-released/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/man-attacks-junker-hearse-in-canadian-tire-parking-lot-is-detained-released/#comments Wed, 17 Oct 2012 15:32:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=464045 Almost every car guy has experienced being pushed over the brink by a car so evil it could be characterized as possessed. A man in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada wanted to perform his own exorcism on an old hearse in a Canadian Tire parking lot before sending it off to the big crusher in the […]

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Almost every car guy has experienced being pushed over the brink by a car so evil it could be characterized as possessed. A man in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada wanted to perform his own exorcism on an old hearse in a Canadian Tire parking lot before sending it off to the big crusher in the sky over the weekend.

After parking the hearse at the Canadian Tire outlet, the man entered the store to procure his exorcism tools – a crowbar and sledgehammer – and after declining the receipt was overheard saying, “When I’m done with these, no one will want them back.”

The man then proceeded to release his divine fury on the hearse, which appears to be an old Cadillac, and was standing on the roof with sledgehammer in hand when police officers arrived. After cuffing and questioning the man, he agreed to clean up the debris of the evicted demons and was released.

“He had the salvage company on the way for it, so he wanted to get his licks in before it went,” said Sgt. David Publicover of Halifax Regional Police. “That’s pretty much it.

“He just wanted to give it a goodbye, I guess.”

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Junkyard Find: 1948 Pontiac Hearse http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/junkyard-find-1948-pontiac-hearse/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/junkyard-find-1948-pontiac-hearse/#comments Sun, 15 Jul 2012 13:00:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=452734 As I’ve mentioned before, Colorado is a hotbed of recreational hearse activity. This means that today’s Junkyard Find— spotted at the Brain Melting Colorado Junkyard— might be able to find someone willing to brave the rust and get this super-rare hearse back among the living. Pontiacs built between World War II and John Delorean can […]

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As I’ve mentioned before, Colorado is a hotbed of recreational hearse activity. This means that today’s Junkyard Find— spotted at the Brain Melting Colorado Junkyard— might be able to find someone willing to brave the rust and get this super-rare hearse back among the living.
Pontiacs built between World War II and John Delorean can be a bit frumpy-looking, with cheap-out features such as a big chrome strip down the hood to hide the fact that GM didn’t want to pay to make hoods out of one piece of metal, but then you look more closely and see all the great Indian-head decorations.
Who doesn’t like an illuminated chrome hood ornament representing Chief Pontiac? Bad people, that’s who.
This hearse is very, very, very rough.
There’s no telling how long the right rear door has been sitting in the weeds, or how many seasons of snow have melted on the floors.
But still, imagine having this brute on the street, maybe complete with vintage coffin in the back.

16 - Pontiac Hearse Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - Pontiac Hearse Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - Pontiac Hearse Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - Pontiac Hearse Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - Pontiac Hearse Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - Pontiac Hearse Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - Pontiac Hearse Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - Pontiac Hearse Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - Pontiac Hearse Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - Pontiac Hearse Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - Pontiac Hearse Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - Pontiac Hearse Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - Pontiac Hearse Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Bring Out Your Dead: HearseCon Decay-‘N-Shine 2011 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/bring-out-your-dead-hearsecon-decay-n-shine-2011/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/06/bring-out-your-dead-hearsecon-decay-n-shine-2011/#comments Thu, 30 Jun 2011 17:42:52 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=401082 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 […]

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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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What’s Right With This Picture? Lincoln MKT Hearse http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/12/whats-right-with-this-picture-lincoln-mkt-hearse/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/12/whats-right-with-this-picture-lincoln-mkt-hearse/#comments Tue, 07 Dec 2010 15:42:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=375959 In the wild, panthers are endangered. In the automotive world, Panthers will go extinct sometime in the third quarter of 2011, when the last Lincoln Town Car Executive L rolls off the line. If you think Panthers get a lot of lovin’ around these here parts, you should attend a convention of folks for whom […]

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In the wild, panthers are endangered. In the automotive world, Panthers will go extinct sometime in the third quarter of 2011, when the last Lincoln Town Car Executive L rolls off the line. If you think Panthers get a lot of lovin’ around these here parts, you should attend a convention of folks for whom those LTCELs are tools of the trade. Chances are that if you’ve used a limousine or livery service in the past 20 years, you’ve sat in the back seat of a Lincoln Town Car Executive L. That’s why it was big news at Limousine Charter & Tour magazine’s LCT Leadership Summit a couple of months ago when Ford’s fleet marketing manager, Gerry Koss, announced that replacing the soon to be dearly departed Town Car in Ford’s livery fleet fleet will be livery and stretched limo versions of the Lincoln MKT.

It made some sense. For all its ungainly proportions, the MKT has a lot of interior space. Koss pointed out that the MKT has more legroom, headroom, and cargo space than the Town Car, all valuable features to livery operators and their customers. Ford focus tested the MKT livery version with both of those groups, to, they claim, very positive response. Besides the extra space, all wheel drive availability in the MKT appeals to fleet operators in northern climes.

In addition to the standard livery version of the MKT, Koss said that Ford would be making a heavy duty version that will be provided to Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifiers for conversion to limos and hearses. The heavy duty MKT can be stretched up to 10 feet. Ford will start taking orders for MKT professional cars in 4Q 2011 with production beginning in Jan. 2012.

The limo and hearse biz is not too much different from the custom and performance market. The tuners have SEMA and Goodguys and livery operators have events like the aforementioned LC&T Leadership Summit and the National Funeral Directors Association annual show in Chicago.

That’s where Ford previewed a MKT hearse based on prototype heavy duty MKT that had been provided to Eagle Coach for conversion. After the show was over, the car was returned to Dearborn where it was spotted driving around and now it is on sale at an Eagle dealer. As you can see from the photos, it’s actually not a terrible looking car. I think it’s the best looking American based hearse conversion in a while, and possibly better proportioned than the original MKT.

First, before we get to the MKT’s styling, let’s face it, most coffin carriers of the past 30 years have looked kind of funny. Hearse rear ends grafted to downsized aero shapes results in vehicles that look like an engorged tick. The massive front end of the 1970 Cadillac Hearse that Paul featured around Halloween balances the larger rear end. Some feel that the best looking hearses were Cadillacs from the late 1950s and early 1960s. Cars were taller back then so the rooflines high enough to handle a coffin looked more natural.

The MKT already has a long, high roofline so the raised hearse roof isn’t much of a visual stretch. Also, the MKT has that awkward kink in the beltline. On the stock MKT to my eye that raised haunch clashes visually with the gracefully declining roof. Though the roof of the MKT hearse is raised, it rises naturally from the pitch of the windshield and then it flattens out quickly. Think shooting brakes and sport wagons. It even has a a spoiler and a quasi Kamm back.

The Eagle MKT hearse looks to be stretched in the middle and also the rear haunches are extended. That really improves the look of the MKT’s beltline, and also works very well with the long, flat roof. Even the large and often criticized grille (the baleen look can work – see the MKR concept car) is balanced by the increased bulk. It’s not perfect, the side glass doesn’t quite work, but overall I kinda like it. Almost sporting looking, for a hearse.

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Corpseside Classic: 1970 Cadillac Hearse http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/10/corpseside-classic-1970-cadillac-hearse/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/10/corpseside-classic-1970-cadillac-hearse/#comments Sat, 30 Oct 2010 15:02:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=370665 Where have all the old hearses gone? There was a time when these body haulers were a common alternative to the VW bus (conveniently displayed in the back) if you wanted to hit the road as a group, or just collect a group as you rolled along. Plenty of stretch-out room, and gas was cheap. […]

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Where have all the old hearses gone? There was a time when these body haulers were a common alternative to the VW bus (conveniently displayed in the back) if you wanted to hit the road as a group, or just collect a group as you rolled along. Plenty of stretch-out room, and gas was cheap. Throw some mattresses in the back, and scrounge some cans of left-over paint to redecorate the outside. Go somewhere, do something. Riding around in a hearse was a perfect way to express one’s youthful immortality. Have kids stopped being immortal?

I googled endlessly to find one with a a nice psychedelic paint job, but this ’55 is the best I could do. But the vintage is about right; our CC 1970 hearse was still in front line duty back then. But Caddy hearses and ambulances from the early fifties were common and cheap back then, since funeral operators couldn’t be seen driving such outdated iron, thanks to Detroit’s rapid styling changes. Nowadays, I see hearses twenty years old sitting under the carport of the funeral home, waiting patiently for the next revenue run.

The business end of a hearse is always the rear door, even if it is a handsome vintage Caddy. The big question is always what’s inside, especially if you were hitchhiking, and one pulled over. Would it be this?

Depends on your luck. More likely a band, all jammed in with their amps. I do remember a mixed-gender ride in one somewhere near Medocino which led to a chilly overnight camp-out on the beach, but the details are a bit fuzzy right now.

Thanks to the magic of google, I did stumble on a site devoted to the cult of the hearse, but with a more current flavor than the hippie-flavored hearse culture of yore. Times change; tastes change.

No Caddy hearse/ambulance piece would be complete without the above picture of a rather famous ’59 .

And since we’ve taken that detour, let’s go ahead and add in another stellar ’59, like this wild one.

And the “Cathedral”, complete with VW body as part of the upper structure.

Enough temporal distractions; let’s not ignore this handsome 1970 Cadillac which supplied the basis for this hearse. I wasted so much time trying to find an image of a proper psychedelic hippie-hearse, that I haven’t tried to identify the maker of this particular hearse body. There used to be quite a few of them, but it’s dwindled down, over the decades. Do they throw a funeral parade when a hearse maker shuts down?

There’s plenty of power under this hood in case someone wanted a high-speed funeral parade. The 472 CID (7.7 L) mill churned out 375 hp, a high water mark for hearses , perhaps. I do wonder if some of the hearses built with Caddy’s 140 hp 4.1 L engine in the eighties struggled a bit.

The funeral business is intrinsically a traditional one, or at least slow to change. Hearse styling cues have forever aped the old horse-drawn hearses of yore, although that textured bright work is a distinctly contemporary seventies touch.

Actually, the funeral business is going through changes too, and natural burial sites are a hot thing here now. And how best to get you there than this bike hearse. Where is this service located? In Eugene, of course. Now I know why I’m not seeing as many old hearses around.

I’d be quite happy to roll out to a natural burial site in a meadow, encased in a quickly-decaying basket or cardboard box. But I think I’d feel bad about someone trying to pedal me out that far; all that huffing and puffing. I’ll take this fine old Caddy, preferably with some nice low-restriction mufflers or glass-packs on that high-compression 472. Got to have some music to go out with.

More New Curbside Classics Here

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