Bring Out Your Dead: HearseCon Decay-'N-Shine 2011

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
bring out your dead hearsecon decay n shine 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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  • Mazder3 Mazder3 on Jun 30, 2011

    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....

  • Redmondjp Redmondjp on Jul 01, 2011

    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).

  • Art Vandelay I’d grab one of these if I’d spent my working life at GM for sure!
  • Analoggrotto The factory is delayed due to an investigation of a peter puffery ring lead by VoGhost, Tassos, EBFlex a Civic Type-R
  • FreedMike Looking forward to the protests at the factory accusing Toyota of excessive woke-ism. First,, grooming.
  • MrIcky I remember when Gladiators came out and everyone was shocked at how expensive they were. Now all the off road specials have caught up or passed it financially. I like this truck a lot, but I'd still take my Rubicon over this. I'd take this over the Ranger Raptor or Tacoma TRD though. When I found out the increase in track for the new TRD was just wheel offset-I knew they were just phoning it in. Why spend so much R&D on those stupid seats when you could have r&d'd longer arms or a front locker.
  • Alan Hmm, I see a bit of politicking here. What qualifications do you need to run GM or Ford? I'd bet GM or Ford isn't run by experienced people. Anyone at that level in an organisation doesn't need to be a safety whip, you need to have the ability to organise those around you to deliver the required results.