Junkyard Find: 1961 Cadillac Hearse

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1961 cadillac hearse

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.

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  • -Nate -Nate on Dec 06, 2012

    I see some older school buses in the background , how about a nice writeup on them ? I love 'em, and will never get to this place in person so lots and lots of pix would be nice . -Nate

  • Junkfixer Junkfixer on Dec 24, 2012

    That's a Eureka bodied Cadi CC from 1961, and yes, it's a (end loader) hearse. The melted lead filler was covering the rear quarter/corner windows. These windows were glass on the Ambulances of the same model.

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