Down the Freeway of Love in a Pink Cadillac, Up the Stairway to Heaven in a White LaSalle

As someone strongly identified with the Motor City, it’s not surprising that the music of Detroit’s Aretha Franklin had some association with cars. While she first gained superstardom in the 1960s, the Queen of Soul roared back into the Top 10 in 1985 with Freeway of Love, featuring the lyric “We goin’ ridin’ on the freeway of love/In my pink Cadillac.” Franklin, whose voice was likely unmatched in her generation, had a good ear for lyrics. A little known piece of music trivia is that Mack Rice changed Mustang Mama to Mustang Sally at Aretha’s suggestion.

If Detroit is famous for two things, they are indeed music and automobiles. Ms. Franklin’s career combined them both, so for her funeral the Motor City gave its Queen ‘Retha a proper automotive sendoff.

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Late For His Own Funeral?

There’s a funeral home not far from my house. On my way to drop off an anniversary present for my daughter-in-law, I drove past their hearse, which appeared to be pulled over by a member of the local constabulary. How often do you see a hearse pulled over by a cop? I drove down the street, made a couple of “Michigan lefts” on the boulevarded highway and stopped to snap a few pics.

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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!

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Man Attacks Junker Hearse In Canadian Tire Parking Lot, Is Detained, Released

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.

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Junkyard Find: 1948 Pontiac Hearse

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.

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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!

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What's Right With This Picture? Lincoln MKT Hearse

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.

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Corpseside Classic: 1970 Cadillac Hearse

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?

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  • Conundrum Was unlucky enough to have a ride in the back of one of these things shortly after they first appeared, a project of Mercedes' ownership of Chrysler and that silly German professor with the gigantico walrus mustache who ran the place.Brother rented one of these early Magnums. The ride in the back was of constant wallowing up and down, like a 2015 BMW 3 Series, where my senses were similarly assaulted by lack of attenion to rear ride comfort, Up front was OK in both, back seat ride bloody awful. Must be a Germanic trait.The Magnum had an additional sensory deficit. Interior smelled of the peculiar rubber/plastic dash. Smelled like Chinese winter boots for kids, or Chinese tires of yore. Pass.
  • Anonymous My dad drove an 84 LTD. He always bragged about how special it was. Interesting to see that again.
  • Conundrum Here's how much Ford had to do design-wise with that engine in the article's lead picture.Zero. It was a Cosworth when Cosworth was still original Cosworth, over 30 years ago. The engine shown is a development of the original DFV. Ford paid to have its name on the cam covers for decades.I wonder who Ford will get to design this proposed new F1 engine for 2026. Because sure as hell, they don't have the in-house talent to do it themselves.
  • Sayahh Story idea or car design competition: design a compact sedan, a midsize sedan, coupe and/or wagon specifically for people 6'4" through 7'2". Not an SUV nor a crossover nor a raised chassis like the US Toyota Crown or Subaru Outback.
  • Sayahh I only check map app only when absolutely necessary and only at a red light. An observation: lots of ppl leave 2 car lengths (or more) between themselves and the car ahead of theirs so that they can text or check the internet (because they are afraid they might roll forward and hit the car in front of them?) This drives me crazy because many ppl do it and 3 cars will take up almost 7 car lengths and ppl cannot get into the left turn lane when it's bordered by a cement "curb." Worse is when they aren't even using their phone and have both hands on the stewring wheel and waiting for the green light. Half a car length is enough, people. Even one car length is too much, but 3 or 4 car lengths? At 40 MPH, maybe, not at 0 MPH please.