Funeral Cars


Muscle Car Hearses – Funeral Cars for Old School Car Enthusiasts


Mention ‘muscle cars’ to most car fans and they’ll waste no time telling you about their favorite model.  Chevy’s iconic Corvette, Ford’s Mustang Shelby, Pontiac’s Firebird Trans Am and – of course – the Dodge Charger have all become such cultural icons they are recognizable to car enthusiasts and the general public alike.  These cars have come to represent power, freedom and the thrill of the open road.

So what happens when someone who loves these iconic pieces of American history passes away?  For some, the thought of making their final ride in a traditional hearse leaves them feeling underwhelmed.  Their family and friends often feel the same way and wish there was a way for their loved one to ride to their final place in a car befitting the way they lived.

That’s where muscle car hearses come in.

Back in 2009, these funeral cars made a splash when they were a part of Detroit’s Woodward Dream Cruise.  Every August, the Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit, Michigan, dazzles thousands of spectators who come to see the best that the automakers have put out over the years. More than 40,000 custom cars, collector automobiles, street rods and other impressive vehicles line Woodward Avenue revving their engines and showing people what they got. But this year there is going to be a new unique addition to the annual event.

As part of the event, Lynch Sons Funeral Home of Clawson displayed a classic 1939 Henney-Packard hearse at Peabody’s Restaurant in nearby Birmingham. The hearse was part of a much larger display that showcased the history of the American funeral.  The display, “Reflections: The American Funeral,” was a museum on wheels complete with exhibits on funeral customs, practices and other funeral-related items designed to educate and entertain.  It featured relics from the past and glimpses of the future – including innovative new designs for funeral cars.

Muscle hearses were still new back then and, while they still haven’t exactly gone mainstream, they have developed an enthusiastic fan base.   South East Funeral Services in Australia, for example, now offers muscle car hearse options for people who want to make their last ride one to remember.   Then, in 2013, a team out of Atlanta, Georgia unveiled their custom hot rod hearse – a ’60 Cadillac Superior Coachworks hearse they had completely revamped, reworked and re-imagined into something new.  They dubbed their creation the Thundertaker and had it featured on  You can check out the details of this 36-month build on HotRod’s feature article on the Thundertaker.

Muscle cars and hearses were not traditionally the kinds of cars most people would think of combining.  As funerals have become more customizable, however, hearses have also become a way for people to express themselves.  Collectors and funeral homes alike now see the benefit and the joy there is in creating beautiful hearses and other funeral cars by reworking the traditional views and creating a fleet of cars for a whole new generation.

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Vintage Funeral Cars – A Walk Down Memory Lane

We love looking at the newest technologies and options when it comes to funerals and funeral cars, but we also love looking back.   Let’s take a walk down memory lane. These unique vintage funeral cars exude a style and flair that will stop you in your tracks.

The funeral cars featured below include: Lincoln, Lorraine, Packard, Pontiac and Sayer and Scovill

Most of these hearses have been restored and resold via auctions throughout the years.

1941 Lincoln V-12 Custom Ambulance

1941 Lincoln V-12 Custom Ambulance

1947 Lincoln Hearse (Argentina)

1947 Lincoln Hearse (Argentina)

1920 Lorraine – Twelve-Column Carved Panel Hearse

1920 Lorraine

1937 Packard Flower Car

1937 Packard Flower Car

1938 Packard Art-Carved Model Hearse

1938 Packard Art-Carved Model Hearse

1941 Packard

1941 Packard

1940 Pontiac

1940 Pontiac

1919 REO Hearse

1919 REO Hearse

1924 Sayers and Scovill

1924 Sayers and Scovill

1936 Sayers and Scovill Romanesque Hearse

1936 Sayers and Scovill Romanesque Hearse

Photos via HearseWorks


Want to Control Your Hearse Fleet With your Smartphone? There’s an App for That!

Remote control iphone app for funeral hearsesImagine, if you will, being in the middle of a funeral service and you pull out your iPhone. You open up the remote control app you have installed and start one of the hearses in your fleet. Then you push a button and the hearse wheels itself around to the front of the building and stops to wait for the pall bearers to carry the casket to the back of the vehicle. Amazing thought, isn’t it?

Well, you can’t do all of that with your iPhone, but you can start your hearse and control some of the functions on your vehicles with your iPhone.

The technology is courtesy a company called Delphi. Using Bluetooth technology, the company has created an app that allows you to remote start your vehicles through your key fob. You can also unlock doors and operate several other vehicle functions remotely.

This is a huge step forward from yesteryear, huh?

As a funeral director, you are always trying to make your processes more efficient and elegant. Your iPhone can now participate and make that happen for you and your business.

Delphi isn’t even the only company getting into the smartphone apps for car control.  Viper SmartStart, for example, offers remote start, real time tracking and security features which can be useful for funeral directors managing a large fleet with multiple drivers.

The next time you speak to your funeral coach dealer, ask about the iPhone remote control app. Ask if they’ve heard of it. This technology is only bound to get better and that’s something to look forward to.


Hearse Spotlight: The Thundertaker – A Killer Cadillac Custom Car

We thought it was high time we dedicated some space to admiring some of the amazing custom hearses out there today.  For our first spotlight piece we’re looking at the Thundertaker, an amazing custom Cadillac hearse.

The 1960 Cadillac hearse Thundertaker shown below is the creation Bryan Fuller and his shop Fuller Hot Rods.  Fuller is a longtime fan of hearses and frequently drove a hearse around as a form of transportation.  Fuller craved a little more and the Thundertaker was born.

1960 Cadillac Thunder

This Thundertaker rides on one of the longest hot rod chassis out there. Fuller and his team loaded this Cadillac with every entertainment electronics available. The leather and every bolt, top of the line.  All in, Fuller estimates the project took well over 6,000 hours.  “There was, at the very least, one guy on the car for 40 hours a week for three years,” Fuller says, “but the harder the build is, the more rewarding it is in the end.”

The 1960 Cadillac Superior Coachworks hearse certainly has come alive with this incredible customization job.


Do you know about a custom or otherwise amazing hearse we should spotlight in our series?  Share it in the comments below!


The Helltown Hearse (Hearse Legends – Part Two of a Three Part Series)

In this week’s installment of our Hearse Legends series, we’re taking a look at an urban legend that comes out of Ohio.  Summit County is in Northeast Ohio, near Akron, and is known for its beautiful parks, music venues and a host of other attractions scattered across the county.  While there are plenty of family friendly attractions throughout Summit County, the northern part of the county is known for an entirely different reason.

Helltown is the unofficial name given to an area made up of a cluster of smaller towns.  The small towns – Boston Township, Boston Village, Sagamore Hills and Northfield Center Township – are commonly referred to as the Boston Mills area.  But for locals – and adventure seekers – it’s also known as Helltown.

The area was originally settled in the early 1800s and quickly became a hub of production for a number of mills that used trees to create building materials and paper.  The mills were such a big part of the community and local economy that when a railroad station was built in the 1880s it was named Boston Mills in reference to the local industry.

By the 1960s, however, a growing number of people were concerned about the destruction of forests throughout the country – including in the Boston Mills area.  In 1974, President Ford signed off on legislation that allowed the National Park Service to purchase land in order to enhance the National Park system.  The legislation also allowed the use of ’eminent domain’ to acquire land and, once it was passed, the government began buying up land – and homes – throughout the Boston Mills area.  As a result, droves of residents were forced to relocate.

As more and more people were forced out and trees became protected, the local economy suffered and, in the end, much of the Boston Mills area was absorbed into the  Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  As the government bought more homes, the houses often sat vacant until they could be demolished.  The area gave every appearance of being a ghost town,particularly to people passing through.  Many people say this is where the legends surrounding Helltown began.

The Legends of Hell Town

There are a number of urban legends and rumors when it comes to Helltown.  Some people claim the town was evacuated not because of the parks, but because of a deadly chemical spill the government wanted to cover up.  Although there is no official record of any such spill, it’s a legend that continues to this day.

Rumors about the local cemetery are also popular.  In one story, people claim to have seen a ghost that sits on a bench in the cemetery.  Visitors say the ghost does not move or interact – just that it sits staring blankly into space.  There are rarely any other details given about the ghost which makes it hard to compare versions.

Another cemetery-based rumor is that the trees in the cemetery move in unnatural ways.  Rumors about the trees persist and people claim the origin could be the restless souls of children in the cemetery or even the involvement of a Satanic cult.

Other local legends include stories of a school bus full of children being slaughtered by a serial killer (though sometimes the story features an escaped mental patient instead) as well as abandoned houses with lights that mysteriously come on and that at least two of the local churches are used as covers for evil cults.


The Haunted Hearse

While there are plenty of stories about Helltown, the most famous is about the Haunted Hearse.  The area of Helltown is littered with dead-end streets lined with abandoned homes and plenty of trees and overgrown vines that give the area a decidedly creepy feel, especially at night.

Locals claim that if you drive down certain roads you’ll find yourself being chased by a hearse which appears to have a ghostly looking man at the wheel.  In some stories the hearse appears out of nowhere and in others the car has only one, weak headlight.

Some of the stories have connected this ghostly hearse with the number of fatalities on Standford Road (aka ‘The End of the World’).  Stanford Road has its own grisly reputation – locals and urban myth believers claim the road is cursed and drivers risk having a fatal crash if they choose to drive down the road.  Some claim the road itself is possessed while others say that evil spirits possess the drivers and force them to crash the car purposely.  Even cynics of the legends have to admit that Standford Road, with it’s sharp turns and steep inclines, is the scene of fatal crashes quite often.

As far as the haunted hearse of Helltown goes, however, there are records that show a family did own a hearse at one time in the small town.  They drove it around mostly around Halloween and became a regular feature in the landscape of the town.  Skeptics point out that the road in question is marked by a large “ROAD CLOSED” sign nd that there is even a gate that goes across the road and is locked tight.  The road is surrounded by dense woods on either side, making it impossible for a hearse to even drive down the road.

Then again, none of that would matter if the hearse is a ghostly apparition.

Either way, the legends and urban myths surrounding Helltown have turned it into a cult favorite for local adventure seekers.  It has become a fairly well-known attraction for people throughout Ohio and urban explorers from the surrounding area.  In the end, Helltown’s network or legends and creepy appearance could be what breathes new life into the modern day ghost town.

10 Custom Hearses That Could Make Your Last Trip the Best One Yet

Normally when people see a hearse going down the road, they’re just glad they aren’t the one getting that final ride.  But then there are hearses that just might give you some second thoughts.   Okay, so that might be a bit of an overstatement but, if nothing else, these amazing customized hearses prove that your final ride doesn’t have to be the worst.

While most choose traditional hearse options there are many cool customized hearses on the road today.  Often, these hearses aren’t used for traditional funeral services – but they could be.  Today, many of these cars are private vehicles used simply for fun, but with funeral options growing year on year, it may be only a matter of time before we begin to see them as being offered for specialized services.

Da Bears Hearse

For Die-Hard Fans

Chicago Bears Hearse

Motorcycle Hearse

For the Motorcycle Enthusiast

Motorcycle Hearse

The Gothic Hearse

From the Mad Max set

Gothic Hearse

The Drag Racing Hearse

Do you want to race?

Drag Racing Hearse

Bicycle Hearse

Great on Fuel

Bicycle Hearse

Sidecar Hearse

For that final ride into the sunset

Sidecare Hearse

The Hearse Camper

There’s definitely room to lay down!

Hearse Camper

Hot Rod Hearse

When you need to get there fast

Hot Rod Hearse in Purple

Off Road Hearse

Tough Terrain, no problem

Off Road Hearse

Toyota Prius Hearse

Is this for real?

Toyota Prius Hearse

Images via Complex

A Review of Funeral Car Evolution – Part 3

hearsesHere is the conclusion of our three-part series of the various styles and appearance that hearses and funeral cars have had over the last 100 years or so.

The Eureka-Cadillac Three-Way Landau Hearse
If you like the automobile style that was so popular in the 1950s, you would like this type of hearse. It had the rounded edges and unique taillight styles.

Superior-Cadillac Royale Coupe de Fleur
This unique flower car made an appearance during the late 1950s and was a very popular addition for many funeral homes and mortuaries. You could put flowers in the back and there was a latch that allowed you to lift up the back cover so to load the casket. It was easy and classy all in one!

Superior-Cadillac Crown Royale
This is the style many people think of when they think of older hearses. It has the fins on the back with the curtains in the side windows and a sleek black appearance that only a hearse can have.

We hope you learned something or at least enjoyed these last three posts. You can learn more about these classic hearses by keeping up to date on our blogs.  Subscribe today!


A Review of Funeral Car Evolution – Part 2

funeral limousine dealerIn this series, we are continuing to look at the evolution of funeral cars through the ages.  Here are several more examples of how hearses have changed through the decades.

Buick Limousine Hearses
These funeral cars typically had carved windows and ornate decorations that resembled the horse-drawn carriages of decades past. These models generally had white-walled tires for extra class and a touch of sophistication, too.

The Model A Hearses
Model A funeral cars had elaborate carvings that you simply do not see on today’s hearses. The sides of these cars had carvings that looked like rippled curtains and decorative scrolls to give them a truly unique appearance.

Gothic Hearses
During the 1940s, gothic hearses and funeral cars were becoming fairly popular. The sides of the back of these cars looked like stained glass windows from an elaborate Catholic church. They had a reverent appearance that is hard to find these days.

Carved Flower Cars
Although they are called flower cars, these funeral cars were rare and they were designed to carry caskets rather than flowers. They did not have the typical appearance of a hearse, but they still had ornate panels and the sleek style of funeral cars.

Henny-Packard Flower Car
These flower cars were popular toward the end of the 1940s and included a platform in the back designed to carry flower arrangements. Underneath that platform was also a place where the casket could slide in and out.

In our next installment, we will have a few more brief descriptions of styles for you. Be sure to come back for more!

A Review of Funeral Car Evolution – Part 1

hearse dealersJust like anything that has changed over the years, funeral cars have evolved in the last hundred years or so. They have come a long way since the days when pallbearers would carry the casket from the church to the burial grounds.  In this three part series, we will take a brief look at how funeral cars and hearses have evolved over the years.  Here are a few of the different styles that funeral cars and hearses have experienced throughout history.

Auto Hearses
Once the idea of the automated vehicle caught on, funeral cars began becoming more and more automated, too. However, for many years they still looked like their horse-drawn counterparts complete with lanterns and woodwork on the sides.


More Sophistication
As funeral cars evolved, they became more sophisticated. One style had a tray that came out of the side of the hearse because there was not a back door. It was called a side-servicing casket table and it swiveled out of either side and then swiveled back in for more ease of loading and unloading the casket.


The Town Car
Some hearses and funeral cars became long and sleek to display even more class. On some, the driver’s area was open and the back part of the vehicle was closed in and covered with curtains to give the casket some privacy. The tires typically had white walls to give it an extra touch of class.


Those are just a few styles that funeral cars have evolved through over the years.  We will be adding onto this series in a new installment soon.  Come back for a brief description of more!


Bikes in a Funeral Procession

BikesIt’s not very often that you see a procession of bicyclists following the funeral cars behind a hearse, but in 2009, a procession like that made headlines and proved that customizing a funeral is a great way to honor a friend.

In Scottsboro, Alabama, a bicyclist was killed while riding his bike on Alabama 35. His name was Carlos Serrano, Sr. and he was part of the Tri-Sport Club, an organization in which members enjoy a number of activities that they enjoy as a group. Serrano was a longtime member of the biking club and he was active in his community and workplace for supporting and promoting physical fitness among employees. He was also very active in raising money for the needy.

While biking down Alabama 35, however, a driver struck him from behind. Guess what the driver was doing at the time: Reaching for his cell phone. He took his eyes off the road and it ended up costing somebody their life.

Following the funeral, several bicyclists from his group followed the hearse from the funeral home to the cemetery. It wasn’t as impressive as seeing a line of motorcyclists, but it was touching to see how much these other members cared for a fellow bicyclist.

This show of solidarity and unity provided a poignant display for the bereaved.   It drives home just how important customizing a funeral – both the service and the procession – can be when people want to make a loved one’s send off as unique and special as the person they are there to celebrate.