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Vintage Hearses, Funeral Coaches and Flower Cars On Main Street Anywhere: A Pictorial


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Those '42 Cadillacs are truly unusual. They have such an interesting design to them. I just wish I could find more info and better pictures of them. The "Steam Hearse" is quite a puzzle. I came across it on one site that called it part of the "steam punk" scene. It seems to me that it's one thing to create fantasy contraptions on paper, but if this is a real, but non-functioning "vehicle" of some sort, I simply don't understand the effort or the art. The spindly wheels and the cow catcher, which looks like a dreadful afterthought, mock any valid design integrity in my opinion.

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This is also a Cuba car . Labeled as,"Unknown bus-car,"I'd say it's a Packard hearse,about 1941.

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Looks like all the stiffs ride upright in this jalopy.

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Posted on HAMB by Lowkat, This International K was cleaning up the Bomber crash into the Empire State Bldg.It's labeled as an ambulance but for Mortuary duty. Think of how this accident caused the building standards for skyscrapers to withstand an airplane collision.

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In the early fifties, the Argentine government sought out an American auto manufacturer to build and operate a plant in their country. Kaiser Frazer responded to the incentives and built a plant there which saw it's first car roll of the line in July of '58. They made Kaiser Manhattans, but renamed them "Carabelas". In anticipation of the unimproved roads upon which they would be driven, they came with beefier suspensions, sturdy leather upholstery and only came with manual transmissions. They were only in production for four years, although they simultaneously manufactured Jeeps which continued to made there until '78.

Here are a few Kaiser Carabela hearses made in that Latin American style we saw earlier:

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These were all from a site called "Gomotors": Kaiser Carabela Hearse Car - articles, features, gallery, photos, buy cars - Go Motors

This one has been modified (I assume) into something quite cheery:

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I've been thinking about these extremely long Latin American jobs and it occurs to me that they may simply be built on eight door airport limo chassis.

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I hunted around for a picture of a similar aged Buick airport limo, but can't seem to find one.

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As much as I admire all of the intricate cast and carved embellishments on these, I really have to applaud the sheet metal benders who crafted that beautiful roof on this '56:

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I'm actually quoting myself from much earlier in this thread -- Compare the beautiful roof on this '54 (sorry that I called a '56) and the less than stellar work on this '65 Superior flower car. Better, I think, to have gone back to the drawing board, than to have released this shabby design:

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It surprised me a little, but Henry actually took his last ride in a Packard:

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This made me a little curious so I tried to find out about William C Durant and Walter P Chrysler, but couldn't find any images.

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I found a picture of a post war Cadillac airport limo. I'm fairly certain now that it must be the basis of those couple of extended length open-air Latin American hearses from earlier. I can't imagine how they might have otherwise decided upon that length:

(I apologize about the pic, it was the best that I could find.):

1946_Cadillac_stretch_limo.jpg

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It surprised me a little, but Henry actually took his last ride in a Packard:

This is a well known fact, that's why I said he should have waited till 51. The story goes that they couldn't find a Ford or Lincoln hearse in time(hard to believe they couldn't just pop one out). Heaven forbid they'd use a Caddy so they settled for a Packard.

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It surprised me a little, but Henry actually took his last ride in a Packard:

This is a well known fact, that's why I said he should have waited till 51. The story goes that they couldn't find a Ford or Lincoln hearse in time(hard to believe they couldn't just pop one out). Heaven forbid they'd use a Caddy so they settled for a Packard.

Dave, I must have been absent that day. I simply never knew that before.

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I first saw this flower car with its matching '40 Ford DeLuxe hearse when for sale at a gas station on the N.W side of Chicago around 1970. The F.C. was for sale through Volo museum just a few years ago. Don't know what happened to the hearse. The long running board was created from a splice of two originals.

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I first saw this flower car with its matching '40 Ford DeLuxe hearse when for sale at a gas station on the N.W side of Chicago around 1970. The F.C. was for sale through Volo museum just a few years ago. Don't know what happened to the hearse. The long running board was created from a splice of two originals.

It almost looks like the FC was made from two cars.

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This has been a great thread, I have always been a fan of professional cars. I looked at a 77 Cadillac Hearse once but the very cramped driving position turned me off to buying it. About 20 years ago I owned a 79 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham station wagon conversion which had a bit of the hearse look but had a conventional roomy interior. It was originally yellow with an ugly brown padded vinyl top and being from Illinois it was massively rusty. I taught myself how to weld and rebuilt the body, got rid of the vinyl top and painted it black. I put a 500 cubic inch motor from a 70 Eldorado in it and had a lot of fun with it. Due to its color everyone always assumed it was a hearse!

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I found a picture of a post war Cadillac airport limo. I'm fairly certain now that it must be the basis of those couple of extended length open-air Latin American hearses from earlier. I can't imagine how they might have otherwise decided upon that length:

(I apologize about the pic, it was the best that I could find.):

1946_Cadillac_stretch_limo.jpg

How do you figure a Cadillac airport limo would be the "basis" for the hearses? There were no airport limos built by Cadillac that someone would be buying to convert. They were all custom built, either by a coachbuilder or in someone's body shop, the same as the hearses were.

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)
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I said that I thought that those super long Latin American hearses might be built on airport limo chasis - not on the airport limos. Please forgive me if I've made a mistake, but I assumed that the factory offered their cowl, front sheet metal & chasis packages in different wheel bases, in much the same way that trucks and vans come. Do you know for a fact that I'm wrong?

Edited by Hudsy Wudsy (see edit history)
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Hudsy you're not totally wrong. The Cadillac commercial chassis only came with the front sheetmetal in one wheelbase configuration from the factory. The individual body manufacturers may have extended them to suit their needs.

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Thank you, Bleach. I stand corrected. Then my assumption about their utilizing an already available factory extended wheelbase is simply wrong. I still can't figure how they decided on the "correct" length for those ridiculously long open air heasres.

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This was from an earlier post by Matt Hinson. I'm not sure of the make

MCHinson

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Re: Someone on here is looking for a hearse.

While we are talking about Hearses, I guess I should post a photo of an interesting one.

I am not really looking to buy another Hearse, but I really like this one.

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Thanks Dave, That one is a fairly early Model T Ford hearse. I knew that I had posted it here previously and was thinking of posting it in this thread. I spent a few minutes looking on my computer for my photos of that hearse last night, but gave up before I found it. I did not think to search for my older post of it... Somewhere I have some photos of my first car, a 1961 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Hearse. I need to find some of those and scan them...

I'm looking to buy this car or similar any info is appreciated. Jack

Emerson jacke218@gmail.com

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