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Shouldn't Hearses Be Black?


Guest BJM
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Most I have seen are black. In my area of the country there are some funeral homes that use white hearses, and a few that use light grey hearses. The one that I owned many years ago, was green, but it was repainted that color when it was used by a rescue squad. It was a combination car capable of being used as a hearse or as an ambulance.

http://www.phantomcoaches.org/wwwboard/messages/595.html

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My friend Ed Logan (BCA member) has a dark navy blue one of these--same year, same style. I was with him when he bought it at a used hearse dealership in Cincinnati, Ohio. The owner of that dealership had about 100 of them in stock, all years, all colors, all makes. The man could tell you with pretty good certainty what part of the country the hearse came from, and the ethnic background of the funeral home owners, based on what color and what make the hearse was--it was amazing! For example, Black funeral homes in the South usually have white Cadillacs for their hearses.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

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I was just about to add my thoughts when I noticed Pete's comments , and those of Chris as well - that holds true for the New Orleans area as well as other parts of the Deep South - black, silver, gray and white. Our white 1994 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham served as a livery / rental to local funeral homes before I bought it back in '05 with only 50K (slowly-driven?) miles on it.

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Bryan,

No, fortunately there is no Mr. Hearse out there.

I had to double-check, but I was right. The common thought is that the fixture that held the candles hanging above a coffin looked like a 18th century wood harrow with candle "teeth" sticking up out of a flat board. "Herse" is Middle English for harrow. "Herse" later became the name for a fancy structure built over a coffin and then was extended to the name of the horse drawn vehicle that carried the coffin.

It was probably changed to "hearse" when American spelling was "standardized" in the early 19th century.

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Edited by Dwight Romberger (see edit history)
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I had a '50 ambulance/hearse that was a dark brownish maroon and brownish gray two tone once upon a time, sold it to Ed Logan who painted it blue and white if i remember correctly. I really liked the original color, very stylish and classy. Found the car in Arkansas, so, maybe that was their color scheme. Paul

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Yep... I'm north of the 49th and I painted a dark maroon one once. I've seen light grey, silver/black, black, light metallic tan.. just depended on the personal preferences of the fleet owner. There is no standardized colors for the industry other than what is popular and accepted.

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When I was growing up, my friend's father owned a

local funeral parlor and had a Buick hearse of the same

vintage (early 1980's) as the one B. J. M. posted.

However, his was metallic gray--a seldom seen color.

His "funeral car" sedan was a early 1980's Electra Park Avenue

in a nearly matching color of gray.

You don't see Buick hearses nearly as often as Cadillacs.

A salesman told him, "You'll lose a lot of prestige if you don't

have a Cadillac." But that was irrelevant. My friend's father

wasn't pretentious. He was a modest, friendly man--and he was a Buick fan.

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  • 2 months later...

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