I stumbled upon this garage full of stiffmobiles recently and though I’d share. A great smorgasbord of transportation options are offered for even the most discriminating of cadavers in this town. One is sure to find the wheels that will pair up well with the casket. After all, you only get to ride in these once, so it’s nice to know there’s a wide choice.
Here’s the cream of the crematorium, then. Which one would you pick? Toyota, Nissan and Lincoln are in the running, though there’s a surprise fourth entry at the (bitter) end.
There are two broad types of funeral coach available in this country: the “regular” or Western kind, all black with a mock landau bar, or the traditional Japanese mini-temple kind. The garage had two of the latter, the above being based on a Toyota Crown S170.
The other one was this turn-of-the-century Lincoln. A fine vehicle to be sure, but perhaps a Japanese V8-powered chassis would have been more suitable – something like a President or a Proudia? Strange what they did to this Town Car’s headlights, too.
It seems Lincolns are prized as commercial cars in this country. So it wasn’t too surprising to see that this late ‘00s Town Car got the Western-style treatment, which suits it pretty well.
Toyota Crowns probably constituted the bulk of the JDM hearse fleet until recent times — perhaps they still do. The S170, made between 1999 and 2007, was the last generation to include a wagon in the line-up, which I guess helped Toyota corner the hearse market for a while. There were two at the hearse garage, and I caught this one on the street.
Despite the lack of wagon, Crowns are still in the game. This is a 14th generation S210 Royal Saloon conversion made sometime between 2012 and 2018. Not nearly as classy as the old S170s or the Lincolns, but that’s what the industry had to work with.
Alternately, they can work with Nissan, and they do. The contorted and curvaceous Fuga / Cima is not the most obvious choice for a hearse, but then it’s appropriately badged as an Eterniti, so…
And finally, there’s this. Yes, it’s the sole FWD contender. Yes, it’s European. And yes, it’s a Volkswagen hearse, two words that definitely do not belong next to one another.
This is all kinds of wrong. Wouldn’t want to be seen dead in that.
CC Outtake: Nissan Fuga Hearse – A Curve Meets a Square, by Jim Brophy
This VW hearse doesn’t look quite as close to the end of its life as did the one from Mexico you linked to.
Black seems to be the correct color for a hearse. Years ago a funeral director in a very small town told me he and his two competitors had decided to each have their own colored liveries – white, black, and silver. With three morticians in a county with 5,000 people he knew he had stiff competition.
“Stiff competition”-if that is meant to be a pun I like it!
Lol at “stiffmobiles” and the other clever puns. My funeral coach had better be a Cadillac.
If one’s deceased avoirdupois was that of the person who is of the correct weight for someone two feet taller, one might think that upon being uploaded into the precariously cantilevered boot of the Crown or the VW, there would be some risk of one’s mourning family seated further forward in the vehicle joining one in an unedifying heap as the car attained the attitude of a 1960’s funny car on take off, so though one would necessarily have limited input into the decision at that stage, one would be sensible to choose neither.
In the US and I suspect in Japan as well, the family does not ride in the hearse with the deceased. The entire rear compartment of the hearse is for the coffin and carriage. There is only room for a driver and front seat passenger.
I wonder why they all have vent visors on the windows? A funeral director who smokes cigarettes, or just for style?
It’s also interesting they cover just the wood carvings on the sides of the temple-style ones while they’re stored in the garage. Just to protect from scrapes and scratches in storage, or some ceremonial significance to keeping them covered when not in use?
Someone has to say it, people are just dying to go for a ride.
I thought the hearse of choice would be a Honda Odyssey.
Not only do they look the part, the name is a natural.
Lancia Dedra – that’d be a good hearse.
I came across this listing in Hemming Motors for sale a while ago. It has been either sold or taken down since then. Here’s a link to the article about the Cadillac done in Japanese “miyagata” hearse.
I wish I could have snapped a pic but I saw a hearse based on a Honda Crosstour in Guadalajara earlier this year. It was a strange looking beast.
You would think the conversion companies would weld the rear doors shut or at least remove the door handles to make its sedan roots less obvious.
When I clicked on this post I got an ad included that said,
“Jewish funerals in Chicago are
$2000-$4500 less with Mitzvah”
Hmmm? Don’t know if it was personalized just for me or for everyone reading the post.
The Japanese diecast model makers Diapet do a Continental hearse in gold or black.