(first posted 6/20/2013) While Cadillac may have traditionally had a stronger presence in the hearse market Lincoln often wasn’t too far behind. Some cars just look right as limousines or hearses and I’d say the mid to late 1980s Lincoln looks better in its commercial guises than civilian trim.
Built by S&S this Lincoln sports the Victoria coachwork. The Victoria name has proved to be quite enduring as it has been offered since the 1950s.
A peek through the back window gives a view into the wood and red velour interior.
The stock rear tail lights and bumper integrate quite nicely with the custom coach work. The boxy styling of the Lincoln made it easy on the designer for the Victoria.
This sure beats having your last ride be in a gussied up minivan.
ok, Am I too weird to think, if you took this to a good body shop, got rid of the typical funeral coach adornments and painted it a cheerful color, you’d could have a unique camper? Of course the interior would be modified. But maybe the “taint” of hearse would be too much to overcome.
I have always paid attention to hearses for some odd reason and Lincoln’s were extremely rare in hearse usage, so rare that the first time I saw one, I thought I was seeing something mythical that didn’t really exist like a unicorn or mermaid.
My first thought was “this is the best looking box Town Car ever” – and then I read your piece. We agree.
My biggest gripe with the styling on these cars was always the knife-edged square styling with the perfectly round wheel cutouts. The profile of the car looks like it was styled by a baker to be a sheet cake. Isn’t this the same car shape all of us drew when we were 4 years old?
It took me the entire ten year run of this series of Lincoln to come to terms with its styling, and at the end I tolerated rather than embraced it. I would own one today over a MGM or CV purely on the strength of the additional wheelbase and the upgrade in interior quality. OK, the LIncoln star at the end of the hood, too. But I freely admit that it makes an uncommonly good looking hearse.
My take on the question of wheel-arch shape is that a perfect arc (portion of a circle) is a valid option under any circumstance, on any vehicle, because it reflects perfectly the object (a wheel) that it is associated with. If the wheel is well placed on its part of the body, no problem; if not, there’s only so much that a modified wheel opening can do to improve things ?
This is not to say that other shapes are not appropriate as well, based on any number of variables. Second best to the arc is a pair of openings that reflect each other in shape, in my view. Yet many an auto has two different and non-circular wheel openings well suited to the body in question . . .
I must agree with Mr. Cavanaugh. Even slightly squared wheel openings would complement the super square styling of the Lincoln much better than the elliptical style.
S&S sure liked to slather the bondo on nice and heavy. The S&S Caddy I found had lots of places like this one has on it’s pillar. Still a nice find as the Lincolns never were that popular as hearses.
Bondo on a coach built car FFS does nobody possess panel beating or forming skills in the US that certainly provides the reason Kiwi trained tradesmen are in such high demand abroad.
It’s true that there are several times more Cadillac hearses than Lincoln hearses, a phenomenon commonly expressed as ‘final drive ratio’.
Hah! Every day is Punday around here! I love it!
My vote for Pun ‘o the Week!!
Competition in the hearse business is stiff.
Are they trying to depress us Or is this their way of saying the end of Lincoln Week??
Either way it’s working..
“While Cadillac may have traditionally had a stronger presence in the hearse market Lincoln often wasn’t too far behind. Some cars just look right as limousines or hearses and I’d say the mid to late 1980s Lincoln looks better in its commercial guises than civilian trim.”
As a former hearse owner I strongly disagree with your observation. All modern hearses look like glorified station wagons. This Lincoln is no exception even though Lincoln never made a factory wagon. Even the long rear doors cant hide this fact. Where the coach builders fail is that they use the only available commercial chassis offered by a manufacturer instead of using, say a Mark or Continental instead of the mundane Town Car. Same goes for Cadillac or in my case Buick. Here’s a good example of what I’m talking about. You’d never guess that this hearse started out as a 85 Buick Riviera.
All I can say is, that Lincoln makes me really thankful my Crown Vic wagon an’t painted black.
I’ve often wondered why modern hearses are still based on sedans rather than an LWB Escalade (or Navigator). Conservatism in the funeral trade? OEMs not wanting their high-end SUVs, that already look too hearse-like for their own good, to be seen as actual hearses? Or some combination of both?
Well Lincoln started offering its MKT pseudo crossover whatchamacallit with a hearse/limo up fitter package.
And the funeral industry is very conservative too, look at the landau S-bar, that came out in the late 30’s, and its still on hearses now.
That Riviera is the most pimped out hearse that I have ever seen, and I like it.
Has anyone seen that old film ” The Handmaid’s Tale”? They used this type of Lincoln painted matt black all over as staff cars for the Taliban style regime controlling the U.S. This one would have fitted right in!
We’re getting a few of these turn up in New Zealand now ex-Japan. The featured example looks a lot more balanced design-wise than the ones I’ve seen here. I don’t know who converted the one below that’s for sale here, but it’s out of proportion to my eyes. Might make a great camper though…
Of course, along with the bad comes the worse. The TC hearse below is for sale near my parents’ house. It originally had an enormous and ornate Buddhist temple-like structure on the back for the coffin. It didn’t sell like that, so they whipped the Buddhist bit off and now they’re selling probably the world’s only Lincoln Town Car Ute. It hurts my eyes to look at it…
Ah a JDM hearse for Shintoist funerals! Would have liked to see that intact…
I did post a picture of it intact here on CC earlier this year – don’t ask me which article I posted it on though lol!
Is this any worse than the Blackwood?
(Sorry, that was a purely rhetorical question.)
Reminds me of the Cadillac Flower Cars (that I largely saw in 1960s body styles) that seemed to be popular at Mob Funerals.
There is a funeral home located in a not great section of Jacksonville that has a fleet of what appear to be near new Cadillacs. I don’t know Cadillacs well enough to say what year or model, but among the dozen or so identical hearses I’ve seen 1 or 2 flower cars of the same vintage. All the cars must have rolled out of the same factory as all look very similar…like right down to where various chrome bits are attached.
I am a bit slow on the uptake today. I was like “What’s with all the hearses on CC today?” before it hit me what day it is.
In Brazil, the rich folks had, back in the 60s and 70s, the option to hire a Galaxie 500 hearse for their last ride.
The few of them that survived the junkyard, became some kind of Holy Grail for the Hot Rod community.
I found a pic.
My uncle was a diehard Ford man. He died in 1992. We all commented on his last ride being in a Cadillac just didn’t seem right. Just by the luck of the draw the funeral home had a 1989 Lincoln hearse for his final ride. Even Henry Ford himself didn’t have that. His last ride was in a Packard. Strange but true.
I just saw a 1988 Lincoln Hearse, still in service at 30 yrs old, at a family friend’s funeral out in the country in the very little town of Wallis Texas last weekend. I should have asked the mileage and more info on it, but I failed to do so. I did take a photo, however.
Evidently the North Korean car industry was not up to the task of making a hearse fitting for the late “Dear Leader”.
When I lived in Angola, they had the answer. They put the remains of former President Agostinho Neto in a mausoleum styled after an old Soviet rocket.
Instead of using an American hearse to haul their next dead leader, maybe the North Koreans could be the 1st to launch one into space.
Better yet, why wait until he is dead.
If I recall correctly, the former Dear Leader had an affinity for 70’s Lincolns, having used them as state limos for quite some time. There were several in the procession.
Wow. That looks too much like a Lincoln to be a North Korean copy. Is the width right ?
Two threads on hearses, on Halloween — Corpse-side Classic, indeed ! Well done . . .
I have seen a couple of Hearses based on the Chrysler 300C in use here in Australia, very impressive looking vehicles, tastefully done.
I would like my last ride in one of these, going out in Hemi powered style !!!
I’m surprised that there is still a market for a “custom coach hearse”. Seems to me it would be a lot easier to just modify the interior of a Suburban/Yukon XL/Escalade and be done with it. All you would really need to do is use the police package suspension which lowers the vehicle (at least on the Tahoe) by about 1.5 ” so it looks a bit more dignified and less truck/SUV like. I have to believe it would cost a lot less than trying to modify a modern XTS into a hearse.
I hope i don’t take that ride for a very long time, but I’d like to do it in this. I think it’s gorgeous. The only thing I’d like to see different is the red velour. I’d prefer deep blue vinyl. Don’t know where this phrase came from, but “Vinyl’s final”.