Along the route of our Sunday weekly walk here in Tokyo is a small transport company – they have several 29 pax Toyota Coaster mini-buses, a couple of Estima vans, and about five hearses. Last weekend they had a new model parked outside – I was sort of taken aback when I first saw it – as I’ll explain below…
This hearse or “Funeral Car” as they’re referred to here in Japan, is based on the current JDM Nissan Fuga; the Infiniti Q70 in the US. This is the first time I’ve seen a Fuga converted to a funeral car. Most are based on either the Lincoln Town Car or Cadillac Fleetwood/DeVille/XTS.
The more popular JDM model is the Toyota Crown.
You’ve probably seen pictures of these ornate, Buddhist-themed funeral cars in Japan – at least in our section of Tokyo, you don’t see them as frequently these days.
Several years ago, one of the all-time great Yokozuna (champion) of Sumo, Chiyonofuji, passed away – and he was transported in a regular funeral car rather than the more ornate version. Just another tradition that seems to be slipping away.
As I mentioned above, I did a double-take when I saw this – the Fuga’s taunt, “pulled-down”, curvy body just seems to clash somewhat with the square back-end, at least in my eyes.
As the previous owner of two Lincoln Coupes (a 1967 and a 1978), I’ve already told my wife that I’ll only be driven to my “final resting place” in a Lincoln – though it’s not like I’ll be able to tell…
Its probably a fine hearse but the styling doesnt work, Fugas are reasonably common here mostly exJDM I’d guess no wagons that Ive noticed though, not bad looking cars in that Nissan style they all wear.
Those rolling temples are fantastic. A close equivalent to ‘carved hearses’, popular in US before WW2.
I think that they’d make great delivery cars for a Chinese food 🍴 restaurant.
Or a float in a Chinese parade
Wow, I just noticed that the last shot is a six door – a combo hearse and limo? I would wonder if that would creep some people out. The one who can’t call “shotgun” has to ride in back? 🙂
The pall bearers ride in it.
An interesting approach to a 24 hour car tho.
Interesting find Jim. With its coke bottle body styling, and squared cargo roof design, the Fuga has a vague Ford Pinto wagon shape/proportion to its profile.
It’s weird that the Fuga has Infiniti badges, as it’s definitely a RHD Fuga.
AFAIK the Q50 is the only thing sold in Japan with Infiniti badges, even though it’s still actually sold there as a Nissan Skyline.
Maybe a funeral director is into that USDM look?
JDM Fuga has Infiniti badge:
https : // www3.nissan.co.jp/vehicles/new/fuga.html
Ah okay. Must have been relatively recent, all the ones I saw had Nissan badges. Which is strange, because Nissan just showed next year’s Skyline, and it has Nissan badges again.
On my recent trip to Ireland, I spotted this E-Class conversion. Stretch itself is nothing special, although it is pretty long for European – and especially for Irish – standards, as local roads in IRL are incredibly narrow. But the height of it was spectacular.
You can see different expectations of funeral business clients. In Poland, where I live, funeral cars are usually very low and sleek, to present as little of a casket to the public as possible. In this Irish example I can see people want to see the casket and flowers thru massive side windows.
That’s the hearse in it’s full (and rather long and tall) glory. 😉
I think I drew this exact car in first grade.