I figured this Granada hearse belonged to countercultural character somewhere in the UK until I read in the description that it was spotted in Olympia, Washington (by John Lloyd, who uploaded it to the Cohort). Finding parts must present a challenge, which may explain the 1984-1988 Audi 5000 wheels fitted to this car. Seeing this hearse, I got to thinking: in the US we put curtains over the side windows of a hearse or omit them altogether whereas in the UK, the public is allowed an unobscured view. How did our practices in transporting the deceased diverge?
Cohort Outtake: I Recognize Them Wheels!
– Posted on February 26, 2015
That must be be one of one in America.We often have floral tributes to the deceased and it’s a British custom to display them.
Looks like Ford Signal Yellow from the early 70s,my brother had a Mk1 Escort in this colour.He fitted a 2 litre Pinto from a wrecked Capri to it
We have floral tributes here too–years ago it was common to see a “flower car” to carry the flowers in the procession from church to burial place. Many of them ended up looking something like Cadillac pickups, as the back was open. Not sure when that practice of displaying flowers in the procession fell out of favor, but it’s rarely if ever done anymore.
Interestingly (or not depending on one’s level of car-OCDness) the Granny’s front doors are the longer ones from the 2-door sedan. In NZ one frequently sees Australian Ford Falcon alloy wheels on Chrysler Valiants, Toyota Hiace vans and Hilux utes. They’re an inexpensive way to replacer the factory steel wheels with something snazzier.
I took the wheels off of a fwd caddy hearse once, I couldn’t believe the size of the brakes. The fronts looked like the front brakes off of a 3/4 ton 4X4 chevy truck, the rears were disc too. Large diameter (like 13″) but much thinner then the fronts, maybe they were from a vette.
I’m fascinated by funeral vehicles, and the sort of vehicular “etiquette” that seems to go with funerals. People must be transported to their grave in a grand hearse, their relatives in a limousine. Using these custom built cars just seems slightly extravagant.
Being seen seems to be a big part of UK funerals. The body will be taken to the funeral parlour in a black or silver van, ie a Renault Trafic or Mercedes Vito. These are marked as “Private Ambulance”. However, for the funeral, the coffin is on display in a hearse and the close relatives must be in a stretched Merc or something. There are floral tributes on the coffin, nowadays often spelling out “dad” or featuring a football club crest or similar.
It’s not unknown to have a professional mourner walking in front of the hearse in a top hat, or even using a horse-drawn hearse. You need to check out cockney funerals, especially those of gangsters – they have to be seen to be believed.
As regards the Granada, something which puzzles me is that Coleman Milne, who built Ford based limos and hearses, started basing them on Aussie Fairlanes after the Scorpio passed away. Mercedes seems to be the most popular with other companies, along with Jags and strangely IMO, Vauxhall Insignias. Volvo was popular and I still see the occasional Saab 9-5 funeral car or hearse. I would have thought it was easier to stretch a FWD car anyway and if funeral cars are about status, who wants a Ford when you could use a Merc, especially if the Ford option involves shipping from Oz?
Interesting, I was just thinking about the same thing after James May made an ambulance out of a hearse on tv recently. The funny part about that was I thought the Scorpio looks like a modern Cadillac so the front was okay but the back looked like an aquarium.
Here’s my 1980 Cadillac S & S Victoria Fleetwood Hearse :
DANGIT ! I rotated it , why does it still show upside down ?! . -Nate
Nice one Nate. Interestingly, when I click on the pic for an enlargement, it comes out right way up. Maybe you’re posting from Australia? Hehehe.
I forget but I’m pretty sure it still only has under 140,000 miles , as usual , I saved it from the crusher ~ it had a vinyl roof that failed allowing water to gather and cause surface rust and some holes you can see , just above the belt line ~ I cut that all away the day I got it .
TH400 tranny , 362 (Or something like that) C.I./ V-8 , it’s the standard 500 C.I. Caddy block underbored to make a terrific Commercial engine that you can’t wear out . they only used it for two years , Rottenchester Quardajunk carby .
I had to replace the cracked exhaust manifolds and some wobbly steering parts but overall it’s in pretty good shape .
I can’t figure out how to invert the photos I took with my iPod before I learned how to hold it properly , I have a bunch like this .
We drove it to Death Valley on a Road Rally , everyone there was appalled , I thought it right & proper .
I really like this little yellow rig , I’d rock it as a Shop Truck .
Saw this car at IKEA near Seattle a few years back, the left hand seat was occupied by a cadaverous looking mannequin with a top hat!!
I’m pretty sure it’s the one I saw on Craigslist in this area a couple of years ago.
Wonder if shipping that to Washington cost more than the value of the car? I also wonder if that is the original color?
When my father-in-law passed away, they wanted to charge the family $300.00 USD to transport him 200 yards in a “funeral car” (A.K.A.), a hearse. My wife and I told them no, and said we would take them in the back of my ’00 Dodge 2500, Cummins P/U. I guarantee that would have been his choice.
Here’s the truck, without the camper!