Cohort Sighting: 1959 Ford Hearse – Improperly Attired For The Occasion


When skimming through the Cohort this morning, this black hearse caught my eye.  Ford’s Jet Tube taillights never fail to attract attention, but the overall look of this converted wagon, spotted Down Under by marlin_eightyseven, is somewhat off.  I wouldn’t want a loved one transported to their final resting place in this thing; instead of looking somber like a proper hearse, it looks a bit happy.


The primary culprit is the extra lights at the back of those fins which look too festive for a funeral; for anyone familiar with the infamous smiling hearse driver in the 1976 film Burnt Offerings, the effect is quite similar.


The lack of a C-pillar also imparts a slightly distorted look to a shape already wearing bizarre growths on its flanks.  I don’t think this car really wanted to wear fins.  Oddly enough, in searching for a bit more info on the ’59 Ford, I found an old CC in which Paul expresses a somewhat similar sentiment about its proportions.  Always nice to know you’re in good company.


Not that this Ford doesn’t make a great statement today–it’s a perfect piece of macabre kitsch.  There’s something about black colored cars of the era with their chrome, fins and uprightness which is already imposing.  The overall effect, combined with the playful use of a hearse as a daily driver, is pleasingly irreverent and for its role, the unintentional cheekiness of this car’s styling works very well.  Judging by the look of the appropriately red interior, it gets many chances to show itself off to today’s traffic, where drivers are likely to give it a few extra inches of space.  Don’t get too close or you’ll be next.


Related reading:

Curbside Classic: 1959 Mercury Monterey: A Little More Chrome Please?

Curbside Classic: 1960 Ford Starliner – Haste Makes Waste

Curbside Classic: 1959 Edsel “Eco-Boost”

CC Outtake: 1959 Mercury Monterey Two-Door Hardtop – Mercury Retrograde