Drop Dead Gorgeous?

XJ Hearse

Seeing a Jaguar XJ hearse on the Westway a few weeks ago, made me realise that modern design does not adapt well to the production of a dignified funeral wagon. Consider Coleman Milne’s latest offerings based on Mercedes and Ford base vehicles. Try getting out of those back doors with your top hat in place.

Mercedes Hearse

This isn’t really a criticism of Coleman-Milne’s designers. They might well have proposed custom rear doors with higher openings, only to have them vetoed on cost grounds, but the resulting vehicles underline the basic inhumanity of contemporary design. Alive, like obedient performing dogs, we contort ourselves into today’s cars, through anthropomorphically unfriendly openings, to settle into an approximation of comfort, our heads brushing the roof whilst we squint round thick curved pillars. Dead, we rigorously avoid such exertion, but we still end up being the butt of the last laugh on a rear platform that appears better suited for transporting a couple of half-scale pole dancers in a carnival parade, than the respectful, final transit of a loved one.

Sheerline Hearse

Note to my executors : Don’t make me travel in any vehicle that I wouldn’t want to be seen dead in.

One thought on “Drop Dead Gorgeous?”

  1. I had a look at Coleman Milne’s website and was genuinely surprised at the variety of hearses available. I was particularly taken by the pre-owned Saab 9-5 – only 55,000 miles with standard wreath rail. (which personally I would have to insist upon) No top hat issues here either, since the door frames have been sufficiently enlarged. One careful owner too, it would be fairly safe to assume. And only £13,950, or £251 per month with easy terms. The only problem is that I’m unsure – (with Saab itself now semi-deceased) – that people might consider a Saab hearse in questionable taste?

    Which got me wondering, how low could you go? An Allegro VDP Estate would still make an excellent budget hearse, having the necessary gravitas, if not a lot of head, leg or wreath-room. It would however demonstrate that the deceased had a robust sense of humour. Admittedly the addition of a coffin would have played loving hell with the hydragas. But that’s a hearse I would be seen dead in…

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