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