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Perhaps some of the most beautiful and graceful vehicles ever created, the hearse, or funeral coach, has always seemed to get a bad rap. People seeing them drive by get chills and look away. It may be because hearses remind us of death. The last ride that we will ever take on earth.

But I see them very differantly. Hearses have a grace about them. With their dark color, draped windows, scrolls and long bodies, they omit a sense of dignity and beauty. Most pre 1970 hearses were hand-built. Creations of a coach company that would take the chassis and drivetrain from an auto manufacturer and extend it, then drop their own body and interior onto it.

Interiors were made of imported woods, velvet and satin in many colors then casket rollers were installed. The car was designed by the undertaker in many instances. Perhaps the greatest interest I have in hearses is the fact that most of them were one-of-a-kind. No two were completely alike. This is why when I see an old hearse or ambulance rotting away somewhere, I get a sick feeling. These automobiles are the rareist of the rare.

So sit back and enjoy these pictures. If you have any interest in old hearses you should get some satisfaction in knowing that, at least these have survived.

Horsedrawn Hearse ~

Horsedrawn Hearse ~

Old hearse set for funeral ~

Old hearse set for funeral ~

Old Spanish Horsedrawn Hearse ~

Old Spanish Horsedrawn Hearse ~

1914 Cadillac Carved Panel Hearse ~

1914 Cadillac Carved Panel Hearse ~
Original advertising picture

1916 Giesel Carved Panel Hearse ~

1916 Giesel Carved Panel Hearse ~

1916 Packard Funeral Bus ~

1916 Packard Funeral Bus ~
This was an entire funeral in one vehicle. Compartments for casket, flowers and mourners

1919 Reo Funeral Coach ~

1919 Reo Funeral Coach ~

1921Sayers & Scovill Carved Panel Hearse ~

1921Sayers & Scovill Carved Panel Hearse ~
Unrestored

1922 Packard Carved Panel Hearse ~

1922 Packard Carved Panel Hearse ~
All hand-carved body panels

1922 Henney Hearse ~

1922 Henney Hearse ~

1922 Pierce Arrow Carved Panel Hearse ~

1922 Pierce Arrow Carved Panel Hearse ~

1925 Stephens Hearse ~

1925 Stephens Hearse ~

1927 Cadillac Hearse ~

1927 Cadillac Hearse ~

1928 Cunningham Carved Panel Hearse ~

1928 Cunningham Carved Panel Hearse ~
Original picture

1928 Cadillac Hearse ~

1928 Cadillac Hearse ~

1929 Cunningham Cathedral Hearse ~

1929 Cunningham Cathedral Hearse ~
All hand-carved wood interior compartment

1929 Ford Model-A Hearse ~

1929 Ford Model-A Hearse ~

1929 Packard Ambulance ~

1929 Packard Ambulance ~

1929 Studebaker "Child's" Hearse ~

1929 Studebaker "Child's" Hearse ~
Shorter body for smaller caskets

1930 Pierce Arrow Hearse ~

1930 Pierce Arrow Hearse ~

1930 Funeral Fleet ~

1930 Funeral Fleet ~

1930 Cadillac Half Coach Hearse ~

1930 Cadillac Half Coach Hearse ~
Open driver's compartment had a roof cover that was put in place for rainy days

1930 Chevrolet Hearse ~

1930 Chevrolet Hearse ~
Canadian

1930 Packard Hearse ~

1930 Packard Hearse ~
Years later being used for something else

1930 Packard Hearse ~

1930 Packard Hearse ~
At airport transporting a body

1931 Packard Hearse ~

1931 Packard Hearse ~

1931 Buick Hearse ~

1931 Buick Hearse ~
Original picture

1931 Henney Hearse ~

1931 Henney Hearse ~

1934 Cunningham Hearse ~

1934 Cunningham Hearse ~

The drapes are actually metal and part of the body

1934 Pierce Arrow Henney Arrowline Hearse ~

1934 Pierce Arrow Henney Arrowline Hearse ~

1934 Packard Hearse ~

1934 Packard Hearse ~

1936 Buick Funeral Home Fleet ~

1936 Buick Funeral Home Fleet ~
Original picture

1936 Cadillac Fleetwood Hearse ~

1936 Cadillac Fleetwood Hearse ~

1936 Cadillac Stretch Limo ~

1936 Cadillac Stretch Limo ~

1937 Buick Hearse ~

1937 Buick Hearse ~

1937 Packard Flower Car ~

1937 Packard Flower Car ~

1937 Packard Flower Car Interior

1938 Hudson Hearse ~

1938 Hudson Hearse ~
Setup for steam power

1938 Packard Henney Hearse ~

1938 Packard Henney Hearse ~

Sign in windshield proclaims car's purpose

1938 Packard Millertown Hearse ~

1938 Packard Millertown Hearse ~

1938 Packard Flower Car ~

1938 Packard Flower Car ~

1939 Cadillac Carved Panel Hearse ~

1939 Cadillac Carved Panel Hearse ~

1939 Packard Flower Car ~

1939 Packard Flower Car ~

1940 Cadillac Eureka Hearse ~

1940 Cadillac Eureka Hearse ~

1940 Cadillac Ambulance ~

1940 Cadillac Ambulance ~

1940 Pontiac Superior Hearse ~

1940 Pontiac Superior Hearse ~

1940 Cadillac Superior Ambulance ~

1940 Cadillac Superior Ambulance ~

1940 Packard Ambulance ~

1940 Packard Ambulance ~

1941 Packard Henney Hearse ~

1941 Packard Henney Hearse ~

1941 Cadillac Flower Car ~

1941 Cadillac Flower Car ~
Original add

1941 Cadillac Carved Panel Hearse (BEFORE) ~

1941 Cadillac Carved Panel Hearse (BEFORE) ~
Found in an old farmer's barn, dosen't look like much hope for this one

1941 Cadillac Carved Panel Hearse (AFTER) ~

1941 Cadillac Carved Panel Hearse (AFTER) ~
But then again, never give up! A fabulous restoration job did absolute wonders for this old girl

1941 Packard Carved Panel Hearse ~

1941 Packard Carved Panel Hearse ~

1942 Packard Ambulance ~

1942 Packard Ambulance ~

1943 Packard Hearse ~

1943 Packard Hearse ~

1946 Cadillac Hearse ~

1946 Cadillac Hearse ~

1948 Ford Ambulance

1948 Ford Ambulance

1949 Chevrolet Barnett Hearse ~

1949 Chevrolet Barnett Hearse ~

1940s Funeral ~

1940s Funeral ~

1952 Chevrolet Ambulance ~

1952 Chevrolet Ambulance ~

1954 Cadillac Superior Coach Company ~

1954 Cadillac Superior Coach Company ~

1954 Packard Hearse-Ambulance Combo ~

1954 Packard Hearse-Ambulance Combo ~

1955 Cadillac Ambulance ~

1955 Cadillac Ambulance ~

1957 Chrysler Imperial Landau Hearse ~

1957 Chrysler Imperial Landau Hearse ~

1958 Cadillac Hearse-Ambulance Combo ~

1958 Cadillac Hearse-Ambulance Combo ~

1959 Cadillac Landau Hearse ~

1959 Cadillac Landau Hearse ~

1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Ambulance, (Ghostbusters) ~

1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Ambulance, (Ghostbusters) ~
"Who Ya Gonna Call?"

1960 Cadillac Landau Hearse ~

1960 Cadillac Landau Hearse ~

1962 Cadillac Ambulance ~

1962 Cadillac Ambulance ~

1963 Cadillac Hearse ~

1963 Cadillac Hearse ~

1963 Cadillac Hearse ~

1963 Cadillac Hearse ~

1968 Oldsmobile 98 Hearse ~

1968 Oldsmobile 98 Hearse ~

1969 Cadillac Hearse ~

1969 Cadillac Hearse ~
Look close, there is a hearse in the picture

1996 Cadillac Hearse ~

1996 Cadillac Hearse ~

He wanted everyone to know.