Mar 1, 2012
Chris Salamone
Comments Off on Dearly Departed Ride In Style

Dearly Departed Ride In Style

If you found yourself in Madrid last week, then you might have stumbled upon one of the most fascinating collections of funeral vehicles ever assembled. At the classic auto show in Madrid, aka the International Classic Vehicle Salon, an impressive gathering of highly ornate hearses (is there even a plural for hearse?) came together to wow onlookers. We’ve all seen the mega-Cadillac hearse, horse-drawn hearse, gothic hearse, and even the occasional hand-carved barn find, but we’ve never seen such a potent collection of King-worthy burial machines.

A regular of Hemmings Classic Car’s Lost and Found Column, Miguel Caballero Covián, was kind enough to forward these images along and we’re mighty grateful. Although hard to spot, some American classics can be spotted buried amongst all the royal craftsmanship.

For starters, two of the vehicles appear to be former Studebakers with some inconsistency as to the chassis and engine chronology. The classic car experts at Hemmings noted: “The given chassis number and engine number [of the vehicle carrying license plate M-42095] – 32109 and 02164, respectively – don’t seem to make much sense in the context of late 1920s Studebakers.” But no matter, the mere fact that a highly-customized Studebaker funeral mod has been used, as recently as 1986 for Madrid Mayor Enrique Tierno Galvan, is enough for us.

Another of the royal mounts appears to be a 1928 Lincoln V8. Like the aforementioned Studebaker dilemma, restorations have occurred without a clear paper trail – at least publicly mounted on the vehicle’s placard. Throughout the annals of history, Lincolns have been used for funeral operations time and time again. But we doubt few, if any, Lincolns could be more creepily elegant than this particular beaut. Black matte paint aside, lanterns literally adorn an exterior which appears to be sporting head-to-toe gothic carvings. Tim Burton would be lovestruck.

The rest of the lot is borderline unidentifiable from an American perspective, but sources suggest they could be variations on the French Latil. Gone are the days when pyramids and obelisks were constructed for vanity projects, US Presidents received 2% of the total federal budget as salary, and the elite pushed their hubris on the broken backs of a working class (sort of), so we probably won’t see any future funeral hearses to rival these any time soon. Enjoy!

Source : Hemmings Blog

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