Buying a vintage hearse

Serious question: I want to buy an old funeral coach. Are there any special maintenance issues, or are they just like any other limousine? Right now I’m considering any Miller-Meteor coach from 1963-1972. Also, where does one buy them?

Just go to Google and do a search for “Hearse Clubs”. You will find that there are very many regional clubs around the country, and they would be your best source for information such as where to purchase a hearse, as well as any special maintenance considerations.

Google is your friend!

One thing to keep in mind is that “hearse miles” are pretty hard on the car because they do a lot of very slow driving and short trips. You’ll see a lot of low-mileage hearses out there, but you have to basically multiply the mileage by four or so to get a rough idea of how much the car has been used.

Usually a funeral home will have the nice hearse they use for funerals and the beater hearse they use to go pick up the body. By the time the hearse finishes it’s service as a beater hearse, it’s usually been very well-used. Some friends of mine were looking at a hearse to use as a band car, but the ones we found were not in very good mechanical shape. The vintage you’re looking at will be more of a collector vehicle that you will probably expect to be at least partially rebuilt and restored.

Watch the movie Harold and Maude.

A friend of mine bought an old hearse on a Cadillac chassis some thirty years ago. As I remember, it was hard on tires, but he used it like a truck–even hauled stone with it. I think he also pulled his boat and trailer with the hearse.