The Great Eco-Hearse Experiment – How a Nissan Leaf Conversion Made Headlines

Eco-friendly, electric and hybrid cars have officially gone mainstream thanks to the technological advancements and marketing savvy of companies like Tesla.  A green approach to transportation is now pretty well represented in both passenger cars and public transportation vehicles.  But this green trend hasn’t made much of a change in the world of hearses and funeral cars.

The Converted Nissan Leaf

One UK funeral home, however, has launched an interesting campaign to change that.  Leverton & Sons operates out of North London, placing them at the epicenter of traffic and congestion.  The funeral home also has a reputation for advancing sustainable and environmentally friendly burial options so the idea of an eco-friendly hearse is a natural match.

Leverton & Sons teamed up with Brahms Electric Vehicles to create a fleet of funeral cars and hearses from Nissan ‘Leaf’ models.  The concept was a success and won the company the Best Green Funeral Director Title in 2013 and again in 2017.  They were also shortlisted for the Camden Business Awards ‘Carbon Reduction and Energy Efficiency’ category.

Critical success aside, the enduring popularity of the option has proven there is a market for environmentally friendly options when it comes to funeral transportation.  With the growing popularity of low and zero-emission vehicles, the market for eco-friendly options is clearly thriving.

While this project was an aftermarket modification it sends a clear message to auto makers and funeral car developers:  People want green options even after they’re gone.

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Collecting Hearses: Child’s Play

Funeral car fans may pine for a classic hearse or even plan their own customized dream funeral car but you don’t have to break the bank to start an amazing collection.  Models and sets have made it easier than ever for all funeral car fans to begin developing their collections no matter what their budget.

Matchbox City Action ’63 Cadillac Hearse 1:64 Die Cast Car Model  ($35.95, Amazon)

Most, if not all, of us remember Matchbox cars as being synonymous with race cars.  But the toy car company knows that the kids who cut their teeth on race cars grow up to be gearheads with a soft spot for these nostalgic collectibles.  This 1:64 scale die cast model is bound to please any funeral car fan with childhood memories of Matchbox cars.  Reading through the comments, we found a special tidbit on this model.  One reviewer reports that the car is “the one with the hand coming out of the coffin in back”.  In order to see it if you decide to invest (and open the package) you’ll need to “look from the passenger side back, and everything is gray, but the coffin is open and a hand is out laying on the open lid”.


1921 Ford Model T Hearse with Ornate Carved Detail ($190.95, Rakuten)

This 1:18 detailed model is made by GreenLight toys as part of their Precision Collection.  It comes complete with detailed replica coffin, rotating wheels and opening driver passenger and rear doors.



Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles T-Machines Rat King in Hearse Diecast Vehicle ($15, Gift Universal)

Hearse fans who grew up in the 80s and 90s are bound to fall in love with this throwback hearse model.  The officially licensed TMNT model allows fans to take on Shredder and the Foot Clan with this “powerful line of T-Machines to save the streets of New York. Grab your Shell and Roll!”



Riding With The Munsters ($99.99, The Hamilton Collection)

What toy hearse collection would be complete without one of the most identifiable hearses of all time?  This 1:18-Scale Hearse Sculpture features amazing detail.

  • Fully-sculpted 1930s-style hearse in oversized 1:18 collector scale
  • Gleaming chrome-look trim
  • Iconic skull hood ornament
  • Hand-numbered with a matching Certificate of Authenticity
  • Side images of the entire Munster clan – including Herman, Lily, Grandpa, Eddy and Marilyn
  • A three-dimensional Herman Munster “bursting” out through the roof



Nightmare Before Christmas Hearse ($99.99, The Hamilton Collection)

Speaking of eye catching hearses, consider this homage to Tim Burton’s holiday crossover classic A Nightmare Before Christmas.  Inspired by the design of their Munster hearse, this officially licensed product features plenty of amazing details including the Pumpkin King himself, Jack Skellington, sitting stop the 1930s style hearse.



LEGO Vampyre Hearse ($72.50, Amazon)

This now-retired Lego set is in high demand but can still be found on sites like Amazon, eBay and other resale venues.  Set features invclude:

  • Includes the Vampyre’s Hearse and Dr. Rodney Rathbone’s motorcycle
  • Moonstone accessory and 4 weapons
  • Coffin with catapult function
  • Dodge the Vampyre’s catapult attack
  • Measures over 4″ high, 3″ wide and 7″ long when complete


Warden Slaps Ticket on Hearse While Driver Leaves to Collect Deceased

Hearses and funeral cars often get special treatment when it comes to parking and traffic in general.  Funeral processions go through red lights and get the right of way at any intersection.  But one funeral professional recently learned that soft glove treatment isn’t always the default.

Recently, the London Metro reported an incident where an undertaker was ticketed while collecting the body of someone who had recently died.   A local bystander, George Portsmouth, was sitting near a window while visiting North Cumbria University Hospital in Carlisle, Cumbria, UK when he noticed a strange development unfolding outside.

He watched as a funeral car pulled up and the drivers walked inside to collect the body of a recently departed person.  As soon as the drivers went inside, George saw a parking warden come up and ticket the vehicle which was parked immediately outside the doors.  Granted, the car was in fact parked illegally.  To be fair, though, when transporting a body, it’s usually best that you don’t have to roll the gurney through the parking lot.

Check out the full story – including pictures of the warden slapping on the ticket and then running away – over at the Metro site.  What do you think?  Should funeral cars be forced to adhere to the same parking rules as everyone else?  Or does the work of collecting the dead override parking lot regulations?