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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”.

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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.

 

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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!”

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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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

Getting Your Funeral Car Ready for Summer

There are often plenty of articles and information about winterizing cars, but what about steps that need to be taken ahead the onslaught of summer?

Hearses and funeral cars for family need to be kept in tip-top shape all year round and that means preparing for long, hot, sunny summer days.  Here are some quick tips on how you can get your fleet ready to weather whatever summer throws your way.

Test Your Air-Conditioning – Run the A/C for a few minutes in each of your hearses and funeral cars.  Be sure the cold air is strong and that there are no weird or foul odors.

Swap Tires if Needed – In some parts of the country, swapping out winter tires for summer versions can help improve performance and gas consumption.

Check Those Brakes – Winter traffic patterns often mean that brakes see extra wear and tear over the colder months.  Do a full inspection of your brakes to ensure you don’t need to have anything replaced.

Top Up Wiper Fluid – Make sure you have plenty of wiper fluid in your car to handle bugs and other windshield pests.  Since the weather will be warmer, you can also dillute your wiper fluid to help your budget.  Be sure to check the specs on whatever fluid you use so that you don’t dillute too much.

Check Under the Hood – While you’re topping up your wiper fluid, do a visual check on your other fluids as well as belts.  Check for belts that look dry or cracked and get them replaced BEFORE they snap.

Double Check That Coolant – Summer means heat and heat means your coolant levels should be spot on.  A coolant tester (available through any auto shop) will let you know if the water to ethylene glycol ratio needs adjusted.

Wash and Wax – Give your fleet a good wash and follow up with a wax treatment to remove any salt that may have built up over the winter.

Taking the time to go through these simple steps will ensure your entire fleet remains reliable through the summer.  Getting ahead of potential problems also keeps your overall costs low and gives you peace of mind.  Pretty much a win-win for funeral home owners as well as the people you work to support.

 


Funeral Car Theft – Joyriders and Jokers or Thoughtless Thugs

You wouldn’t think funeral cars – specifically hearses – would be a big target for car thieves.   While the vehicles are only used sporadically, their ready access doesn’t make them exactly desirable.  They’re pretty easy to spot and attract attention wherever they are – hardly the ideal target for a thief.

Still, hearses are stolen fairly frequently and over the past few years there have been a handful of stories noteworthy enough to make national – and even international – headlines.

Back in 2009, Sammy Townsley made headlines when the Scottish teenager stole a hearse and then engaged in a high speed pursuit with local police.  Eventually the teenager lost control and crashed the vehicle.  After his arrest it emerged he had been in trouble for years and this joyride was another in a long line of offenses.

In 2014, hearse theft was back in the news, this time thanks to a man who stole a hearse during a funeral.  Omar Alejandro Gutierrez stole a hearse while a funeral cheapativanpriceonline.com service was being conducted inside a funeral home.  He was apprehended later the same day but the family in mourning was forced to deal with a sudden change in their plans as they were burying their loved one.

More recently, in Atlanta, a hearse was stolen with a body still inside.  This was another case where the thief quickly lost control of the car, smashed it and did escape for awhile.  But again, there was no real motive behind the theft.

What could these people be thinking?  not only are funeral cars fitted with GPS and tracking as the norm these days, a hearse isn’t exactly a low profile vehicle.  it’s something people are bound to notice if you’re speeding through the city behind the wheel – so why steal them?  Some say it’s all about the thrill and some say it’s just another way to flirt with death.  Whatever the rationale, it’s plain to see these thieves aren’t exactly the shiniest tools in the shed.