Most hearses are drab, depressing cars that remind everyone about their mortality. But not everyone wants to spend our last ride in the back of a boring, every-day hearse. Others want something a little flashier than what we typically see at funerals. Thankfully for them and their dearly beloved, these 10 hearses are here to carry their dead weight in style. Here are some of the most eye-catching hearses ever made.
10 Tesla Model S Hearse
We aren’t experts in hearses, but we would assume that they’re probably not very fuel-efficient. After all, coffins are heavy, and all that custom gear in the back is sure to make engines work overtime. Thankfully, Norwegian hearse designer Jan Erik Naley has a solution.
Over the last few years, he’s built four custom Tesla Model S hearses for the Scandinavian funerary market. The hearse pictured here costs around $200k, which is nearly twice the cost of a normal Model S. But it’s worth it for funeral homes who want to minimize their carbon footprint.
9 Classic Rolls Royce Hearse
This hearse looks like a vintage Rolls Royce, but it is actually made from the parts of different cars that are fused together to create what is officially known as a ‘Classic Hearse.’ According to the manufacturer’s website, the hearse uses the chasee of a Chevy pickup. It has all the modern features one would expect from the 21st century, but in a package that looks like something out of the 30s. And boy, does this thing look slick. People who want to go out making an impression should defiantly mention this in their last will and testimony.
8 The Queen Of Soul’s Hearse
This gorgeous hearse carried Aretha Franklin’s casket to her viewing at the Detroit Museum of African American History, and later for her funeral precession. A modified 1940 Cadillac LeSalle, the hearse has a long and storied history. In addition to Aretha, it also carried her father, the Reverend C.L. Franklin, David Ruffin of the Temptations, and Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks.
Used by Swanson Funeral Home, the hearse has been in operation for over a half-century and is still going strong. With such a legendary reputation, you could say that the hearse deserves nothing but R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
7 Motorcycle Hearse
You may be surprised to learn that motorcycle hearses are pretty common. Popular with bikers, motorcycle hearses like this one carry the coffin in a sidecar, though there are others that carry the coffin behind them like a trailer. This Triumph Thunderbird hearse, currently listed on the website for a funeral home in Birmingham, England, sports one of the bigger coffin sidecars that we’ve seen thus far. Most of them are usually shorter, with smaller windows from which to view the coffin. There are also sidecar hearses that carry the coffin on a flatbed along the edge of the bike, offering passing motorists an even better view of the coffin.
6 Jaguar E-Type Hearse
The E-Type is one of the greatest British sports cars ever made, so it would make sense for some car enthusiasts to want to be carried in one for their funeral. This hearse is actually a recreation of one seen in the 1971 cult film Harold and Maud and was created by a fan as a way of showing his appreciation.
Of all the hearses here, this is the one we wish most funeral homes had in their inventory. The E-Type is already super cool, one that many auto enthusiasts would love to drive before they die. But if they never had the chance to be in one when they were alive, a hearse like this can fulfill that dream after their passing.
5 Bat Hearse
If Dracula owned a car, this is what he would drive. Nothing says goth like a hearse with literal bat wings on top. This hearse is created by Zachery Byron Helm, a guy who makes modified cars that look like they came out of a Twisted Metal game. For instance, that red tank on the roof is a flame thrower. And yes, those are machine guns fitted to the front. While they’re undoubtedly for show, we’d guess that if Helm was able to make them fire actual bullets, he would. Hopefully he doesn’t get too carried away with his creations, lest he attract the attention of the authorities.
4 Rock Star Hearse
Who says all hearses need to be dark and broody? Why can't the dearly departed go fourth unto the afterlife in a fiery red hot rod? The mind behind this creation seems to think so, after painstakingly converting this vintage hearse into a ride fit for a rock star’s funeral. With flames and glossy red paint, offset by the black bonnet, it’s the most badass looking hearse on this list. It would be hard to miss this sucker during a funeral precession. We also hope it has a stereo system, capable of playing AC/DC at the highest possible decibles, to inform everyone for miles that a legend is about to be laid to rest.
3 Funky Town Hearse
We’d like to believe that this hearse carried Prince’s casket, but we have no proof of that. Either way, this is the funkiest hearse we’ve ever seen. Clad in chrome and mirror paint, this hearse is for the extroverts out there who want to go out demanding everyone’s attention.
And boy is this ever going to turn heads. While we’re not sure the paint is street legal, no one can deny that it’s cool as ice. We hope it has hydraulic suspension so it can groove to the beat of whatever’s playing on the stereo. Let’s just hope the coffin is held down well.
2 Monster Truck Hearse
Getting stuck in traffic is bad enough if you’re on your way to work, but the stakes are higher if you’re a hearse driver. Getting caught in a bad jam with no way out, with an entire precession behind you, can completely ruin a family’s funeral. Luckily, there’s a solution to that. This hearse can easily driver over anything in its path. We think that few drivers would want to be in this bad boy’s way, giving the funeral party a clear path to the cemetery.
And forget pallbearers, as this sucker can go off road, undeterred by those pesky tombstones and memorials, and deliver the coffin directly to the grave. Sure, it’ll cause a lot of destruction, but what’s a few million dollars worth of property damage to a grieving family who just wants the best for their loved ones?
1 Grave Digging Hearse
This one kills two birds with one stone (no pun). Most graveyards need to rent a backhoe to dig their tombs, which can be expensive. Why not cut the middle man and get a hearse that can do it all? This tongue-in-cheek creation proposes a solution to this issue, equipped with an arm that can rip up the raw earth and carry the departed to their final resting place. That said, there doesn’t seem to be much room in the back, what with the arm and all. But hey, the roof’s big enough, and there’s nothing a few well-placed bungee cords can’t hold down.