October 31, 2016
DID YOU EVER THINK WHEN A HEARSE WENT BY…
by Jim Corbran, Automotive Columnist
Halloween week seems like as good of a time as any to take a look at something most of us have never ridden in, but many of us will eventually — the hearse, or as it’s known in the business, the funeral coach.
Back in the day it seemed like almost every hearse you saw was a black Cadillac, an odd choice in one way as Cadillac wasn’t in the business of selling station wagon-type vehicles, but I guess somebody one day made the decision that your last ride should be in style.
And today, Cadillac still seems to dominate the field. Oh yes, there are others (check out that black Dodge Caravan SE below from Baines Professional Vehicles. Oh, the humility!), but so far Cadillac is still a major player.
Cadillac doesn’t actually build these things; they provide incomplete chassis to certified Cadillac Master Coachbuilders for final vehicle manufacturing and distribution. So we took a look at one of the long-time converters of funeral coaches, The S & S Coach Company of Lima, Ohio, which was founded in 1876 and, as they tell us on their web page, they’re the only true survivor of the pre-automotive funeral coach era.
One of their models is the Cadillac XTS Victoria, a handsome conversion based on Cadillac’s large front-wheel-drive sedan. The Victoria has an overall length of 258” (a 56” stretch from the XTS sedan) and a wheelbase of 158.7” (plus 47”), and it comes with many features you don’t usually discuss with your local Cadillac sales associate:
A couple of items on the option list are even more interesting:
Well, they might remember that Dodge Caravan, Lol…
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