Black Lincolns and Cadillacs are the types of hearses we typically picture when we think of a funeral procession. They have been seen in a few popular films like Spiderman in 2002 and Seabiscuit in 2003. However, in the past generation, these vehicles that carry the dearly departed are being customized into a variety of styles, such as a bicycle-led hearse that is pedaled through beautiful Oregon trials for a last scenic view.
They usually come in black, but white and gray are used on rare occasions. Black is seen as traditional, and a symbol of mourning in Western culture; on the contrary, some funeral homes use white to celebrate “new life”. In other cultures, for instance in the Middle East, white and gold are common colors. They also take pride in their ravishing decorations that loved ones place on the hearses.
One American design option is customizing a hearse for a specific occasion. For Halloween, Galpin Auto Sports in Van Nuys California decided to completely redesign one of their cars. They began by coating the front of the car with skulls and resigned the grille of the car into a large spider web. The body of the car was painted purple and reupholstered the car seats purple with black crosses. To top it off, they have a chilled cooler, barbeque and flat screen television all in the back of the coffin. Spooky and crazy, yes, but the shop couldn’t be more proud of their design.
Another change is the Harley Davidson hearse options’. They have become more popular and contain unique features like being equipped for transports of oversized caskets and being pulled by a conversion bikes. They also can transport urns for cremation ceremonies. Families also have the option to personalize the hearse to show their loved one’s joy of riding.
A new tradition for Oregon funeral home director Wade Lind, is pedaling the deceased around for “one last ride” through the city’s most scenic bike trials. Lind described his reason: “When people see it, they do a double take and that’s kind of a neat thing. It expands their perception. It takes away the fear of death.”
It is comforting to know that even through the morning of a death; it can still be celebrated in style into the next life. We believe the choice should be yours.