The model names may be somewhat unfamiliar to you, and the chances are you haven't ridden in one yet, but given time and the inevitability of your fate, one day they'll give you the ride of your life. Unfortunately you won't be around to see it.
The Peterson Auto Museum in Los Angeles, is perhaps best known beyond the walls of this city - and in many parts of it, as the place where the rapper the Notorious B.I.G. bit it, at the intersection of Wilshire Blvd and Fairfax Avenue. His murder, on one of the city's busiest thoro fares, apparently unsolvable for the LAPD. It's eerily appropriate then, that that block is going to be choked up once again this Halloween weekend with a Guinness Book of Records attempt for the world's longest procession of hearses.
There's something that sends a shiver I think, upon a late night chance encounter with a decaying Cadillac Brougham Endloader. The moniker alone - bald faced eloquence. I saw one recently as a couple of friends and I took some side street parking near the Tiki Ti. Always a shudder. It's a uniquely American thing I think, to spare these hearses beyond the end of their natural lives. I don't really recall a whole lot of that in the UK. I may be wrong.
The events' entertainment coordinator, Heather Saenz quips about saving these cars from the crusher! Her first was a 1970 Superior, lovingly restored, only to end up in a wreck in Hawaii two weeks after she parted company with it to make way for another...
Although amongst my great list of occupations I was once employed to take the dead from their hospital beds to a fridge in a mortuary, so I am not so unused to dealing with death like that, somehow, driving a hearse, I don't know, I'd forever be imagining something sitting up in the rear view mirror, time honored halloween tv movie style.
It's a ghastly business.
As many as 200 hundred hearses will be lining the block. There'll be former TV and Movie stars, the cars that is - and hearse impresario Buck Kamphausen will be bring many coaches to the event ranging from a 1916 REO through the Cadillac Superior line to a latter day Toyota.
The weekend really gets under way with a Friday evening lecture from auto historian Jim Crabtree and there'll be music from The Ghastly Ones, Deadbillys and the Coffin Draggers. Organized in conjunction with California Funeral Car Consortium and the Peterson Auto Museum, this weekend will go down in loving memory as the car club event of the year. Can't wait!
Grabbed some images and spent way to long on the Phantom Coaches web site from Long Beach, CA cool site for car lovers. Check them Phantom Coaches and check World's Longest Hearse Procession for the latest news about the event.