In mid 2018 Anne and David Allison of Oakdale Funerals sat chatting one night about their interest in vintage cars and hot rods, and they laughed as they recalled how much they enjoyed the old TV show the Munsters! And so came their vision and dream of building a unique and fully functional hot rod hearse! How fantastic and special it would be to offer this vehicle to client families whose loved one may have been a hot rod or car enthusiast, or who just wanted an amazing vehicle in which to say goodbye. As experienced and professional funeral directors, Anne and David believe and know that offering special experiences at a funeral service can positively add to the overall experience at such a difficult time.
They decided that a Model A vintage Ford would suit their project perfectly, and after extensive research came to realise that there appeared to be no other hot rod hearse like it in Australia, or indeed the world!
Little did they know just how much the Hot Rod build would prove to be such an interesting, exciting and at times anxiety ridden experience! The build was huge, with incredible attention to detail and was undertaken locally in Bayswater by the talented team at Deuce Customs.
Constructed of course with Vic Roads registration and engineering compliance in mind, the build had to commence with an original 1930 Model AA Ford truck chassis to provide the necessary length for the hearse. Interestingly this is in fact how Ford hearses, trucks, ambulances and the like were built back at this time.
A 1931 Model A Ford Tudor body sourced in Queensland was later stretched and modified to suit the chassis. The hot rod was built with state of the art components including power steering, fuel injection, air conditioning, electric windows, all steel body, a Mercedes cloth roof, impressive side windows, and most importantly a 350 chev engine! Careful consideration was given to the functionality of the hearse with a storage compartment for funeral equipment, rear upward opening door and a beautifully trimmed caramel toned interior with the exterior being painted in a traditional deep shiny black!
Finally in January, 2021 the hearse, affectionately known as Herman was completed and fully registered and is nothing short of amazing! As engineer Jeff said, “I would go so far as saying that Henry Ford himself would have been proud to have been farewelled in this vehicle!”
Anne and David now proudly offer the hot rod hearse as part of their Oakdale Funeral service, but also provide the hearse for hire at a reasonable rate with David offering professional and reliable hearse driving and full funeral directors assistance. For more information please contact David on 0431471555 or you can contact us at Oakdale Funerals. At the present time you can view the hearse by visiting the facebook page – ‘Herman the hot rod hearse’